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Volunteers’ Week 2016: Celebrating Police Support Volunteers and the West Suffolk Befriending Service


It’s Volunteers’ Week 2016! Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.

The theme of Volunteers’ Week 2016 is “The Big Celebration”, so each day Community Action Suffolk is celebrating some of Suffolk’s amazing volunteers and the organisations they support.

suffolk constabulary logo

Karen Harris, Special Constabulary & Police Support Volunteer Manager at Suffolk Constabulary tells us the variety of volunteer roles they have.

How many Police Support Volunteers do you currently have?

We have 130 volunteers at the moment.

What sort of things do your volunteers do for the organisation?

We now have over 30 different voluntary roles which vary from CCTV Operator to Domestic Abuse Support to drivers to volunteers of Horseback, our latest roles are translators and Community Speed watch administrators.

What difference do volunteers make to your organisation?

Our Police Support Volunteers (PSVs) are important as they assist us to link with our communities.

If you didn’t have any volunteers, what impact would that have on your organisation?

This is hard to measure but our PSVs certainly enhance and support the service we provide.

How do you look after your volunteers?

We have a dedicated team to support our volunteers whom ensure our Police Support Volunteers are integrated into the Policing Family, they have similar advantages to paid members of staff such as the opportunity to join our staff support networks and use our Sports and Social club.  They are given Force ID badges and are paid their travel expenses. From our Chief Constable and PCC down, volunteers are appreciated and acknowledged as an integral part of our organisation.

Find out more about Suffolk’s Police Support Volunteers.

the voluntary network

Amanda Larcome from the Befriending Service in West Suffolk, tells us how important volunteers are to their service.

“We have over 110 volunteers who offer friendship, support, and form a positive one-to-one relationship with people who are in some way isolated and in need of company. This helps to enable people to maintain independent lifestyles, promotes positive mental health, and a greater sense of wellbeing preventing increased isolation

Volunteers make all the difference, without  giving their time so freely we wouldn’t be able to offer the general public this level of support. Their work is vital to local communities by making the client feel ‘they belong’ and part of something. Our volunteers are like an army, all moving forward together and making a difference in their unique ways.

They make an enormous impact, we wouldn’t be able to offer a FREE service to those that needed our support.”

Find out more about the Befriending Service.

Are you inspired to volunteer? Maybe you’re looking for more volunteers? Find out how CAS can help by exploring the “Volunteering and social action” section of this website (see the menu at the top of the page).

You can contact the CAS Volunteering Team on 01473 345400 or [email protected].uk