PCC Barry Coppinger and Dr Ian Pepper, Principal lecturer in Policing and Business Engagement at the Criminal Justice Volunteer Fair
The first ever Criminal Justice Volunteer Fair to be held in the UK – which took place in Middlesbrough today – has been hailed a huge success with several hundred local people and students signing up to volunteer their services.
The Criminal Justice Volunteer Fair was held today (Monday 14 October) at the Clarendon Building in Teesside University.
The event, organised and championed by the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, has brought together 20 different organisations such as Victim Support, My Sisters Place, The Probation Service, the Prince’s Trust, and Cleveland Police.
More than 1,000 local people and students spoke to volunteers and workers from throughout the criminal justice system, with several hundred signing up to potentially become magistrates and support workers at the four-hour event.
The Fair also attracted national attention. David Simmonds, a Business Advisor with the National College of Policing, which is the national centre for excellence for police training, made a special trip to Cleveland and was impressed with how well the event brought together the entire criminal justice sector.
He said “Today is the best example I have seen of an event like this anywhere in the UK where you have the big picture of volunteering across the whole criminal justice community, ranging from victim support to probation workers, coming together under one roof. I am sure there are many things that other areas can learn from the success that the PCC’s office here in Cleveland has made of organising and delivering today’s event.”
Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, said: “The success of today’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Fair is a tribute to the incredible community spirit we have amongst local people across Cleveland, and I’m delighted that we have had so many new volunteers signing up across the board.”
He added: “I’d like to thank Teesside University for hosting us and say a special thank you to every single organisation that has come together for this unique event. Volunteers play a really important and special role in the criminal justice system, so to get several hundred new recruits signing up today is very pleasing.”
Ross Newton, Service Delivery Manager for Victim Support in the Middlesbrough area, was part of the team staffing its stand at the event. He said: “Today has been a very busy and successful day. It has been a great opportunity for Victim Support to promote what we do and engage with potential new volunteers. We already have 120 volunteers working with us across Cleveland, but we’re always keen to get new people in, so events like today are really important for us.”
You can find out more about the event and local volunteering opportunities by logging on to www.volunteerforcleveland.co.uk.
The unique event is a national pilot scheme which has been supported by the Home Office and could now be rolled out across the country due to its success.
Posted on Monday 14th October 2013