North Yorkshire Police is taking the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to their 596 ‘wonderful’ volunteers this National Volunteers Week (Monday 1 June – Sunday 7 June).
One of their volunteers, Police Support Volunteer Robert Fox (pictured), has selflessly been volunteering on a full-time basis during COVID-19 by helping to distribute PPE, uniform and equipment to the force’s police stations across the county.
Robert recently retired after a career in IT and business consultancy and joined North Yorkshire Police a year ago. Over the last year Robert has undertaken an impressive 126 duties over the last year totalling 688 hours.
Here, he shares why he decided to join North Yorkshire Police as a volunteer and what he thinks the best thing about volunteering is.
How long have you been a volunteer with NYP?
I joined in June 2019 as a volunteer driver, so it’s just coming up to 12 months.
Why did you decide to join?
It sounds a bit corny, but I wanted to do something practical to support a public service. When the vacancy came up with North Yorkshire Police it was a really good match.
What is your occupation?
I recently retired after a career in IT and business consultancy.
Have you been volunteering during COVID-19? If so, what have you been doing?
I’ve been working pretty much full time since the COVID outbreak began. I’ve been involved in a real variety of tasks from picking up PPE from suppliers, delivering PPE to police stations, delivery of uniform and equipment etc.
I’ve also been busy working in the force stores at Thirsk, picking and packing clothing and equipment that’s been requested by officers and staff.
What other roles have you carried out during your time with NYP?
My role in normal times is as a volunteer driver. I move police vehicles between police stations, to, and from the workshops. I also take new vehicles to suppliers to have livery and equipment fitted. I’ve also been involved in quite a few police training exercises, where volunteers do role playing in training scenarios for student officers. It’s very interesting and enjoyable – particularly training with firearms officers.
What is the best thing about volunteering?
It’s practical work, helping in a tangible way. I also work with some really friendly officers, staff and volunteers, and any contribution I make is genuinely appreciated.
What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering?
Give it a go. There’s a sense of satisfaction that’s quite different to doing paid work. It also gives a unique insight into what happens behind the scenes in a public service like the police. As a result I’ve got even greater admiration for the commitment and hard work of officers, staff and other volunteers.
Natasha Almond, the Citizens in Policing Coordinator Manager at North Yorkshire Police, said:
“It’s really important that we recognise and celebrate the fantastic work of volunteers within North Yorkshire Police. Volunteers don’t replace employed Police Officers and Police Staff, but they do carry out important activities that complement the work of our regular employees.
“Robert’s commitment throughout these times has been hugely welcome, as its added to the efficiency of delivery the PPE to the frontline to keep them safe, as they keep our communities safe.
“I am immensely proud of all our volunteers who so selflessly give their time to help us make a real difference in North Yorkshire. On behalf of everyone in our policing family, thank you for everything you do.”
Between them, the force’s team of volunteers which includes Special Constables, Police Support Volunteers and Police Cadets have collectively contributed an impressive 29,117 hours of their time, playing a vital part in helping to keep the county safe, and helping the force to make a difference in North Yorkshire. Over 3,700 of those hours have been volunteered since restrictions were put in place by the Government to combat the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the UK.
As a former Special Constable herself and the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) lead for Citizens in Policing, National Volunteers’ Week is a celebration that is very close to Chief Constable Lisa Winward’s heart. She said:
“I joined the service as a Special back in 1993 and can identify with all of our volunteers who generously give up their own time to support policing and their local communities. The police service has a strong history of volunteering and the extent of their dedication and enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me.
“From young cadets to former leaders in business, our volunteers come from all walks of life, bringing a wide range of skills, experience and local knowledge to their roles to make life better for our communities. We value and appreciate our wonderful volunteers every day, throughout the year, but National Volunteers’ Week gives us a chance to really highlight the dedicated and selfless things they do.
“I am immensely proud of all our volunteers. So, on behalf of the force and our communities, I would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of you, for your continued passion, contribution and commitment. Every day, you help us make a real difference in North Yorkshire.”
Anyone interested in joining North Yorkshire Police as a volunteer is encouraged to visit the website to find out further details: northyorkshire.police.uk/jobs
Last modified: June 2, 2020