Sunderland PCSO's 'friendship for life' after treating young Isabelle to unforgettable day

29 Jun 2018 14:00 PM

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Make a difference.

That was PCSO Melanie Sargent’s main aim upon joining Northumbria Police just five months ago.

And the 27-year-old has certainly managed to do that for one little girl in Sunderland after an unlikely meet transformed into a “friendship for life”.

Three-year-old Isabelle was on the way to her grandma’s house in Pallion when she spotted PCSO Sargent out on weekend patrol earlier this month.

Now, after striking up an immediate rapport, the smiley tot is desperate to be “just like Mel” when she grows up.

“Isabelle has always loved police officers,” said proud mum Stacey Ewart, of Hereford Court, Sunderland.

“Every time she sees an officer, she waves and tries to chat to them. I’m not exactly sure where it came from, maybe something on the TV, but she’s been obsessed for about a year now. She wants to join the mini-police in a few years’ time and the cadets when she’s old enough.

“When she saw Mel, she shouted, ‘there’s a police officer!’. You wouldn’t believe how excited she was. Mel took a real shining to Isabelle – and she to Mel. It was really special.”

It was a moment that will also live long in the memory for PCSO Sargent.

“When Isabelle saw me, her smile stretched from ear to ear,” she said. “I went over and she was just mesmerised at meeting a police officer. I haven’t had that sort of reaction in the job and she just melted my heart.

“That day Isabelle and her parents were due to attend a family day at a farm where police were supposed to attend but due to operational reasons that wasn’t possible. Little Isabelle was disheartened, so I told her I would arrange for her to come and dress up and sit in the police car at my station instead.

“Isabelle reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. It isn’t very often nowadays that we come across young people with such a passion for the job we do. I just think she’s fantastic.

“I’ve only been a PCSO since January and there have been some challenging days. But meeting Isabelle filled me with such happiness and fulfilled my ambition to make a difference.

“This little girl wants to be ‘just like me’ when she grows up. So I wanted to put a smile on her face and create a lovely memory for her growing up.”

She certainly did that.

Just a fortnight after Northumbria Police’s Family Fun Day in Wallsend, which little Isabelle attended donning her mini-police jacket, PCSO Sargent kept her promise.

On Sunday (June 24), she invited her newest friend, as well as proud parents Stacey and Nick into the Sunderland West Neighbourhood Police Office, at Farringdon Fire Station, where more surprises lay in store for the young PC-to-be.

“I can’t believe the effort Mel put in to make Isabelle’s day a memorable one,” Stacey said.

“We were invited into the station and Isabelle had the best day of her life. She was allowed to sit in the police car, wear a police hat, help train the police dogs and meet the firefighters – it was amazing.

“She was also given a certificate and a few keepsakes, things she’ll no doubt treasure forever.

“It’s all she talks about now. She tells her friends, her cousins, everyone she meets about Mel and her day out at the station.

“She’s got a friend for life in Mel, that’s for sure. The bond they have is beautiful – and I’m so thankful to her and Northumbria Police for everything they’ve done.”