We will deliver a tailor-made volunteering skills development programme to equip the retired emergency service staff with specific volunteering skills and knowledge and recognise any previous experience by enabling the retired staff members who volunteer to achieve the volunteer card qualification and provide them with appropriate learner reference material and a resource pack.
Whilst completing the 6-module training programme each volunteer will identify either: an existing community safety related volunteering opportunity with a voluntary group or propose a new volunteering role that they can undertake of benefit to the voluntary group or local community in our identified target areas. The whole approach will be tailor-made to ensure it meets individual volunteer, voluntary groups’ and wider community needs across our local area.
Simultaneously the initial voluntary groups where the volunteers will be volunteering will undertake the Supporting Volunteers Award to ensure both volunteers and groups have local quality assurance. The volunteering will relate to for example: neighbourhood watch (community problem solving); street angels (victim prevention); victim support (repeat victims of anti-social behaviour); young witness service (witness support); youth offending projects (crime diversion); YMCA (positive youth activities); Harbour Place day centre (supports homeless people to rebuild lives); neighbourhood groups (applying restorative practice approaches); celebrating interfaith and cultural diversity.
Each volunteer will start on a learning journey of volunteering development and complete a case study supported by an independent evaluator. The case studies will be used to inform the exploration as to whether setting up a Blue Lights Brigade group of retired emergency service officer volunteers would be viable, sustainable, of value to local communities and other voluntary groups. A researcher will also gather further evidence of need from local voluntary groups and residents who benefit from the volunteering support to inform expansion.