This Volunteers' Week we're celebrating our volunteers and the many ways in which they enable us to do what we do.
Our Appropriate Adults service currently has 43 volunteers who support vulnerable adults in custody within the Cleveland area. This project is 24/7 and supported by volunteers who cover six hour shifts.
It's not an easy volunteering experience; it can be time consuming and complex, however the interest in the role is overwhelming. We continue to recruit and train new volunteers on a regular basis including during the lockdowns. The adaptability of our volunteers to be able to work through these difficult times is a credit to their passion of wanting to help and further develop their knowledge and experience.
This year has been particularly challenging for most people; however our volunteers have continued to support those who need it the most, putting others before any concerns they may have had about volunteering during a pandemic. This speaks volumes about the dedication of our volunteers.
Andrea Atkinson, the Appropriate Adult Coordinator says: "I am immensely proud of our volunteers and never more than now coming out of lockdown and looking back at what they have achieved professionally and personally over this past year. So, thank you again to all our Appropriate Adult volunteers, from us all at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind."
Steve Turner, Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The Appropriate Adults’ service, which my office commissions from Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, provides an invaluable service to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Volunteers provide the one-to-one support required to safeguard the rights and welfare of children and ‘vulnerable’ adults detained or interviewed by police under caution.
“These people selflessly provide a 24/7 service across Cleveland in their own time. Call-outs for Appropriate Adults have seen year on year increases since MIND began co-ordinating the service five years ago. It is vital that we recognise and say thank you to these volunteers during National Volunteer Week.”
Andrea thanks the volunteers, and Zephyr and Dean, two of the volunteers, explain what it means to be a volunteer and the contribution they make.
Watch Zephyr here and Dean here