Posted: Mon 6th Jun 2016

Volunteer Animal Welfare Visitor – National Volunteers Week 1-12 June /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 6th, 2016

Graham Ellis from Barry, is a volunteer animal welfare visitor and independent custody visitor and Vice Chair with the East Panel – Graham is one of the schemes longest serving volunteers – having joined in 1996. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

PROFILING Graham Ellis from Barry, who is a volunteer animal welfare visitor and independent custody visitor and Vice Chair with the East Panel – Graham is one of the schemes longest serving volunteers – having joined in 1996. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It isn’t just South Wales Police that benefits from his valued time as Graham is a man with many hats, school governor; active in Christian work as an event organiser; member of The Gideons International and regional co-ordinator for the Bill Graham Evangelistic Association! Almost as many roles as his years of service! ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There are not enough hours in the day” Graham says, he had no intention of working as much as he did before retirement but it just seemed to snowball and he enjoys every minute. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He recalls how he became involved with the force 20 years ago when the Chairman of the newly formed local independent custody visiting panel enticed him to the role with a carrot of praise on how reliable, trustworthy and intelligent he was. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“When the animal welfare scheme was started in South Wales Police” Graham smiles ,“naturally the reliable trustworthy independent custody visitors were the first people to target, and who doesn’t love animals? – and that’s how it all began.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Animal welfare visitors are volunteers drawn from the Independent Custody Visiting Panels who make regular unannounced visits to the Dog and Mounted Section at Waterton, Bridgend. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The volunteers check the conditions of the stables and kennels as well as any horse boxes and dog vans present on site, in addition to checking the health and welfare of the dogs and horses on site. Visitors may also observe dog handler and mounted officer training. Visitors complete reports after each visit and all issues raised are discussed at our quarterly panel meetings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The visiting scheme helps to give the public confidence that the police dogs and horses, which play such a central role in many policing operations and functions, are properly treated. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Graham said, “I have complete satisfaction that I am representing the local community and undertaking a role that serves an essential purpose for both the community and the police service. I find it a pleasure and delight to undertake the responsibility and would recommend it to anyone who has some time to spare, as it is a service that brings its own rewards.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Police and Crime Commissioner appointed Volunteer Animal Welfare Visitor ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

South Wales is one of around 35 Forces across England and Wales to operate an animal welfare visiting scheme. The scheme was established in 2001 with backing from the RSPCA and is now also supported by the Dogs Trust, the PDSA and a local veterinarian who are members of Animal Welfare Panel. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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