Mounted Section Volunteer video transcript
Winner of Volunteer 2016 - Melanie Ridgeway - Community Policing Awards
[Julie] A good volunteer is someone who is committed to helping, someone who has some skills, some life experience they want to bring to the table or has something a spark a bit of a passion for something, I really want to know how to do that better, or I really want to help you do that better.
[Mel] It’s a really difficult question to answer but I actually just enjoy the general atmosphere here as well and being part of such a committed team as well I am really proud to come in and work with them all, I know that they need an extra pair of hands when I come in as well. So I just feel really valuable and very much part of that team,
[Kevin] Having Mel come in and help us is a great help, there is obviously eight officers but we not all working at the same time and there is only two grooms so sometimes they have a day off, so when Mel comes in she helps us to muck the horses out, which frees up our time to go out and do police patrols get out on the lorry, she makes the feeds etc, so on those days as well when there’s not a groom she is more valuable as she works as a groom would, so she gets all the horses done, helps care for them frees up our time to do some policing.
[Mel] I couldn’t believe it, I had to read the letter I think it was three times in the end to understand what was being said, I was absolutely amazed and delighted. I arrive at about half seven in the morning and I check the board in the office to see if I have been allocated a horse to ride and the horses that are on late duties, I come down to the yard if they haven’t been fed I will feed them their breakfasts, then I will start mucking out, it doesn’t matter which end of the yard you start there are still ten boxes to do. After we have mucked out the officers will arrive to help with the mucking out and there could be another civilian groom on, we will then go have a cup of tea and talk about what needs to be done for the rest of the day.
[Kevin] We all wanted to nominate Mel because she is such a hard worker and everything she has given to us on the mounted section with her hard work we felt she needed some kind of recognition, for that work that she has done for us over all the years that she has been doing it.
[Julie] They have a massive impact, volunteers are there to support police officers but also support the community. So their roles when they come in and do whatever it is they do as they do a vast amount of things, helps release police officers and staff to do their core roles. But also gives back a bit of community feel to policing which is what the community feel needs to focus on.
[Mel] You know you are just a small part of a very big organisation, but you can make an impact just by coming in maybe once a week, people are very, very grateful for all the help I can give and it is just knowing you are helping the community.
Making new friends, working on exciting projects, knowing that you're making a difference - just three of the reasons to volunteer with Thames Valley Police.
As the second largest non-metropolitan police force in the UK, we are not only proud to have thousands of police officers and police staff serving our communities, but we also have over 1200 police volunteers who play a crucial role in day to day policing.
Whether you join Thames Valley Police as a Special Constable (volunteer police officer), police support volunteer, or police cadet, there are many benefits to volunteering.
As well as having a meaningful and positive impact on your life, volunteering can bring about positive changes and influences on your community. It is the perfect vehicle for you to enhance your career and social life; be part of your community; as well as feel motivated by gaining a real sense of achievement. In doing so, you can help keep Thames Valley a safe place to work, live and visit.
Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, aged 13 and above, with a real desire to be a part of the wider police family and support their local police.