Colourful police memories for Sandwell children
A kind hearted Walsall businessman has funded a stack of colouring books to be given to children who have been affected by crime.
Steve Tidman from the Pelsall area has been working with Sandwell Police over the last few months to solely fund a project close to his heart.
Mr Tidman, whose day job is to help people with dementia by creating products that promote memory stimulation and cognitive functioning, came up with an idea to also help local children.
The 42-year-old initially approached Sandwell Partnerships Officer PC Wes Monk last year to ask for funding opportunities to print colouring books using his own art work.
Unfortunately, the talented man could not be helped due to a lack of money available, and instead set about creating a series of positive policing images and paying for it himself.
Mr Tidman said: “I’m really passionate about helping those in our community and particularly, children whose lives can be turned upside down by crime.
“I draw for fun and as an outlet for the stresses of life and I wanted to put my efforts into something positive.
“As a child I was sadly left traumatised by some events and the person was never brought to justice.
“Part of that was down to me as a child being scared to talk about what happened to me and also not knowing how to open up about it. I truly believe these pictures will help children now.”
Steve hopes the colouring books can be used in situations where police officers need to speak to children about what they have seen or experienced and offer a distraction for them as they speak.
PC Wes Monk is championing the project. He said: “I am so thankful that Steve created this colouring book and came back to us undeterred.
“All of the content promotes positive imagery of the police and I think that’s really important for a young child to see.
“I’m really hoping we can print more books, but in the meantime, I know the ones we have will be really appreciated by our teams.”
Mr Tidman volunteered as a police Special for West Midlands Police from 2004 to 2010 and has remained in touch with officers across the force in a bid to pro-actively help where he can.
The set of 50 colouring books with colouring pencils will now be given out by the Sandwell and Dudley child Public Protection Unit, who regularly visit homes of vulnerable children.