Blue Lights Brigade programme ‘switches on’ in North East Lincolnshire

VANEL is delighted to announce its most recent success in securing Big Lottery Fund monies for its new project to recruit and train retired emergency service officers as local volunteers with local community safety partners.

The project is the “Blue Lights Brigade” and has been funded via an Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery fund (see Big Lottery announcement here).

Our official Press Release explains the project in detail and you can download this Press Release here.

We have a dedicated page of information about the project at and an email  The project is being led by retired Police Inspector Steven Lynn – Community Link Champion with VANEL who can be contacted via the email or via 01472 240707.

More about Blue Lights Brigade

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  • Launched as part of National Volunteers Week at the North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Managers’ Network first Volunteering Fair held in the Floral Hall at People’s Park on Friday 2nd June 2017 from 10am, we showcased our exciting new proposals to create a Blue Lights Brigade across Humberside.

  • Steven Lynn, our Community Link Champion says: “what a great opportunity for retired police officers like me to invest time voluntarily back into communities they have served for years as police officers. We have so much to offer and it so often gets lost when we retire. This project provides lots of different ways to support local communities with the help they need.”

  • Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire (VANEL) manages the North East Lincolnshire Volunteering Development Service which identifies volunteering opportunities for local people; trains and develops volunteers and voluntary groups; places people into volunteering options they can create themselves; helps people and groups find funding to support their work and much more.

  • Paula Grant, VANEL Chief Officer says: “we are delighted to have secured Big Lottery Fund monies to invest in a professional development programme of direct benefit to voluntary groups and wider communities we support. This will give us an excellent opportunity to build even stronger working relationships with both volunteers and voluntary groups that we support across our area.”

Overview of the Project

We will deliver a tailor-made volunteering skills development programme to equip the retired emergency service staff with specific volunteering skills and knowledge and recognise any previous experience by enabling the retired staff members who volunteer to achieve the volunteer card qualification and provide them with appropriate learner reference material and a resource pack.

Whilst completing the 6-module training programme each volunteer will identify either: an existing community safety related volunteering opportunity with a voluntary group or propose a new volunteering role that they can undertake of benefit to the voluntary group or local community in our identified target areas. The whole approach will be tailor-made to ensure it meets individual volunteer, voluntary groups’ and wider community needs across our local area.

Simultaneously the initial voluntary groups where the volunteers will be volunteering will undertake the Supporting Volunteers Award to ensure both volunteers and groups have local quality assurance. The volunteering will relate to for example: neighbourhood watch (community problem solving); street angels (victim prevention); victim support (repeat victims of anti-social behaviour); young witness service (witness support); youth offending projects (crime diversion); YMCA (positive youth activities); Harbour Place day centre (supports homeless people to rebuild lives); neighbourhood groups (applying restorative practice approaches); celebrating interfaith and cultural diversity.

Each volunteer will start on a learning journey of volunteering development and complete a case study supported by an independent evaluator. The case studies will be used to inform the exploration as to whether setting up a Blue Lights Brigade group of retired emergency service officer volunteers would be viable, sustainable, of value to local communities and other voluntary groups. A researcher will also gather further evidence of need from local voluntary groups and residents who benefit from the volunteering support to inform expansion.

Thank you Big Lottery

Blue Lights Brigade is supported through funding from the Big Lottery Awards for All scheme.

  • The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
  • It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded £583 million and supported around 12,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

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