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Volunteers are praised for years of hard work; Youth Offending Team help youngsters.

Byline: Peter Collins

THREE long-serving volunteers with the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Offending Team (YOT) have been thanked for spending more than a decade helping others.

Bibi Davies, June Heveron and Helen Bagnell have given 12 years of service between then as "appropriate adults" helping youngsters in trouble with the law.

Jane Hoey, acting manager of the Vale YOT, said: "When others are curled up in front of the TV on a cold and wintry night, it takes someone very special to respond to the needs of a tough, young person accused of a crime."

She explained that volunteers mediate between young people and police during questioning, and ensure they are treated with understanding and in line with their legal and civil rights.

Ms Hoey added said: "Appropriate adults can be called upon at any time from 8am to midnight, 365 days a year.

"Volunteers such as Bibi, June and Helen have spent more than a decade helping others.

"They have provided untold comfort to young people and fulfilled the statutory obligation of both youth offending teams and police services throughout the country."

YOT probation officer Zarah Newman said youth offenders' panels were now being formed in response to a new court order, which would come into force in April next year.

She said: "Volunteers are being sought to serve as community panel members for these newly-introduced referral orders.

"We are looking for adult volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to be involved in a new way of dealing with young offenders, which will repair the harm done and prevent further offending."

Anyone with an interest in criminal justice and a desire to work with victims of crime, young offenders and their families, and who can attend regular training sessions and panel meetings, can contact Zarah Newman or Bibi Davies on 01446 745820.

CAPTION(S):

PRAISED Volunteers Helen Bagnell and Bibi Davies with YOT officer Ian Ernest.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 28, 2001
Words:317
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