in the Community
Some feedback from Kent Police students:
• I really enjoyed working with Caring Hands, the volunteers of Caring Hands are a fantastic group of people who go out of their way on a daily basis to help vulnerable and homeless people. I have never experienced anything like it, Caring Hands was incredible and it really helped me to understand some of the problems facing the homeless community and the way in which support services try to help them turn their lives around. The staff of caring hands was very open about their life stories and how they came to work for the charity and service users spoke openly with me about their circumstances, I found this to be a big eye opener. I have learnt about some of the realities of life for someone who finds themselves homeless, the difficulties they face in society, the support which is available to them and how the police can work with organisations such as Caring Hands to ensure they get the help they need.
• This placement has shown me how important organisations and charities such as Caring Hands are to the public and to the police service in rehabilitation and also prevention of crime. It has shown me that we as a police force are not the only organisation that can reduce crime and that by liaising with organisations such as Caring Hands we can work as a team to help vulnerable people or people fighting addiction the help that they need in order to be part of the community.
• I loved every moment of it. All staff/volunteers and clients were overall very friendly and welcoming to me. I realised quickly there was a community within the centre whereby the clients interacted with the staff and volunteers but also with each other, showing concern for others when they were having a bad day or not doing very well. Those that are involved in Caring Hands are people that have the biggest hearts, give up their own time to help others and are very selfless. They are always thinking about those that use the facilities at Caring Hands. I have learnt that nobody chooses a particular lifestyle and not to judge anyone. Nobody has chosen to be an alcoholic or a drug addict. I will benefit from my time at Caring Hands as I am able to use my new knowledge when policing. I now understand how so frequently people have been let down by organisations that should be helping them and therefore their trust in people is often zero. If and when I speak to anyone who may benefit from the help of Caring Hands I can pass on the details and explain exactly what they can offer and how they would benefit, something I never knew was available in Medway previously.
• I felt really lucky to be given the opportunity to attend a placement with Caring Hands in the Community. I have not had any previous experience working with homeless individuals before and I was very much looking forward to interacting and learning from these individuals and the organisation as a whole. The overall experience of my placement was amazing and I would do it again given the chance. I was astounded at the facilities on offer to the homeless provided by Caring Hands in the Community. The staff and volunteers were so welcoming, friendly and hospitable. They put the service user’s welfare at the forefront of everything they do and it was truly inspiring to see the relationships staff member and service users have formed. This placement has not only changed my outlook on homelessness but has made me more aware of the how people become homeless, which most of the time is through circumstance rather than fault of their own. It has made me aware that anyone could find themselves in similar situations to those that frequent Caring Hands and has made me want to do more for individuals especially when it comes to front line policing. Having that relationship is vital for breaking down barriers between the police and those that are homeless. I have learnt that it is important to ensure members of the public, especially the vulnerable, have trust in the police – knowing that the right thing will be done by them and they will be treated as human beings regardless of their current circumstances. I feel that I have really benefited from this experience, and it has given me not only knowledge on this demographic but also as of their needs from society and what I can do as a police officer to aid their needs.
Opening Times: Monday - Friday | 9am - 4pm
15a-16 New Road Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6BA.