Adults with learning disabilities have started volunteering at a police base in Northampton by washing the cars and carrying out kit inventories.
Northamptonshire Police has teamed up with the adult social services team at Northamptonshire County Council to provide an opportunity for people to gain valuable experience through volunteering.
Every Wednesday, up to 10 volunteers and four supervisors wash and valet police vehicles at at Weston Favell Police Station as well as checking officers' kits and restocking missing items if necessary.
Craig Churchman from the Northampton learning, independence, volunteering and employment (LIVE) team who supports the volunteers, said the project is exactly what their ethos is all about
“The group were very enthusiastic about this project and jumped at the chance to take part," he said.
"It is another opportunity to develop new skills as well as give something back to the community.
“Volunteering not only provides experience in the workplace for our customers but it also helps to develop independence, improve social and communication skills as well as gives them personal respect and pride in what they do.”
To help the scheme get off the ground, British manufacturer Autoglym has donated a range of car care and valeting products to the volunteers.
And the specials and volunteers co-ordination team based at Wellingborough Police Station has purchased personal protection equipment for the group which includes boots, overalls and hi-vis tabards.
Northampton response Inspector Mark Holland, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “The scheme will provide volunteers with an opportunity to improve their vocational skills and gain valuable experience in the workplace.
“In return the force will also see benefits from taking part in the scheme. Not only will we have a clean and presentable fleet of vehicles, officers will have more time to fight crime and protect the people of Northamptonshire.
“Although the LIVE volunteers will take care of the cleanliness of the vehicles, it will still be the responsibility of the officers to carry out the daily mechanical safety checks before leaving the station.”
The voluntary scheme will initially be held at Weston Favell station, however if it proves a success, will be rolled out across the force.