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Crawley Community Wardens praised for their life saving actions

What started out as a normal Saturday for two of Crawley Borough Council’s Community Wardens, ended with them preventing two young people from taking their own lives.

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Community Wardens Christopher Oakley and Stuart Adesilu

On 18 August, Christopher Oakley and Stuart Adesilu were called to assist Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) with removing a couple from the roof of Orchard Street Car Park who were refusing to cooperate.

CEOs respond to issues when on patrol around the town’s car parks and will call for the Community Wardens’ back-up when required.

Chris said:
“On this occasion, the couple were sat on the roof drinking and refusing to leave. So we attended with the intention of seizing their alcohol and asking them to move on, which is fairly standard procedure.”

The couple were adamant they weren’t leaving so the Wardens considered the involvement of the police. However, as they weren’t being anti-social, they anticipated their presence would be unlikely.

After a short conversation, the situation soon escalated when the male mentioned that four years to the day, his brother had taken his own life, turning an ordinary call-out for the Wardens into a situation with a potentially life-changing ending.

Chris continued:
“We could see he was suffering and started to cry saying he wanted to join his brother.”

The Wardens tried reasoning with him, urging him to use one of the many helplines available to talk to someone about what he was going through. At that point his girlfriend walked away to the other end of the roof and Stuart followed to make sure she was OK. After five minutes of talking, the young man then attempted to jump off the roof of the car park.

Thankfully Chris leapt into action, grabbing the young man’s ankle, using his weight to pull him back down, calling for Stuart’s assistance.

Witnessing the scene, however, caused the female to also attempt to take her own life. Stuart quickly prevented this from happening, moving her to safety.

Police were called at this point and promptly detained the couple.

Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Lamb said:
“This story could have had a very different ending if it had not been for the quick actions of Chris and Stuart. They showed great compassion and care in a very difficult situation and I am proud to have them as part of the team here at Crawley Borough Council.”

Both Chris and Stuart’s actions have been recognised by the council for their exceptional handling of a very sensitive situation.

If you are struggling and need to talk to someone, call the Samaritans on 116 123.

Business

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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