Resident scoops top Criminal Justice award

A Telford and Wrekin resident has won Volunteer of the Year at the West Mercia Criminal Justice Board's annual award ceremony.

Resident scoops top Criminal Justice award

Dawn Yapp-Altinsoy has been a Referral Order Panel Volunteer for the last six years.

She has won the award after gaining a reputation for a cheery disposition and willingness to help but at the same time speak her own mind regarding youth crime and custody matters.

This approach has made a difference to lives of offenders and victims and ensured that where necessary their voices are heard.

Angela Parton, head of the Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Youth Offending Service, said: "Dawn is a steady and consistent panel member who is always keen to learn more, regularly attending and volunteering herself for training courses in her thirst for knowledge in order to benefit both the young offender and their victims.

"She is seen as a senior member of the Referral Order process willingly tutoring new members, and helping in the development of those that struggle."

Dawn, 41, works full time and is also a volunteer visitor for Victim Support. She has been a Referral Order Panellist since 2004.

She has also recently become the "young persons champion" on the Sevenside Housing Trust resident's panel. She has also become a member of "Clinch", the community involvement in care and health.

Dawn said: "It is an honour to receive this award. I thoroughly enjoy working with the young people and other volunteers.

"This award represents the commitment and dedication of all referral order panel volunteers."

Referral Order Panels are made up of volunteers from the local community who put together a contract with the young person to take responsibility for their actions and help them to change their behaviour.

Victims of the crime are invited to attend this meeting and their views are taken into consideration.

The contract will also include an element of reparation, which means identifying something that the young person will do to make good the harm they have caused to the victim or to the community.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the young offending service, please telephone 01952 385925.