Volunteer Blog - Custody Visiting - Laura and John
Laura and John each received an award marking 500 custody visits at the Independent Custody Visiting Scotland annual conference in Dundee recently. We asked them to tell us about their experiences:
As an update to our previous blog to mark Volunteers Week last year, it has been nice to return to Face-to-Face visits which has enabled us to see improvements in the custody centres across Scotland, such as some centres having coffee machines in the kitchens, and other centres having gained water coolers, and even a pilot scheme offering fresh fruit for the detainees at some centres.
It was also good to reaquaint ourselves with the custody staff and other custody visitors. There is so much that cannot be picked up from phone monitoring, such as observing body language of detainees, and indeed, the general environment and atmosphere of custody centres.
The re commencement of quarterly meetings is very much appreciated, and encourages communication and rapport with everyone present. We are no longer just a face on the screen, or a voice on the phone, we are there in person.
The first Annual Conference for two years, took place in Dundee, on Saturday 21st May 2022. This was well organised by the ICVS Co-ordinators, well attended by custody visitors, and had very enthusiastic speakers.
The venue, the Apex Hotel, which looks out onto the Victoria Docks, with its historical ships, provided a superb setting for the occasion, with excellent catering, served by friendly staff.
There were presentations given out, to recognise the hard work of individual custody visitors. Both John and myself received glassware, for 500 visits each.
You too can be a star, each visit you do, and subsequent feedback, helps towards the welfare of those who are detained, and who knows, maybe one day, you too will achieve a 500 visit Gold Star.
Finally, a big Thank You to all who made the conference a success. Best wishes to our fellow visitors, and welcome on board to those of you who would like to become a custody visitor.
Remember, don't just reach for the sky - be a star!
Laura and John