Safe and Sound is fortunate to have the skills, dedication and enthusiasm of a wide range of people who give their time voluntarily to support the charity’s work.
Just as the Safe and Sound team and the young people/families we support are from diverse communities, different backgrounds and a wide age range – so are the volunteers.
Here, we talk to just three of the people who volunteer at Safe and Sound – finding out why they joined, what roles they have done and how their experiences have enriched their own lives.
Mother-of-three Shannon Rose was at a crossroads in her life when she contacted Safe and Sound. She had recently had to give up her job as a personal trainer in the fitness industry due to health issues and initially volunteered for a mental health organisation.
“Speaking to people on the mental health crisis line, I recognised that the root of many people’s issues was abuse that they had suffered early on and I was interesting in working in that field.
“I contacted Safe and Sound and they invited me to become a volunteer so that I could learn more about exploitation.
“I was determined to give it my all – learning as much as I could and getting involved in different aspects of the charity’s work.
“I started on outreach which I really enjoyed and I was offered the chance to work alongside a case worker – going into schools and supporting young people 121 – and soon decided that this was the field that I wanted to make my career.
“I must have proved myself and my capabilities because, less than a year after starting as a volunteer, I was offered a paid role as a part time sessional case worker which was incredible.
“I have loved volunteering and now working for Safe and Sound. It’s a great team and everyone is very supportive of each other.
“It just goes to show that, even later in life, volunteering opens doors to exciting new careers and it is fantastic to be part of an organisation that can make a positive different to young people’s lives.”
When Mandy Trotman retired as a police officer from Derbyshire police, she was determined to put something back into the local community and started to look around for volunteering opportunities.
She was keen to put to good use her diverse skills set through her roles with front line, investigation and intelligence policing teams as well as broad experience in training and facilitating and supporting colleagues as a Police Federation rep.
She initially joined the Rotary Club of Derby satellite group and nominated Safe and Sound as the charity of the year having come across the organisation through her police work and recognised the valuable work that they do in local communities across the city and county.
“A former colleague and long-term friend Tracy Harrison had recently become CEO of the charity so when I visited them with my Rotary Club hat on to learn more about their work, she asked if I would help her establish a team of volunteers to support the team which I thought was a great idea.
“Both Rotary Club and Safe and Sound mirror my values and support my desire to support my local community. Also, I had long recognised that prevention is better than cure and I wanted to get involved in an organisation that supports children and young people at early stages in their lives.
“Volunteering for Safe and Sound was therefore the perfect fit and I threw myself into the role.”
Mandy has been involved in many aspects of the charity’s work including education and awareness raising workshops, administration work and developing the volunteer team for Safe and Sound’s new outreach project which was launched in summer 2020.
“As the charity has grown, my role has evolved and now I combine volunteering with a part time role here handling the administration and recruitment of both team members and volunteers.
“I continue to volunteer my time in the evening with the outreach team which I particularly love as it brings me into direct contact with young people.
“I am also now developing a new allotment project, again as part of my voluntary input into the charity, which I am really excited about.
“I hope that this will provide a calm and safe space for young people and their families. It is a joint project with the Rotary Club and it will be a great asset to the local community – tackling food poverty and providing so many people with opportunities to improve their lifestyle.
“Volunteering for Safe and Sound has enabled me to re-visit my skills set developed during my police career into a different context.
“I have gained a great sense of achievement through this work and I know that we all feel that our actions are directly impacting and supporting young people and keeping them safe.
“I would encourage anyone to consider volunteering for Safe and Sound. Everyone here greatly values the work that volunteers do and the contribution they make to the overall mission and we do all that we can to develop individuals to build their skills and experience in whatever way they feel comfortable.”
Sonia has been a trustee of Safe and Sound for nearly 12 years and is committed to continuing to be part of the charity in whatever voluntary capacity she is needed.
Sonia has many years’ experience in leadership and change management in both the private and public sectors – latterly as a senior manager with Derby Community Safety Partnership (CSP).
With responsibilities for finance and commissioning for the CSP, she was keen to find out more about Safe and Sound and quickly recognised the unique role that the charity plays in supporting and protecting young people who are victims of or at risk of child exploitation.
When she left the CSP, Sonia was invited to be an advisor to the Safe and Sound Board and was soon invited to become a trustee before being voted as Vice Chair – a role she still holds to this day.
“All the trustees are volunteers. We have a broad and diverse skills set and, collectively, we are here to be the accountable body for the charity – ensuring that the CEO and her team have the resources and means to do their jobs.
“As well as overseeing the strategic direction and finances of the charity and, although we are not operational in terms of the work that is delivered, we all try to contribute to other aspects of the work needed such as networking and fund raising.
“It is certainly not a role that anyone should take lightly as there are huge responsibilities and sometimes requirements to make difficult decisions.
“However, the job satisfaction and sheer joy that I gain from hearing about how young people have overcome their experiences and moved forward with their lives thanks to the support from the team is why my heart will always be with Safe and Sound.
“I have learnt so much have huge respect for the whole team. Being part of Safe and Sound has brought me into contact with so many fantastic people and I am proud to have been part of the journey of this charity which, sadly, continues to be so badly needed to support young people and families in our local communities.
“Just as there is no cut off point for the support we provide to our young people – I hope to be part of this organisation for many years to come – whether as a trustee, volunteer or ambassador.
“My advice to anyone thinking of being a charity trustee is to regard this role as a long term commitment, to listen and to ask questions – it’s the only way to learn and be able to make a worthwhile contribution.”