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PCC Vera Baird thanks volunteers at conference

7th June 2016

More than 100 volunteers attended the first ever Volunteers’ Conference hosted by Northumbria Police and Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner on Saturday.

The event was an opportunity to thank the many people who give up their own time to volunteer to support policing and the work of the Northumbria Police and Crime (PCC) Commissioner as well as inspire them.

Attendees heard from a host of speakers including two guest speaks from North Yorkshire Police who play a key role in Citizens in Policing. Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, took part in ‘PCC in conversation with the cadets’ where she answered questions about how important volunteers are to support the work she is doing.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman also took to the stage and the winner of Northumbria Police’s 2016 Pride in Policing Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, Special Constable Michael Scott, was represented with his award for his contribution to police – SC Scott has volunteered for the force’s Special Constabulary for 30 years and last year clocked up a massive 1000 hours.

And, the pioneer behind Northumbria’s Volunteer Police Cadet Scheme, Sgt Alan Parks, was recognised for his commitment and dedication to the scheme which first started in Gateshead in 2010 before being rolled out across the force in 2012 and since then it has gone from strength to strength.

Sgt Parks was given special recognition for his achievements which include enrolling the 300th participant on the Duke of Edinburgh Award and helping the force have one of the highest completion rates of the bronze award – in fact he was recognised for this achievement at Buckingham Palace last month.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “The conference was a celebration of the crucial work our volunteers do and an opportunity to show our gratitude and appreciation for their support.

“The work of my office benefits from a number of volunteer roles – from independent custody visitors to court observers – they help us identify issues so we can tackle them and bring about positive change. This outsiders’ perspective and input is, for me, incredibly valuable and I am grateful to everyone who dedicates their time and skills so that together we can try and make a difference.”

ACC Jo Farrell said: “The conference was a fantastic event and I hope all those who attended found it interesting and inspiring. The work of our volunteers really is outstanding and something we are incredibly proud of and are keen to recognise.”

Northumbria’s Volunteers’ Conference coincided with National Volunteering Week which launched on June 1 as well as National Specials Weekend – both aim to highlight the tremendous contribution volunteers play.