Using your life skills
Ann and Dot are both Appropriate Adult volunteers for Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind. This means they are on call for a set time each week. When needed they will support someone who has been arrested and needs someone to be with them at the police station.
They want to encourage more older people to get involved and use their life skills in volunteering.
Ann Davies, 72 from Eston, who worked in schools as a school cook also volunteers for other projects, said: “Being an Appropriate Adult puts you in the middle ground. You are not authority and not their friend. I always say I am a spare Granny.”
“I heard about a project called A Way Out which looks after vulnerable women and I wanted to help.
“Since working with A Way Out I also now work at the Moses project which provides guidance, mentoring and support for men. I am a listener, a befriender.”
Dot Bell, 72 from Thornaby, who also volunteers at a number of other projects such as Street Angels in Stockton, says she does it to feel useful.
Dot said: “I retired last year and having no family around it would be easy to withdraw. The hardest thing is to go out the door.
“I did not want to lose contact with life.”
Dot worked in shop management then retired to look after her grandkids before going back to work and juggling six jobs which took her around the world.
Dot added: “To see the attitude of the detained person change when they realise you are not against them and you are there to support them is great.
“It requires your life skills to do it. We are not shockable when we are older. As volunteers we receive training and support so that you do not take any worries home with you.”
To find out more about becoming an Appropriate Adult you can call Hilary on 01642 257020 or visit www.middlesbroughandstocktonmind.org.uk