Willmott Dixon supported Greater Manchester Police in the national Give & Gain initiative, with Oldham-based director of operations Simon Butcher spending the day shadowing fellow colleague and Special Officer, Chief Inspector Mike Walmsley, around Manchester.

Mike gave up his day-job to put on the uniform to help Greater Manchester Police as part of Give & Gain Day 2013, when Specials were given a day’s paid annual leave to support the day while their bosses were invited to see what they did first hand.

Simon was able to observe the numerous day-to-day tasks that Mike performs when on duty, including executing drugs warrants and targeting wanted offenders. The day also involved conducting an Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) operation focussing on criminals using the roads.

Reflecting on the day, Simon said: “As a major employer in Manchester, we recognise the significant contribution that Specials make and the personal risks it brings in protecting the public and serving the community. We are all very proud of the work that Mike does making the streets of Manchester safer and how he combines this as a building manager at Willmott Dixon.

“It was fantastic to spend time seeing a ‘day in the life’ of a Special Constable and the marvellous work that these men and woman carry out. Before today, I had no idea of the risk these volunteers take. At the 06:30 Hrs briefing in the station I watched as the ‘Teams’ were given their tasks for the day. In the team I was travelling with, a Special Constable was nominated as ‘No 1’, this is the first policeman to storm into a convicted drug dealers house after his front door was rammed in by Special Ops. These men and woman do a great job alongside the regulars!

“At Willmott Dixon we support the activities of people like Mike that make a real contribution to our communities, whether that is through initiatives such as Give & Gain, or time off work for duties and training. We also recognise the significant benefits it brings to our staff; Chief Inspector Mike Walmsley is one of our ‘Top Flight’ project managers and I have no doubts that Mike’s career with Willmott Dixon has benefited by the experience and training he has received in his voluntary role with the Specials.”

Give & Gain day is an international initiative led by Business in the Community. It connects skilled professionals with community organisations by matching them with a volunteering project. Business volunteers help with everything from school sports days to employability workshops for the long term unemployed. Give & Gain Day participants in the UK are part of a global movement of thousands of volunteers across 25 countries as diverse as Spain, Iran, Nigeria and Guatemala.