Stacey, Sudbury branch and community policing “street watch” volunteer
One of the ways Ipswich Building Society fulfils its role in society is to allow all staff to spend up to half a day month volunteering. Stacey Bunn joined Sudbury constabulary to assist on its street watch programme.
I’m not so sure that I’m a volunteer by nature, but since the time is part of my work, I felt well, why wouldn’t you? I chose the voluntary policing project mainly because I spend all day in an office and I wanted to something more active.
Street watch is a visible policing job where volunteers walk a beat around the town for up to two hours, accompanied by a full-time officer, a special, or another volunteer. We don’t exactly get involved in dealing with crimes, it’s more of a preventative thing – a visible presence – and also to report incidents.
Most of the other volunteers locally are much older than me, but we’re all like-minded in that we want to use a bit of time to do something useful in the community. Whilst we’re out people often stop and talk, and many say how grateful they are that we’re there – simply being seen to take an interest in what’s going on in our town. It’s especially valuable to people on their own who feel more vulnerable in neighbourhoods where the sense of community is lost or where there tend to be more problems.
Volunteering’s good for me too, even though there are times when it’s not so easy to motivate myself. Once you’re out there it feels good, because you know it’s needed and people appreciate what you’re doing.