Former Oldham beat officer honoured in New Year list

Screenshot 2022-01-01 at 09.06.44

A Greater Manchester Police officer, Damieon Hartley–Pickles, has been recognised for his outstanding charity work in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Damieon, who has over 20 years’ service in GMP and is currently acting as a response sergeant in Rochdale, is known throughout the force, not only for his dedication as a police officer, but the exceptional efforts he makes in his personal time to raise money for a number of charities in the local area.

Sergeant Hartley-Pickles has raised over £50,000 for charities over the past decade.  He began his fundraising for various hospices around the North West, before dedicating much of his time to an Oldham youth charity, Mahdlo, who deliver life-skills and offer chances to underprivileged young people in Oldham. He has organised and taken part in 24-hour football matches, as well as running around his back garden over 4,800 times with his wheelbarrow in order to complete a half marathon, an effort that saw him raise over £1,700 for the NHS and Mahdlo.

As well as giving his time to complete fundraising events, Damieon also gets involved with the local charities he supports. When he was a neighbourhood officer in Oldham, the area was having major issues with youth anti-social behaviour which was causing upset for local residents. In additional to helping Mahdlo raise money for support sessions for young people, he visited the charity regularly, engaging with the young people there by getting involved in activities and helping them to understand how their behaviour was having a negative impact on their local community.  As a result, incidents of anti-social behaviour decreased and, GMP say, the community felt safer.

In addition, Damieon has also raised £25,000 for the Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham, who provide specialist care for adults with non-curable, life-limiting illnesses, by running a total of five marathons, 42 half marathons and twelve 10K runs with his trusty wheelbarrow in tow.  He has also completed an Everest Base Camp Climb which raised £16,000.

GMP Chief Constable Stephen Watson said;  “The list of charities Damieon has supported and fundraising events in which he has taken part is extensive, and he is truly deserving of the British Empire Medal.  His award recognises both the time and commitment he has dedicated to charity work and helping others, but also the difference he continues to make for our local communities.

“Our officers are committed to public service and helping the people of Greater Manchester and Damieon embodies this quality magnificently – many congratulations to him, we are very proud of his achievement.”

Sergeant Damieon Hartley-Pickles, said: “I am so honoured to receive such recognition.  It’s truly unbelievable, particularly as there are so many people whose contributions are so deserving of this accolade.

“I started my charity work for the same reason that I joined the police – I wanted to give back to society and do something to help those who need it most.

“I must recognise my wife and my family, who provide me with so much support and have had to put up with every ache and pain following each marathon run and each mountain trek, as well as my friend and colleague, Chief Inspector Danny Appleton, who has been the spearhead of our sporting marathons, in both organising and joint participation, raising thousands of pounds for Mahdlo.”

In another boost for the East Lancashire town, Oldham Council’s Deputy Chief Executive designate, Sayyed Osman, was awarded the MBE. He told the Lancashire Telegraph:

“Throughout my life and career I’ve always considered it a privilege to work in the service of people. I am grateful to God to be in a position of leadership, responsibility and authority, I see it as my duty and a civic trust to serve our communities to the best of my ability.

“I’m not sure who nominated me for this honour but I am truly humbled by the thought that they consider I merit such recognition. When you see the difference we can make to people’s lives it is reward itself.

“I have tried to shy away from awards and such things in the 30 plus years of public service. I just simply want to make a positive difference.

“It’s important to recognise that no one can achieve or make a difference on their own. It is always in partnership, in collaboration and with other people.

“The last two years have been particularly difficult for all of us and many people have gone the extra mile and shown incredible humility and resilience, therefore whole sectors and communities deserve our thanks and recognition.

“Not least the NHS services, Primary Care, Social Work, Education, emergency services, the voluntary, community and faith sector, volunteers, private sector partners for their kindness, frontline workers and many more.

“In receiving this honour, I dedicate this to my wife and family who provide me with relentless support and have allowed me to work long hours to do what I am passionate about.

“I dedicate this to all my colleagues, elected members and teams that I work with day in day out, as well as the partner agencies, stakeholders, volunteers, residents and communities for their support and partnership.

Page last updated at 1035hrs on Sunday 1st January, 2021

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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