Commissioner asks Greater Manchester’s diverse communities: Could you volunteer and make a difference?


Person in cell

People from ethnic minority communities in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to give up their free time to support young and vulnerable people who have been arrested.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd is looking for Appropriate Adult volunteers and wants the new recruits to reflect the rich diversity of Greater Manchester’s local communities.

Appropriate Adults provide support and guidance to young and vulnerable people who are in custody and have no parent or guardian to call on.

Thirty-six people currently volunteer for the scheme in Greater Manchester but more are needed – last year volunteers were called on to support 1,512 people in custody.

Tony said: “Local people are invaluable to the Appropriate Adult scheme – without people willing to give up their free time we wouldn’t be able to provide this service. These volunteers provide a lifeline for young people and those who are vulnerable, providing help and support during what can be an upsetting and confusing process.

“That’s why it’s important that our volunteers reflect the cultural make-up of Greater Manchester, to help gain the trust and confidence of the people they are helping. I also want to make sure that people from all backgrounds and walks of life are given an opportunity to help make a difference to local policing.”

More than 90 people volunteer across three schemes: Independent Custody Visiting, Appropriate Adults and Animal Welfare Scheme.

Zubair Ahmed from Bolton has been a volunteer for more than two years.

“I do quite a lot of volunteer work as I wanted to be more involved in the community and put my skills to good use. I speak a couple of languages which have proved very useful working as an Independent Custody Visitor. This is a great opportunity for local people to widen their horizons and knowledge, meet new people from different backgrounds and get a real sense of satisfaction and peace of mind that you’ve helped someone.”

Sonia Lovell, from Coldhurst in Oldham, applied to become a volunteer after she saw an advert on the local newspaper and thought it sounded interesting. 

“It was and still is and I’ve been an Independent Custody Visitor for more than nine years now,” says Sonia.

“The work is really interesting and every visit is different. I’ve met lots of people from different backgrounds and communities, and made some really good friends. Volunteering and the training that’s provided, for example safeguarding and mental health awareness, is a great way to develop your skills and enhance your CV, plus it’s flexible and fits in with my job and family commitments.”

Appropriate Adults form part of a 24-hour rota and may be called at any time of the day or night to help a young or vulnerable person as they are dealt with at a custody suite.

Thirty-six people currently volunteer for the scheme in Greater Manchester but more are needed – last year volunteers were called on to support 1,512 people in custody.

Full training is provided.

Find out more and apply here.


Gill Reynolds

I have just read about the ” Appropriate Adults” scheme in the big issue. I have noted on your website that the closing date is 31/8. Am I too late to apply? I am currently on holiday but would be able to do the application on Saturday.
Gill Reynolds


Hi Gill. We have had a lot of applications so unfortunately it is. Although you can still send in an application form, we’ll take a look and keep on file for the next round of recruitment. Sorry about that.

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