Steve Rowley - Appropriate Adult Volunteer

Why do you volunteer for the service:

I find the role interesting and rewarding. I wouldn’t describe it as enjoyable as you’re with people at a crisis point in their lives. However I do enjoy the fact that we are helping people. I regard myself as being lucky in life and am pleased to help those who haven’t been so lucky.

What kind of support do you offer:

As an AA volunteer you are with the detained person at key points during their time in custody. The most notable being when they are interviewed and when they find out what the police / CPS want to do with them, for example release them or continue to detain them. You are also on hand to ensure that the detained person is being looked after in accordance with their rights and entitlements.

What do the DP's get out of this service:

AA volunteers aren’t the police or social services so we are uniquely placed to provide support perhaps not available from other sources. For example a detained person might have communication difficulties and the AA volunteer can help with that.

How does this help custody:

Young people and vulnerable adults have to be accompanied by an appropriate adult at key stages of their stay in police custody. The appropriate adult could be a family member or friend but sometimes they aren’t available for a variety of reasons which is when an AA volunteer gets called in. Without us the custody process would grind to a halt. AA volunteers also provide a channel of communication between the police and the detained person which can be important in ensuring the police can do their job and the detained person is properly looked after.

What is the best part of volunteering and what do you personally get out of it:

AA volunteering has given me a window of a world I have never experienced – which can be tragically sad, interesting, certainly challenging and sometimes quite funny! I find the role extremely rewarding if not necessarily enjoyable.

To find out more information on becoming an Appropriate Adult Volunteer or to apply, please click here.