THEY make arrests in their spare time, give up their retirement to support victims and witnesses of crime, and are on standby to help officers and staff with events between studies.
Dyfed-Powys Police has a team of volunteers spread across four divisions, all offering their personal time to help keep their communities safe. The force is showing its appreciation to each and every one of them this week as it celebrates Volunteers Week.
From Special Constables patrolling the streets and Volunteer Police Cadets supporting community events, to chaplains and Public Enquiry Officers, volunteers provide unique skills and an added level of support to officers and staff.
Superintendent Robyn Mason, force lead for citizens in policing, said: “We are truly grateful for the work our volunteers do for Dyfed-Powys Police, and are taking Volunteers Week as an opportunity to thank them.
“We have a team of volunteers who somehow find the time and energy on top of their day jobs, families and other commitments to help us keep our communities safe. We can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”
For Special Constable Jason Carmichael, volunteering is something that has changed his life. He applied in 2017 to fulfil a lifelong ambition of joining the police.
“Volunteering is so rewarding, but it is not just the community that benefits,” he said. “It’s your colleagues at the station who benefit from the assistance too and they are always showing their appreciation for the time I give.
“I have made some great new friends in the role and so many new skills. It really is the role that keeps on giving and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My only regret is that I didn’t do it earlier.”
During Volunteers Week, Dyfed-Powys Police will launch its volunteer of the month campaign, featuring a different story each month. You can follow them on the force Facebook page and Twitter feed @dyfedpowys.
The first is Sioned Davies-Darby, who began volunteering after the death of her husband.
‘Volunteering lets me give back to the people who never turned their backs on me when I needed them.’
These are the words of Sioned Davies-Darby, who has devoted a day a week to volunteering with Dyfed-Powys Police since the death of her husband in 2017.
Sioned – who works full time around her volunteer role – explained that for her, giving up time to the force gave her a purpose while she was grieving. And she’s gained so much from her unpaid work that she doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.
Sioned previously worked for the police force as a paid member of staff in catering, but left to care for her late husband Christian in 2017. When Christian died, she made the life-changing decision to offer her time as a volunteer.
Her first position was in the learning and development department – where Christian had worked as a training police officer.
She said: “I had never volunteered before, but the role in learning and development gave me a purpose to get up in the morning, and a reason to get out of the house.
“It saved me from slipping deeper into depression.
“Through volunteering, I feel I am giving back something to the people who never turned their back on me when I needed them.”
When she needed a fresh challenge, Sioned moved to the Crime and Harm Reduction Unit, where she spends one day each week. Since joining the team, she has also returned to her full-time job, but is keen to keep giving back to the police through her volunteer role.
“I undertake a variety of tasks, which vary from attending training days to organising launch events,” she said. “As well as office based duties, I have been out and about within the force area helping with crime prevention and also officer training.
“I’ve also gone back to working full time, five days a week and do up to eight hours of volunteering a week on one of my days off. Working within CAHRU makes me feel that I belong to a valuable team and that I am appreciated.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dyfed Powys-Police and their staff for their continued support, and for giving me the opportunity to gain a wide range of experience and knowledge while volunteering within the organisation.”
Dyfed-Powys Police currently has a team of XX volunteers, plus Special Constables and cadets, who all give up a maximum of eight hours a week to the force. Their roles range from chaplaincy and counselling, to administration and victim and witness community support.
Citizens in Policing Coordinator Adele Jones said: ““Our volunteers bring so much to Dyfed-Powys Police – they are enthusiastic, dedicated and bring knowledge from their lives outside policing that we can learn from.
“In exchange, we provide new skills and experiences for our volunteers, who might be looking to apply for employment in the future, taking a career break or who are simply looking to give back to their community.
“I would like to thank Sioned – and all our volunteers – for their time and dedication.” To find out more about volunteering for Dyfed-Powys Police, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Citizens in Policing coordinator Adele Jones on 01267 226463.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Volunteers play a hugely important role in making our communities safer and stronger.
“It’s important that people are given the opportunity to be involved in their local police service, whether that’s as a Special, volunteer police cadet, independent custody visitor or as police support.
“I look forward to the really exciting year ahead and to the future, where all of our volunteers will continue to have the opportunity to contribute to these programmes and to help both the force and my office to achieve their goals.”