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Appropriate Adult Scheme

Play your part in helping vulnerable people in police custody.

When a person is detained in custody, they will often be supported by what is known as an Appropriate Adult.

The role of the Appropriate Adult (AA) is to provide advice on the custody process, and what the detained individual can expect to happen. This includes supporting people through police interviews, finger print checks, alcohol/drug testing, and much more.

What you may not realise, however, is that many of these Appropriate Adults are students at Hull.

The University has a well-established and award-winning AA scheme - run by Hull University Social Services Organisation (HUSSO) - giving students the chance to volunteer and support those in police custody.

The Appropriate Adult Scheme is popular with Criminology students.
University of Hull students
Working in Partnership
Chloe Crooks - LLB Law

Especially popular with Criminology students, the scheme has also in recent years attracted interest from those in fields such as Law, Psychology, Sociology and Business Economics.

Working in partnership with Humberside Police and the Humberside Police & Crime Commissioner, the project is run by Hull University Social Services Organisation (HUSSO).

We help represent vulnerable people in custody to ensure their human rights are met, as well as making sure they understand what is happening. Whether this be repeating something, explaining something in simpler terms, asking officers to reduce tone and pressures, or using different wording."

What is an Appropriate Adult?

Police Officer

Appropriate Adult’s work closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Humberside Police at Clough Road station.

The scheme typically runs from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week 365 days per year.

Volunteers will sign up for shifts of four hours as and when they can. The volunteer’s main role is to support vulnerable detainees in custody during interviews, finger prints, alcohol/drug testing and to help them understand what is happening.

It requires intensive training and an enhanced DBS check, which is provided. Counselling is provided if a student ever needs it from the police chaplaincy as some cases can be challenging.

You can find out more about Appropriate Adults here.

Who can Apply?

Students can apply from any course for the Appropriate Adult Scheme. The programme is inclusive to all.

It helps to increase student well-being by doing something good for vulnerable people, and can increase employability through the experiences of volunteering and the unique experiences of working inside police custody - attending interviews and testing and supporting vulnerable detainees through the process.

What training will I receive?

If you join the Appropriate Adult Scheme, you will complete student-led volunteering training and GDPR training from the Hull University Students’ Union.

You will also receive intensive NAAN (National Appropriate Adult Network) training and must be available for two consecutive days for this.

The NAAN training will teach you all about the role, and you will receive relevant training such as Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Level One. On top of this, you will also undertake an enhanced DBS check to work with vulnerable adults.

You’ll receive support from the project leader, existing volunteers, the Fundraising Co-ordinator and the President of Activities.

students library
The Appropriate Adult Scheme is inclusive to all

Why is the Appropriate Adult Scheme so important?

The AA Scheme provides detainees with much-needed support and understanding throughout the custody process.

You are there for the welfare of the detainee, and will support and guide them through what is an incredibly challenging and demanding process.

As a fully-trained Appropriate Adult, you will know what to look out for and know what to request on the detainee’s behalf.

The award-winning Appropriate Adult project has run for the past year at Hull, amd has already made a huge difference to vulnerable detainees and police officers.

It is a unique opportunity and is only the second of its kind in the UK.

An opportunity to develop transferable skills

This opportunity is the first of its kind in the UK created within a student union, offering volunteering opportunities not available anywhere else.

You will receive specialist training with the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), which is funded by the Police & Crime Commissioner.

The experience of volunteering with this project will help with interviews and CVs, and gain you a lot of transferable skills and training certificates.

A girl and her parents talk to a member of staff at a stand at one of our Open Days
You'll develop many transferable skills on the way