Howard Clemo is a volunteer with the South Wales Police and currently assists the Community Safety Department at Barry.
What does your volunteer role involve?
I’m part of the Community Safer Vale Partnership team covering Barry, Penarth and Vale of Glamorgan. The type of work I do varies depending on what’s required, however, main duties include Coordinating the Barry Pub watch scheme, also maintaining various databases. Sometimes I identify and pass local issues on to the Community Beat Officer and as a result problems are resolved more efficiently.
Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
When I retired from full time employment I heard about the newly promoted Police volunteer scheme and thought it would be a good thing to do – and I was right!
How does being a volunteer fit in with your regular day?
I always attend the office during any weekday morning and the hours are flexible. Therefore I normally link my volunteer time to when my wife is at work which is in a part time capacity. This then does not affect our family time or other activities.
Are there any special attributes that you need to become a volunteer?
The most important thing is a willingness to be helpful. My skills and abilities were assessed and then matched with the best suited role(s). I chose this role because I really enjoy computer related tasks and communicating with people.
Is there any training involved, and if so, how much?
Yes, I have attended an induction day and Diversity training course.
Are you asked to work a certain number of hours over a period of time, or is it literally whenever you are available?
In my experience this is very flexible – I can work whenever I’m available and every hour I put in is very much appreciated. Although I regularly achieve over 30hrs per month, but this is simply down to my personal situation and there is no demand placed upon me.
As a volunteer, can you decide which particular department or area you would like to work?
Yes, I was shown a number of alternatives and I chose the one I’m currently doing.
How old to you have to be to apply as a volunteer within South Wales Police?
16yrs of age (With parental consent) but ideally 18 yrs and over.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a volunteer?
Feeling like you are being useful! Also knowing that what I am doing has a positive impact on the community in which I live.
If a person were interested in becoming a volunteer, what advice would you give them?
Definitely do it, because you can take on a role that interests you, and this can give you a huge amount of personal satisfaction.