PCC Steve Turner has said “thank you” to the volunteers who help some of Cleveland’s most vulnerable people entering police custody.
Steve took the opportunity of using National Volunteers’ Week to thank the ‘Appropriate Adult’ volunteers whose work is co-ordinated by charity Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind.
Appropriate Adults provide support to vulnerable, local people with mental health problems, learning difficulties or substance misuse problems, who are detained in police custody.
The service operates 24/7 and is led by a team of trained and committed volunteers. There are a minimum of two volunteers on the duty rota each day.
Steve Turner said: “The Appropriate Adults’ service, which my office commissions from Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, provides an invaluable service to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Volunteers provide the one-to-one support required to safeguard the rights and welfare of children and ‘vulnerable’ adults detained or interviewed by police under caution.
“These people selflessly provide a 24/7 service across Cleveland in their own time. Call-outs for Appropriate Adults have seen year on year increases since MIND began co-ordinating the service five years ago.
“It is vital that we recognise and say thank you to these volunteers during National Volunteer Week.”
The Appropriate Adults service currently has 46 volunteers. The service continued to operate as normal throughout each of the lockdowns providing an invaluable service to Cleveland police and the local community.
Steve met with some of the volunteers at Mind’s offices in Middlesbrough to thank them for their continued support and commitment.
Andrea Atkinson, Project Coordinator of the Appropriate Adults Service at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, said: “Between 1 April and 31 December 2020, 911 individuals were supported by the service compared to 638 individuals during the same period in 2019.
“Given that the whole country was tackling the pandemic at the time, this clearly demonstrates the selfless nature of our volunteers. They continually put themselves on the front line to make a difference to those in need.
“I’m immensely proud of our volunteers and never more than now coming out of lockdown and looking back at what they have achieved professionally and personally over this past year.
“So, thank you again to all our Appropriate Adult volunteers, from us all at Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind.”
To find out more about the Appropriate Adults Service and how to get involved visit: Appropriate Adult | Services & Support | Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind