Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the thousands of volunteers across our region who give up their own time to make their communities better.
Speaking as the UK marks Volunteers’ Week, Tony Lloyd said volunteers were unsung community heroes who should be recognised for their great work.
Tony runs two volunteer schemes: one where volunteers randomly visit police stations to ensure custody facilities are up to the required standards, and an appropriate adults scheme, where volunteers provide support to young or vulnerable people who have been arrested and no parent or carer is available to sit with them during the interview process.
Tony said: “I’ve seen first hand the commitment and dedication of those volunteers who give up their own time to make a contribution to their communities. The independent custody visitors and appropriate adults scheme are vital to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice process, which benefits police and society as much as it does those who have been arrested. No-one forces them to do this work – they are doing it because they want to make a difference.
“That desire to make a positive contribution is something that unites all volunteers, whether they be an independent custody visitor or appropriate adult, a special constable or a police cadet, a Homewatch organiser or community guardian.
“The sheer numbers of people who are willing to volunteer in our region is also incredibly impressive, and each of them has a unique and inspiring story to tell.
“Many of the services provided to victims of crime in Greater Manchester are also heavily reliant on volunteers. Without them, there would be huge gaps in support that people receive at their times of greatest need.
“The army of activists across Greater Manchester are making a real difference and they deserve our respect and thanks.
“Active involvement by citizens is good for neighbourhoods, as stronger, united and engaged communities are also safer communities. So if you are someone who gives your own time, I would like to thank you for your commitment and dedication. If you don’t currently volunteer, perhaps you could consider doing so, as all volunteers agree it is a rewarding and worthwhile thing to do.”