PCC lays down roots in honour of Earth Day

Rupert Matthews and Jess

Photograph shows Rupert Matthews and Community Development Officer Jessica Ball (and the tree)

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews planted a tree today in celebration of Earth Day and the bravery of survivors of crime.

The Police and Crime Commissioner planted a flowering cherry blossom tree in the grounds of the Victim Support Unit based in New Parks – home to one of the Commissioner’s People Zones.

Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22 encouraging people to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the environment and raising awareness of the importance of ecological sustainability.

This year’s theme is Invest in Our Planet and will see individuals and organisations across the globe hosting a range of activities to encourage people to make a difference to their environment.

Mr Matthews chose the cherry blossom for its symbolic link to spring and the theme of renewal.

He said: “I am delighted to join the millions of people worldwide in planting a tree in commemoration of Earth Day.

“Our cherry blossom not only signifies the call to action for humanity to take care of our environment but has the additional significance of honouring the challenging journeys and bravery of victims of crime by growing in the grounds of our victim support services.

“It is particularly apt that the tree will grow in this energetic Peoples Zone, where people work hard to enrich community life.  I hope that they enjoy its’ beauty.

“Small changes in our everyday lives can make an enormous difference to our environment and to our communities. I hope this tree continues to serve as a reminder of the positive impact we can make on the world around us.”

Millie Gant, Manager of Juniper Lodge which provides specialist victims support services, watched as the tree was planted.  She said: “It was an unusual start to the day to find the Police and Crime Commissioner digging a hole in the garden!  However, the tree is beautiful and has brightened up the grassed area at Juniper Lodge, whilst marking Earth Day.”

Ending on a humorous note, Mr Matthews joked: “Why do elephants paint their toes red?

“So they can hide in cherry trees. Have you ever seen an elephant in a cherry tree? See it works!”


Media enquiries:  Sallie Blair 01283 821012


Posted on Friday 22nd April 2022
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