Looking back at career of Kettering PCSO who set out to 'break down barriers' for young people
The late PCSO Alex Franklin made a career out of touching lives and helping young people across Northamptonshire.
Hundreds of kindhearted tributes have poured following the sudden death of 'warm, caring' PCSO 7060 Alex Franklin at his home on Tuesday (July 30).
He served Northamptonshire as a PCSO for 11 years in all, eight of which saw him help work closely with schools in Corby and Kettering as a schools officer.
Many teachers and parents have tweeted since Mr Franklin's death in memory of times he helped their children, offered advice or was simply a "great role model" for his schools.
The officer set out his mission statement for how he hoped to help young people as part of an "introduction" page for Kettering Science Academy, which he worked closely with.
PCSO Franklin wrote: "I decided to become a school officer largely because I felt the young people deserved to get through school with little to no issues.
"My aim is to break down barriers and help establish more pathways for those who have little direction."
And on July 30, Chief Constable Nick Adderly tweeted that PCSO Franklin had told him only weeks ago that "serving the community is what he was born to do".
PCSO Franklin quietly featured in many stories across both the Northampton Chronicle and the Northamptonshire Telegraph over the past ten years.
It included an occasion in 2011 when he put himself in his pupils' shoes and sat a GCSE maths test alongside the students of Corby Business Academy.
Speaking at the time, Mr Franklin said: "If I don’t pass I’m sure I’ll come in for some ribbing from the students.
“The experience has given me a better understanding of the stresses that pupils go through at exam time and that helps me in my work."
He worked with many schools across Northamptonshire to help students understand and handle modern problems facing teenagers, from organising swimming contests to talks on online safety and gang violence.
More recently, he was a strong advocate for the Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge (NCSC) to talk about road safety and urging young people to turn their backs on knife crime.
But since his death, tweets from parents and teachers have shown how his true work was as a role model and kindhearted community figure to children and young people.
One parent, Paul Darren Morgan-Wright, wrote online: "Thank you for helping our son through some tough times and giving him encouragement to turn his life around. You were a lovely person who reassured my wife and I that things would get better.
"Our son has just accepted a place at college and has worked hard to get his life together. We thank you so much and are sending our thoughts and love to your family and friends at this sad time."
Another friend, Helen Hall, wrote: "You wasn't a normal PCSO, you was a friend to alot of young people who attended secondary schools in Corby. I had the pleasure of working alongside you at CBA. Rest In peace Alex, you have no idea of the sheer amount of lives you have touched and helped. Respect is earned and you have It from the family's you helped."
Some of the schools PCSO Franklin was known at include Isebrook Sen Cognition and Learning College, Kettering College Academy, Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Corby Business Academy, Corby Technical School and Rockingham Primary School in Corby.