Friday, 10 June 2016

A point of contact for the equine community

Helen Evans, Equine Liaison 

I have volunteered as an Equine Liaison volunteer for TVP for ten years. I love being part of the police family. They were very supportive when I lost my husband four years ago.

I started doing Horsewatch 24 years ago, and realised that we needed more connection with Officers. Horsewatch is a scheme that allows horse owners and those with equine interests to keep up to date on what is happening in their local area.

My primary role is one of Crime Prevention, and being a point of contact for the equine community. I am only in the office one day a week, but available 24/7. I give talks and attend conferences and seminars to raise awareness of the Horsewatch scheme.

I visit farms and stables to give advice on security and I also run a free tack marking service.
I instigated training which has seen over 400 TVP personnel learn how to handle horses, keeping themselves and members of the public safe.

I work closely with other equine agencies, and promote campaigns such as ‘Be safe or be seen’, ‘Keep your dog on a lead’, ‘Mark it or lose it’ and the latest one ‘Dead slow’.  

What I love about my role is that no two days are the same. I might be answering queries from an officer relating to a missing horse one day, then helping an aggrieved person report a dog incident, or giving a talk to a Pony Club, or helping to identify stolen tack.

I have had over 50 years enjoyment from horses and this is my way of giving something back.

For more information of how you can volunteer with Thames Valley Police
please look at our website.

Police are a profession that needs the public’s support

 Theresa Rice, Evidence Management Unit volunteer

I have been a volunteer for Thames Valley Police for seven and a half years. 

I originally helped out in Force Stores and for the past two and a half years have been helping the Evidence Management Unit, mainly doing the filing. 

I really enjoy the role, mostly because of the people.  They are a great bunch and very appreciative of the help I give.

I have always felt that the police are a profession that needs the public's support and I hoped that in a small way volunteering was one way that I could show that support.

Volunteer role leads to permanent employment

Tina Lee

I had been a stay-at-home mum to five children. But when my youngest two were at nursery I was looking for something to do in the days. Before I’d had children I’d trained as a secretary, but on electronic typewriters not computers! The world of work had moved on.

I did volunteer work with Roads Policing department, Area Intelligence and CSI. I did courses outside of my voluntary work and got some new qualifications.

I then moved to Property (now called Evidence Management Unit) and a paid role came up as a supervisor. I got it and I went from volunteering with the team to supervising them.

Now that I have a job, I am volunteering again - this time as a cadet leader in Bracknell. I love it, it’s a lot of fun but you also see these cadets, also volunteers, learning so much. They are learning about cyber crime and how to teach the vulnerable, especially young people, about staying safe. It is the best way of delivering a message to the younger generation by using the younger generation.

In terms of what volunteering can give – it’s hands on time and experience within a department gaining new skills. And what the organisation gains is volunteers with a whole range of new skills.

One of our volunteers, Martin, has an IT background. He comes to the evidence Management Unit in Slough for one day a week. It’s because of his work that the unit has an electronic spreadsheet which is allows us to follow up easily on the material we deal with… and we deal with a lot – around 10,000 items per year. He is an invaluable part of the team and the work he has done to create the spreadsheet has saved us so much time.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

The gratitude shown to me by families makes it a worthwhile job

Pat Layer, Coroner's Court Support Service Volunteer

I have been a volunteer with TVP for 10 years but for the last eight years have worked with the Coroner’s Court Support Service at Milton Keynes Coroner's Court.

Attending an Inquest can be a bewildering and emotional experience and as trained volunteer I greet families on arrival and give emotional and practical support.

Every family is different and no two inquests are the same, just a different scenario but always calling for tact, diplomacy and empathy. All this makes for a very demanding role which I love. The gratitude shown to me by families makes it all a very worthwhile job.

Over a number of years I have worked for Relate, Carers UK and a local support group for Alzheimer’s.  Nothing compares to my role with the Coroner’s Court Support Service who offered a first class training.       

For more information about volunteering with TVP please see our website.

Acting it out for Thames Valley Police

George Harper, TVP volunteer for 6 & a half years

My primary role is at Aylesbury police station where I assist in administering the Pubwatch scheme in the town. 

Every month I attend the Committee meeting of the Pubwatch members, representing the licensed premises in the town, along with TVP staff and officers. Following this meeting I assist the scheme by writing the minutes of the monthly meetings, writing letters to Pubwatch banned persons, updating the Pubwatch website and whatever else needs doing.

Since I started as a volunteer I have also participated in role play assisting with the training of new police officers. I have taken part in the training of firearms officers which has involved me being shot, taken hostage, and dragged across the floor of a disused shopping mall.

In recent years I have assisted Winslow Neighbourhood office in administering Speedwatch.  This involves occasionally assisting with producing warning letters to speeding drivers recorded by Speedwatch volunteers in local villages.  I also on behalf of TVP, train volunteers in local villages how establish a Speedwatch team in their locality, and how to operate the Speedwatch equipment.

During my working life I was a Chartered Engineer involved in major electrical power projects worldwide.  Since retiring I have very much enjoyed my volunteering with TVP and the very varied roles in which I am involved. It is good to learn new skills and I very much like meeting new people, both within and outside of TVP, that my various roles bring me in contact with. I have been a volunteer with TVP for six and a half years.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Being a Cadet Leader makes a massive difference to the local community

Dan Bell, Cadet Leader

As a volunteer Cadet Leader for Thames Valley Police I organise and assist with the running of the Bracknell and Wokingham Police Cadet Unit.

The role involves me attending meetings to discuss with other leaders a programme of activities for the coming term with specific roles assigned to me and specific evenings I need to organise.
We have a ‘lead’ staff member for each evening, when I’m the ‘lead’ staff member the running of the evening becomes my responsibility with other staff members assisting me. I’m also one of the SPOC’s for Drill, the Team Leaders and The Honest Truth training. As a SPOC I tend to take the lead on each of these areas and their development within the unit.

I really enjoy watching the Cadets progress in their roles, seeing the amount of confidence they have now compared to when the unit first started is amazing; it’s incredible to think I played a part in that. I also particularly enjoy the community engagement and supporting the community through activities.

I’ve been volunteering in this role since about June 2014 which is when I had my interview for the role, it’s been ongoing since then. I volunteer in a number of organisations, not just Thames Valley Police, however, I particularly like volunteering as a Cadet Leader because it makes a massive difference to the local community through the events we attend, the advice we give out to people and the money we raise for charity not to mention the difference we make to the lives of the Cadets that attend the unit.

Do you think you could give up some of your time to being a Cadet Leader?
Have a look at our website to see our current vacancies.

Being a TVP Cadet

Ryan Wittleton, Cadet 

My role as a cadet team leader involves coordinating a team, being an example for the other cadets to follow, and to be a bridge between the cadets and the staff. What I mean by this is that certain cadets feel more comfortable telling their team leader any opinions or queries about cadets and have us either respond to these and/or bring these things up in our meetings with the staff. I feel this is a great way to do this as it helps keep an element of professionalism rather than having the matters come across as personal, by keeping the root of the opinions and such anonymous.

I enjoy cadets as I am passionate about the police service as a whole and will do whatever gets me closest to this as a career. Being a leader was a great privilege to be granted and I wouldn’t have even thought about turning it down. Since the leaders have been implemented I feel that the cadet troop as a group has become more socially closer and friendlier. There is a healthy but strong competitive side to all three of the cadet leaders, which is great for tasks and activities. However when it is needed we are ready and happy to work together.

I have been volunteering with TVP cadets since March when the Bracknell unit was established, but I was invested in volunteer work beforehand as well. For instance I would occasionally help teach at the Pines primary school in Bracknell, and I also took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) during my summer after my last year of secondary school. During NCS me and a team of around ten worked together to create and organise our own advocacy for dementia awareness. I do these things partially because I enjoy helping others, but I will be honest in saying that a large factor in it is so that it will boost my CV for when I apply to Thames Valley Police Force.

I volunteer for Thames Valley Police because for a long time now I’ve wanted to work as a police officer, and I believe that being a member of the Police Cadets will help me with the skills and qualities needed for that role. So many other benefits have come from being a Police Cadet that I couldn’t have got anywhere else. I have made many friends with similar interests and passion for policing as myself, been given opportunities to visit places I would otherwise likely not see, and the cadets has even set up a level two qualification which is incredibly useful.

Finally, I would like to take this chance to thank the staff for putting in many hours voluntarily to allow us this experience, and to TVP in general for authorising it, as I believe it is helping many of us youths. Lastly congratulations to Jamie Dearing for winning Thames valley cadet of the year, he works hard and he deserved it in my opinion.

               To find out more about becoming a cadet please visit our website