Police in North Yorkshire are recruiting volunteers for a new pilot scheme that aims to support vulnerable people who come into frequent contact with the emergency services or are involved in social welfare incidents attended by the police.
The “Community Connector” scheme is a befriending service designed to provide mentoring, support and a listening ear to people who are vulnerable, socially isolated or disadvantaged, to enable them to take control of their lives and make choices that will change their lives for the better.
The force is looking for volunteers to take on the role of Community Connector who have experience of mentoring such as former teachers, social workers, life coaches, therapists, mental health workers or anyone with mentoring skills.
Natasha Almond, Citizens in Policing Coordinator Manager at North Yorkshire Police, said: “This is a very personal, human approach to supporting individuals and families to build resilience, relationships, and positivity in their lives.
“It is aimed at people who would benefit from low-level intervention to prevent them from coming into contact with the police or other agencies or prevent escalation of current issues. We aim to support them to build positive relationships and role models, build on their interests and hobbies, and identify opportunities for them to develop their personal and social skills.”
The aim of the scheme is to reduce demand on the police service at incidents that involve social welfare issues and low level crime where people could benefit from help and support that is not available elsewhere.
Natasha added: “It’s an incredibly rewarding role that would appeal to anyone who is looking to use their skills and experience to make life better for people. We are looking for volunteers with empathy and mentoring skills – possibly retired teachers or social workers or those with similar experience.”
The scheme will be piloted in the Selby, Harrogate and Hambleton areas.
For more information and to apply to be a volunteer Community Connector, please visit northyorkshire.police.uk/communityconnectors
Around 108 people come into contact with North Yorkshire Police each month in need of low-level intervention and where it is not appropriate or cost effective for a public or voluntary service to offer support at the time. Each individual currently receives between one to three hours per week from a police officer or police community support officer. By providing volunteer mentors to help people take positive control of their lives, the scheme aims to free up hundreds of policing hours per month.