Blue Lights Brigade

Are you retired or ‘soon to retire’ from a role within one of the emergency services?

Would you like to invest some of your time in supporting your community?

BLB logo June 2017 no VANEL logo

Our Blue Lights Brigade project would like to hear from you.

Create your own volunteering pathway.
Where will your journey take you?

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.

Get in touch

Interested in volunteering with the project or simply need to know more?

Contact retired police officer Steven Lynn at Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire (VANEL) who is leading this new initiative.

Contact Steve to share your ideas and find out what we can offer that interests you!


phone 01472 245510 (answer phone message in operation most of the time – we will get back to you)

A leaflet explaining about the project and how to connect can be downloaded here.

Thank you to our funders

The Blue Lights Brigade projec tis run by VANEL.

Funding for the pilot programme came from Big Lottery via Awards for All.

Additional start up funding came from the Tribune Trust.

VANEL’s Blue Lights Brigade is one of 16 projects selected to take part in Connected Communities Innovation Fund.

The Connected Communities Innovation Fund is a partnership between Nesta and the Office for Civil Society at DCMS, providing up to £4 million in grants, alongside significant non-financial support, to the best innovations that mobilise people’s time and talents.

The Connected Communities Innovation Fund forms part of a series of live funds from Nesta and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to mobilise volunteers alongside public services and grow the most impactful interventions that change lives. You can find out more information about Connected Communities Innovation Fund here.

News and Stories

Read our official Press Release from June 2017 at the launch of the project.

Read a few stories from the VANEL news pages about progress of Blue Lights Brigade:

Great success for Green Venue with Blue Lights!

Blue Lights Brigade now well underway with first volunteers onboard

Blue Lights Brigade further success announced at VANEL AGM

First cohort of Blue Lights Brigade volunteers getting started

Bluelightslaunch2 Bluelightslaunch1