Police officer honoured after opening up on experiences during Covid pandemic

PC Amii Stewart and Chief Constable Winton Keenen.PC Amii Stewart and Chief Constable Winton Keenen.
PC Amii Stewart and Chief Constable Winton Keenen.
A police officer who shared her experience of the pandemic has been presented with a prestigious award.

From losing a loved one, postponing her wedding and learning how to switch off and relax, PC Amii Stewart shared her experience of the pandemic, both personally and professionally, as part of the North East’s #BeatCovidNE campaign.

From 2020, the 30-year-old appeared in the campaign as the region shared vital public health messaging to help people understand more about Covid-19 and how they could protect themselves and others.

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But when PC Stewart volunteered to take part in the campaign, she did not expect what the next two years would bring – and that her commitment to her job and community would see her win a prestigious policing award.

The former Special Constable, who was based in North Shields, said: “When I was asked to take part in the campaign, I had no idea how big it would become.

“The aim was to have people from across the area, all services, sectors and backgrounds, highlight why it was so important people followed the rules and guidance in place.

“I’m proud of how, as a region, we really came together and people overwhelmingly did the right thing to protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.”

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She added: “I’m really happy I took part in the campaign. The reaction I got from people was great, with so many lovely messages and my family were buzzing.

“It was nice to tell my story and show that police officers are so much more than the uniform.”

She said: “I became a Police Officer in 2019, so a large part of my career to date has been during the pandemic and I was able to just get on with it.

“When my fiancée contracted Covid, she had to go into hospital and I was so worried as I had no idea how poorly she would be. Like many others, we had to postpone our wedding and reschedule holidays.

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“I was also doing my grandparents’ shopping, but sadly my granny died in September 2020 and it was really hard because the family hadn’t been able to see her properly.

“So many people experienced so many hard and horrible things but I’ve tried to take some positives from it.”

PC Stewart won the Catherine Pawlikow Memorial Award for extraordinary public service at Northumbria Police’s Pride in Policing ceremony.

She added: “My hope with the campaign was to help, so if I’ve manged to help just one person, I’m very happy.

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“I never thought I would get an award, and it was a privilege to even be nominated alongside some amazing candidates – I’m very humbled.”

Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “When you join the police, as an officer, staff member or volunteer, you have a real opportunity to make a difference in the community and Amii has certainly achieved that as a result of her work as part of the Covid campaign.

“She should be extremely proud of the role she has played, in what has been, a fantastic effort to help protect the community during the pandemic.

“She is an inspiration to her colleagues and anyone considering a career in policing – and I was delighted to present her with the award at our Pride in Policing event.”