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.