We are proud of our Service Volunteers who willingly give their time and energy for the benefit of local communities
Service Volunteers contribute unique skills and a different perspective that helps the force deliver high levels of service. In return volunteers acquire many skills that they can use in the outside world.
Volunteers can expect excellent training, rewards, professional challenges and career development and the satisfaction of making a vital contribution to the safety and security of Bedfordshire.
Helen has been a police staff volunteer with us for a number of years. Read why she volunteers with us and what she gets out of it.
'I didn’t realise at the tender age of 20 that I would turn into a career woman and become something of a workaholic. So, when the time came and I got my bus pass and retired I knew I had to put something in place that would give me purpose and make me want to get up in the mornings.
'I asked myself "what next?". After serving on several juries in London and being fascinated by the judicial process I applied to become a police volunteer. One way or another, I wanted to have something to do with the administration of law. And that’s really when it all began.
'I’ve had several postings for the police over the years. One was working as the Bedfordshire Coordinator for a Home Office project promoting community sentences and another was as an assistant to the Chief Inspector of local policing. In these roles I helped launch the government’s Hate Crime strategy and became a member of the Hate Crime working group. In between roles I did lots of door knocking with police operations to determine local issues, areas of concern, as well as helping with some role plays in officer training.
'I also joined the Signpost Hub, which offers free and confidential support to anyone affected by crime, whether it has been reported to the police or not and includes restorative justice. At the same time the Citizens in Policing Unit asked me to undertake another role, liaising with all our local Watch Schemes about local crime trends.
'How many times have you heard retired people say - "how did I ever find time to work?".'
'My current voluntary roles include three police roles and two coroners court roles. I am also a member of two choirs and the community safety group. Not to mention being involved in talks for local organisations such as WIs, church groups, Rotary Club, and Inner Wheel.
'The only problem is my diary is now so full, I keep forgetting to build in ME time!'
'When I was working full time and commuting to London I had little time to spend in my community. I wanted to make up for all the lost years through volunteering.
'It’s so emotionally rewarding to give something back to the community I have lived in for the last 20 years. Helping people, particularly when they are facing a difficult time, makes you feel as though you are doing something worthwhile and brings an immense amount of satisfaction. It gives you purpose and a sense of achievement which make for a real "feel-good" factor. I hope to be able to continue well into my dotage!'
Helen is currently volunteering at a local vaccination hub but looks forward to returning to policing once restrictions allow.