Thetford PCSO receives award

A PCSO has received a national award for her work with minority communities.

Diversity Liaison Officer PCSO Carla Pinto will receive a Recognition Award from the Norwich and Central Norfolk branch of Mind, for her work with the Portuguese community in Thetford.

PCSO Pinto has worked to break-down barriers between minority groups and the police through workshops, police surgeries as well as larger engagement projects.

Community development manager of Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, Amrita Kulkarni, said: “We are pleased to award Carla Pinto for her relentless work with the Portuguese community in Thetford.

“Although not a big award it is our little way of appreciation. Carla has always been available and helped the community development programme engage with the Black Minority Ethnic (BME) groups in Thetford.

“She has been very pro-active in raising awareness about mental health, well-being and social inclusion within the communities.”

PCSO Pinto said she was humbled to receive the recognition of her work.

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She added: “This is a great honour. It can be challenging to engage with minority groups in the county but it is something that I feel very dedicated to.

“As a Portuguese person, I can appreciate how people in any community can feel isolated. Organisations such as Mind set a real example to people throughout the country that nobody should feel cut-off from the mainstream. This has made me even more determined than ever to tackle such issues head-on.”

Her next major project is to highlight the diversity of businesses in Thetford. The aim will be to encourage people to let go of their perceptions of where they can and can’t shop or eat around the town because of a businesses’ cultural background.