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Celebrating Our Dedicated PFCC Volunteers

Recognising the contribution of volunteers who support the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex took place at our volunteer appreciation event held on Saturday 13th of May.

With almost 60 volunteers supporting the PFCC through the Essex Restorative and Mediation Service (ERMS), Essex Independent Custody Visiting Scheme (ICV) and the Essex Animal Welfare Scheme (AWS), the annual event provides a great opportunity to thank them for their hard work.

Attending the event, Roger Hirst Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said: “Our volunteers make a huge difference to the people of Essex. Our Restorative volunteers have enabled our Restorative and Mediation Service to grow, allowing victims and perpetrators of crime to achieve meaningful reparation, seeking to heal the harm caused by offending.

“Our Animal Welfare volunteers help to provide assurance that our police dogs are cared for in the best way possible which is crucial for both the police and the wider public. Meanwhile our Independent Custody Visiting Volunteers work closely with the national Independent Custody Visiting Association and Essex Police custody staff to continuously improve the rights, dignity and welfare of those in police custody.”

During the event volunteers took part in activities and heard from a range of speakers. There were also awards on offer including long service awards handed out to two of our Independent Custody Volunteers. Leslie Mitchell and Colin Philpott first joined the scheme at its inception in 2003 and have chalked up an incredible 20 years’ service each, while ICV Volunteer Coordinator Rich Wicks notched up an impressive ten years’ service.

The ‘volunteer of the year’ award went to Carole Chattey who is both an ICV and ERMS volunteer and who was recognised for her willingness to take on restorative justice cases and for carrying out an impressive number of custody suite visits during the past year.

Roger Hirst added: “Hearing about the service our volunteers have given is both humbling and inspiring. On behalf of myself and the people of Essex, I want to say thank you to all of them.”

2023 Awards

Long Service Award

The following are certificates presented to those who have volunteered for 5 years or more

5 years’ of service award – Restorative and Mediation Service

  • Helen McMahon (started December 2018)
  • Linda Anthony (started February 2018)
  • Mark Benfold (started February 2018)
  • Sarah Carless (started February 2018)

These volunteers have shown real commitment to the role. They have successfully managed some tough cases, helped the service grow and been engaged in other projects such as work with schools and local authorities.


10 years’ of service award – ICV scheme

  • Richard Wicks

Rich is a true anchor of the scheme. There isn’t a subject in the ICV world he is not aware of, and he is helping to drive national changes in custody.  He continues to help build a positive relationship with the custody command team.


20 years’ service award – ICV scheme

  •  Leslie Mitchell (2003)
  •  Colin Philpott  (2003)

 Both Leslie and Colin have been with the scheme since it was first established in March 2003. Since then, they have helped to shape, format and design the ICV Scheme. They are extremely knowledgeable about anything ICV and custody related. Leslie became first ICV Mentor and helping new ICVs to settle in their role. Congratulations both!


5 years’ service award – Animal Welfare Scheme

  • Kay Abbey (July 2018)
  • Pauline Rae (September 2014)

Both ladies have shown great commitment to the scheme. For a significant period, there were just two of them holding the fort and completing the visits required, dividing the workload between them both. Well done!


Special Mention Award

Chosen by the staff for volunteers who have shown dedication to the services over the last year.

Special Mention – RJ

  • Mark Benfold

Mark not only is a great facilitator, but he represents the service at the Uttlesford LAG meeting ensuring that RJ is on the agenda.

  • Laurie Posner

Laurie is a prolific facilitator! Nothing is too much and he will work on a large number of cases and other projects. He is helpful and delivers lots of training for the team which is a great help, whilst always promoting RJ.

  • Stephen Hawkins

Stephen facilitates a large number of cases, nothing is ever too much trouble. He is a great facilitator and helps out with numerous projects. He also promotes the service through delivering training.

  • Heather Reid

Heather has a fantastic spirit and lifts us all. Her commitment to the role is fantastic and she builds wonderful rapport with participants and the team.

  • Claire Dodds

Claire took on one of our toughest cases last year and showed true dedication, professionalism and skill as a facilitator.


Special Mention – Animal Welfare Scheme

  •  Pauline Rae
  •  Kay Abbey

Their passion and commitment for the welfare of the police dogs is truly remarkable. They have helped to build a positive relationship with the EP Dog Unit, something that helps us when we need to put on a dog display at a short notice!


Special Mention – ICV

  • Margaret Russell

Margaret completed a whopping number of 40 visits last year. She has gone above and beyond, picking up extra visits when needed.

  • Veronica Sherry

Veronica is reliable, dependable and can always be counted on. She is a great credit to herself and the scheme. Never afraid of asking questions and challenging others if needed. Veronica has recently become an ICV Mentor and helping new ICVs in their role, guiding them through their first visits and gently introducing the custody environment.


PFCC Volunteer of the Year Award

This award recipient is chosen by all three schemes as someone who does the whole PFCC office proud

Winner: Carole Chattey

Carole volunteers for both ICV and RJ schemes.  She always puts herself forward for taking RJ cases. Participating in most of the training offered by both schemes RJ and ICV.  Carole has completed 16 ICV visits in the last year with being away for a significant period of time last year. Congratulations!

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

If your enquiry relates to operational policing or a crime please contact Essex Police

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