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“Fun and rewarding” experiences and the special feeling you get “helping victims get closure” – just two of the reasons given by those who have volunteered their time to the Constabulary.
Now, as part of the annual National Volunteers Week and Special Constabulary Weekend 2020, the Constabulary is thanking all those who have given up their spare time for the organisation and highlighting the crucial roles they play right across the Force.
The Constabulary has 532 volunteers, made up of support staff, officers from the Special Constabulary and police cadets – all vital to the organisation’s work.
The Special Constabulary are regularly involved in a range of operations from neighbourhood policing to road safety operations, cadets help officers engage with communities in a number of ways and support staff carry out roles as diverse as humane animal dispatching, caring for our fleet of vehicles, managing Neighbourhood Watch schemes, archiving our records, coordinating restorative justice, training and offender management.
Over the next week, the work of three people in different roles will be highlighted on our social media channels.
Case Study one: Gerry Duckworth
Gerry’s background is in Criminal Justice and he has been a volunteer within the Restorative Gloucestershire team for three years. When asked what he personally gets out of volunteering, Gerry said: “It's the comradeship of working with people who have similar backgrounds and beliefs; and working with people to achieve better outcomes and in some cases, victim closure on incidents which have affected their lives."
Gerry is just one example of the great volunteers working within Restorative Gloucestershire and making a huge difference to the lives of many people in the county.
Case Study two: Kay Williams
Kay has been a Cadet Leader for eight months and has a keen interest in the police service and helping young people, so it was the perfect role for her to become involved in.
Kay is just one of 52 Volunteer Cadet Leaders, without which the Force’s cadet programme could not function. When asked about why she volunteers, Kay said: "It’s fun and rewarding being a Cadet Leader as you get to help and support young people by building their confidence and personal development skills, like personal safety and interacting with the community”.
Kay also works with our Treasure Seeker Cadets (adults with learning disabilities) and is able to give them an opportunity to help and support the police. The Treasure Seeker Cadets initiative launched in November 2018 and the team take part in a number of duties alongside members of the Special Constabulary.
Case Study three: Graham Carter
Graham is a retired Police Officer from Kent, where he was previously (amongst a number of other specialist roles), a driving instructor at Hendon Police College. Before joining the Police, Graham worked for the Ambulance Service and at that time was one of the UK’s first registered paramedics and the youngest in the country.
When the Coronavirus pandemic started to take hold, Graham offered his services to the NHS and police and he joined the Constabulary’s volunteer FleetCare team of drivers who have assisted in the delivery of over 6,000 food packages and Personal Protective Equipment across the county over the last 12 weeks, as well as assisting Fire Service and Army colleagues with deliveries to care homes.
Graham has been at the heart of these operations and will hopefully join our FleetCare team on a more permanent basis in the future, potentially also assisting as a Police Cadet Leader.
Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "Our volunteer workforce is fundamental to our success and it is right that we recognise the time and effort that they have put in to help us keep our communities safe from harm.
"I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who volunteers as well as members of the Special Constabulary for the significant number of hours they have provided in general and as part of the fight against Coronavirus.
"As a Constabulary we are very fortunate to have 532 people who are willing to volunteer in their spare time and I am truly grateful for this. Policing is far too important to be left solely to the police so to have so many extra pairs of hands, minds and personalities is a joy."
Saturday and Sunday (6 and 7 June) will also see the force take part in National Specials weekend.
There are currently 133 members of the Special Constabulary who volunteer and have contributed over 10,000 operational duty hours since the start of the coronavirus lockdown on 23 March.
More information about volunteers can found here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/police-forces/gloucestershire-constabulary/areas/gloucestershire/ca/careers/volunteers/