By Betsy Everett
When 11-year-old Leon Spink witnessed a traffic accident in the dales market town of Hawes, he didn’t think twice before swinging into action.
As the town’s police community support officer, Don Watson, dealt with the casualty at the accident scene, Leon, a pupil at Wensleydale School, Leyburn, realised the officer couldn’t be in two places at once.
He also knew that if more traffic came up the road into the town, the situation could be much worse. He grabbed traffic cones, ran to put them in place at the entrance to the one-way system where traffic enters the town from the main A684, then calmly directed the traffic until the emergency was over.
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What Leon didn’t know was that watching the drama unfold were the staff of the nearby medical centre, the Central Dales Practice, who were so impressed with his calm and practical approach that managing partner, Lynn Irwin, presented him with a note – and a £10 reward.
“Thank you so much for keeping calm and directing traffic in the emergency situation today,” she wrote. “You must be very proud of yourself. We certainly are. Well done from all the team at the Central Dales Practice.”
And there it might have ended: but Leon had other ideas. He thought there were others more deserving of the reward.
“I couldn’t believe it when he said he thought the officers from the Hawes fire brigade deserved it more, and that he wanted to hand it over to them,” said his mum, Emma.
“They were so pleased and took him for a ride in the fire engine which he loved. It was so kind of them.”