Queen's medal for Calderdale cop who launched Hipperholme activity centre

A Calderdale police officer has been honoured by the Queen.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 3:13 pm
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:05 am
PC Chris Madden

PC Chris Madden, who founded Sunnyvale Fishery and Outdoor Activity Centre in Hipperholme, has been given the Queen’s Police Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

His award comes as recognition for his services to young people in the borough.

A member of West Yorkshire Police since 2005, he has been committed to helping improve youngsters’ lives and this has included coming up with a range of diversionary activity to steer them away from criminal activity.

Using his personal experiences and knowledge of fishing, he started by encouraging young people to become involved in a fishing programme.

In 2014 he approached the owners of Sunnyvale and secured a lease for its use, creating a classroom and transforming the site into an activity area.

The centre provides opportunities for climbing, archery and canoeing as well as education about subjects such as knife-crime and online safety.

In February 2020, he created and directed a short film about the dangers of carrying a knife featuring young people he had helped and police cadets as the cast.

The film was a huge success and was widely shown across the country on YouTube.

“I am honoured and privileged to accept this award,” said PC Madden.

“I love my job and I am dedicated to improving the lives of young people from all backgrounds.

“I am also very grateful for the support and commitment from West Yorkshire Police, volunteers at Sunnyvale, the site owners, West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and various other organisations over the last five years who have helped and supported me with my vision for Sunnyvale and all we have achieved to date.

“I would also like to mention my amazing early intervention team who been by my side throughout.

“I am looking forward to how we can build and maintain the work in the area of early intervention in Calderdale and across West Yorkshire.”

West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable John Robins said: “I was privileged to be at the formal opening of Sunnyvale in 2016 and to see first hand some of the excellent work that Chris helped create and maintain.

“I have no doubt that, thanks to Chris’ efforts, a lot of young people in Calderdale and West Yorkshire have had the opportunity for a far brighter future than they otherwise might have had and he should be very proud of all he has achieved.

“On behalf of West Yorkshire Police and the communities of Calderdale, I thank and congratulate him for his dedication and commitment over many years to improving the lives of young people.”

Fellow West Yorkshire Police officer Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden - head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East - was also honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a Queen’s Police Medal. His was for services to policing.