Appropriate Adult – Surrey Appropriate Adult Volunteer Scheme (SAAVS)

In Volunteer Opportunities, Supporting others by Lisa Irwin

The Appropriate Adult Service offers support to vulnerable adults and young people who find themselves detained in Police custody. Being an Appropriate Adult is a challenging, fulfilling and often rewarding role. Volunteers don’t need previous knowledge of legal procedures or social work. The role of the Appropriate Adult is not to provide legal advice but to offer impartial support and be a friendly face in the absence of a family member or carer to people who may be feeling frightened, bewildered, and confused in an unfamiliar situation. An Appropriate Adult will join a team of local volunteers and will be on call at times to suit them. They will be available to answer a call to custody in a swift and professional manner, in all weathers and with very little notice. They will offer vital support to those who need it when they need it most.

Every Appropriate Adult is DBS checked and given training before joining a team. Each team covers one or more of Surrey’s custody suites. Although Appropriate Adults work independently Team Leaders are on hand to provide support and guidance and ongoing training is given on a regular basis. The service SAAVS provide is 24 hour for 365 days of the year and each volunteer is responsible for a regular weekly time slot of at least eight to ten hours.

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