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Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Volunteer


Appropriate adults have an important role to play in the custody environment by ensuring that the detained person whom they are assisting understands what is happening to them and why, providing support, advice and assistance to vulnerable adults or juveniles detained in a police custody suite in line with the provisions of PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) NI Order 1989).

The role is delivered in partnership with key stakeholders, to ensure that suitably qualified ‘Appropriate Adults’ are available ‘to support, advise and assist’ a juvenile and/or mentally disordered or mentally vulnerable person when they are detained in police custody in Northern Ireland.

This role provides an opportunity for a volunteer to develop their skills as an Appropriate Adult and will have the opportunity to participate in the OCN Level 3 Qualification in Appropriate Adults after 1 month in the role and complete the course within the first 6 months of volunteering.


  • Attend Appropriate Adult call-outs at designated police stations in line with the scheme guidelines.
  • Completion of MindWise volunteer training programme.
  • Assist the Appropriate Adult staff to support, advise and assist the detained person, whilst in police custody and being interviewed in line with the provisions of PACE.
  • Work together with a diverse range of stakeholders, including PSNI, Legal, multidisciplinary teams and the wider MindWise team, to achieve the best outcome for our clients.
  • Be person-centred and empathic in responding to individuals’ emotional and psychological wellbeing.
  • Volunteer in police pace custody suites.
  • Demonstrating your commitment to the Recovery ethos.
  • Establish and develop effective relationships which support the delivery of our services.
  • Act as a role model and advocate of MindWise, living the values and behaviours of MindWise in all dealings with staff, clients, volunteers and partners.
  • Actively contribute to a culture of constant feedback and continuous learning to improve organisational capability and performance.
  • Communicate effectively respecting the rights and beliefs of colleagues, clients, and partners.
  • Comply with NIAAS instruction booklet and scheme guidelines on service delivery.
  • Ensure personal data is handled in line with GPDR policy and procedure.
  • Maintain confidentially and good professional boundaries.



  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Committed to achieving OCN Level 3 qualification in Appropriate Adults
  • An interest in supporting vulnerable young people and adults in a custody environment.
  • An interest in providing advocacy and guidance type support in another care setting.
  • An interest in working with the PSNI and other statutory and voluntary agencies.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold a valid driving license and have access to a car to carry out the duties associated with the post. Applicants who are disabled can use alternative forms of transport to enable them to carry out the duties associated with this post.
  • Willing able to travel throughout Northern Ireland to meet the 2 hours call out time required by police custody suite.


  • OCN Level 2 qualification in Appropriate Adults (or equivalent)
  • Experience of providing support to vulnerable young people and adults in a custody environment
  • Experience in providing advocacy and guidance type support in another care setting.


MindWise volunteers are encouraged to live the MindWise values when they are carrying out a volunteer role, in all interactions with staff, service-users and other volunteers. The MindWise values are;

  • Passion – We are passionate about mental health and well-being.
  • Respect – We are respectful and value everyone in society, we work in partnership with you.
  • Togetherness – we believe that working together is the best way to achieve our goals, we involve, empower and lead collectively.
  • Empathy – We are empathetic, we listen and learn, we continuously improve everything we do and we support you when you need it.
  • Openness and Transparency - We are open and transparent, we act with candour, honesty and integrity which are at the heart of everything we do.


All appropriate and agreed expenses will be covered as per MindWise expenses policy. 

Enhanced Access NI checks will be carried out on all regulated positions and successfully returned prior to placement. To assist in the role volunteers will be expected to attend and fully engage in guidance and support meetings with an allocated volunteer supervisor and will have access to regular training.


Volunteers will be inducted via the Active 8 volunteer programme.  They will be invited to an informal interview with the volunteer manager and the service manager. 

Apply now

Click here to apply. 

Have you got questions, or do you need help?

Get in touch with Elaine Sheridan, the Volunteer Manager.


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