We talked to Mac Jarvis, our Volunteer of the Year, about his experiences with the charity.
How and why did you get involved with Crimestoppers?
"Around four years ago I was working in a Community Safety Project when the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) asked me if I could nominate a neighbourhood in which to run a Crimestoppers project as a pilot in the city. This followed a presentation Pauline Hadley, Crimestoppers Regional Manager for West Midlands, had given and I think they wanted to check out what she had told them in the most challenging way possible! Oh and I got to manage the pilot as well.
As soon as I spoke to Pauline I realised the potential for Crimestoppers to help break down barriers in some of our communities".
What has been the main challenge you have faced undertaking this work?
"Everyone has heard of Crimestoppers, or so it seems. I have found that the challenge is trying to get the message across of its relevance to the grass roots problems in our neighbourhoods. It's not all about murderers - it can be the cannabis factory next door or people recruiting 'money mules'. Crimestoppers can make a difference."
What do you do as a volunteer for Crimestoppers?
"I chair a sub group of the West Midlands area. We meet bi-monthly and I give, on average, about four hours each week working on promoting Crimestoppers in the city.
This can be spent giving presentations to other organisations or handing out leaflets and the ubiquitous free pens at public events.
I have been heavily involved in promoting our youth brand, Fearless in local schools over the last year and I find that really worthwhile."
What are you most proud of so far in your time with the charity?
"Well obviously being selected as National Volunteer of the Year 2012 (thanks to all of the West Midlands volunteers) must be somewhere very close to the top of the list, and it really is a 'list' - from launching that first pilot to one of our secondary schools producing its own Fearless video."
What do you have planned for the future? Or, what would you still like to achieve?
"Our local committee has a lot going on at the moment with a full calendar of events promoting Crimestoppers. We are just going through a launch of Fearless into every junior and secondary school in the city, and we are looking at a burglary campaign in the autumn."