Safer volunteering category 2015

Each year, the County Durham Volunteering Awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work done by volunteers across County Durham.

In 2015, over 100 nominations were received across the categories of Children and Young People, Greener, Healthier, Safer, and Wealthier. In addition to the five categories, the awards also celebrated the County Durham Young Volunteer of the Year, and the Group of the Year.

The above photograph shows the winner of this category, Jan Ellis (left), receiving her award from Ron Hogg, Durham Police & Crime Commissioner (pictured centre) during the celebration dinner held at Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield on 21 October 2015.

Find out more about the winner of this category and the shortlisted nominees below.

Jan Ellis - winner


Jan is a volunteer for County Durham Youth Offending Service (CDYOS), a multi-agency partnership. Volunteers are an essential part of the delivery of this service, working alongside professionals to help to reduce crime and make a difference to young people’s lives.  Jan has helped to shape CDYOS as an extremely proactive member of the Volunteer Steering Group.  She provides an independent voice on the Referral Order Panel and is extremely good at being objective. She is instrumental in raising self-esteem and lifting spirits. Jan  adds something that cannot be provided by paid staff, offering her time freely and representing her local community. She has an immense impact on the safety of her own community.

Stephen Maitland

Stephen is a volunteer for Durham Constabulary assisting with the Safer Homes Scheme.  This involves the vetting and training of Neighbourhood Watch Volunteers to carry out crime prevention surveys, and fitting simple security devices to homes. This helps members of the community feel safer in their properties. Volunteers are key to the success of this scheme, as resources are particularly tight for the Constabulary. Stephen has lived locally most of his life and knows the area well. He has dedicated hours of his own time helping over 100 local homes. Stephen is an excellent community advocate and there is now greater intelligence coming forward about those responsible for committing crime and anti social behaviour in the village.

Helene Petch


Helene is a volunteer with the County Durham Youth Offending Service (CDYOS).  She has been a Referral Order Panel Member, Mentor and Steering Group Member for nearly 5 years and has matured and grown beyond recognition.  As a younger volunteer she has broken down a number of barriers in her role. She also has a strong connection to County Durham’s Travelling Community and has a great passion for their culture. Helene quite easily reduced fears and related to a lot of things other panel members had not been aware of. She also volunteered at CDYOS Summer Arts Project engaging young people with sporadic school attendance.