Promoting the use of Police Support Volunteers

The implementation of simple and efficient channels of communication that allow the spread of information across a range of audiences is crucial to the success of any Volunteer Programme. Find out how you can make your communication strategy work.

Communications Strategy

Effective communication will help to identify and address the fears, concerns and aspirations of both the public and police staff. The objectives of this strategy will ensure:

  • The public is aware of how the volunteer programme is contributing to the police and how they can get involved
  • Police staff, officers and key stakeholders understand the principles of volunteering and how it benefits the public
  • All staff involved in volunteering are aware of their responsibility for effective communication and how this impacts on service delivery
  • All staff involved in volunteering have the right information at the right time to do their job
  • Specific Union concerns around volunteering are addressed in a timely and effective manner.

The principles of this strategy will:

  • Make communication everyone's responsibility
  • Encourage a two-way dialogue to inform, influence, engage and consult with customers
  • Ensure all information is communicated in a professional, accurate, and timely manner
  • Ensure information reaches target audiences including those traditionally "hard to reach" groups in order to achieve full commitment to diversity
  • Maintain a culture of communication across the organisation as a fundamental part of good leadership
  • Ensure any volunteer-based promotions promote a consistent corporate identity and image within the wider police brand identity.

Recognition of volunteers

Recognising the contribution that volunteers make to the force is an integral part of volunteer management and retention. Informal thanks should be ongoing and regular so that volunteers know they are valued. A simple thank you can keep a volunteer motivated and committed.

Formal recognition can take many forms but care should be taken when arranging events to ensure prizes or awards given cannot be construed as 'consideration'. Appropriate recognition methods may include:

  • Volunteer certificate of thanks
  • Special service award
  • Honours nominations
  • Volunteer award ceremonies
  • Articles and editorial coverage in internal publications
  • Away days
  • Commendations
  • External volunteer awards, e.g. Lord Ferrers Award, Whitbread Young Achievers Award, Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Useful Documents

These documents are supplied as examples of good practice by participating forces.

 Reward and Recognition Strategy for Met Police Volunteers
 Police Support Volunteers Communications Strategy
 Sample Volunteers Communications Plan
 How to write a news release
 How to make an effective presentation
 Using email for communications
 Writing Plain English guidelines
 Sample external PowerPoint presentation
 Sample Safer Neighbourhoods newsletter
 Sample promotional poster (A3)
 Sample promotional poster (A4)
 Sample promotional flyer (A5)

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