Victim Support Scotland Volunteer
How can you support victims and witnesses of crime?
Victims of crime often feel a range of emotions in the aftermath of an offence. It is Victim Support Scotland’s role to provide victims and witnesses of crime emotional and practical support in person, online, and in court. Volunteers are supported by VSS staff who manage the service.
How would you help?
Our volunteers provide emotional support, practical help, information and guidance through the criminal justice system. We aim to empower people who have been impacted by crime, to move on with their lives.
- Discuss service users’ needs by telephone, webchat, appointments and face-to-face contact, agreeing next steps at the end of each contact
- Help service users feel more confident by arranging and conducting court familiarisation visits
- Support service users in the court room and other appropriate locations on the day of the trial, liaising with court officials on behalf of the service users.
- Feedback and agree follow-up actions with staff members
- Provide administrative support in completing the service users journey
What benefits would I get?
Volunteering with Victim Support Scotland can be challenging and also extremely rewarding. As a volunteer you will:
- Support people when they most need it
- Learn new skills and knowledge of the criminal justice sector
- Gain access to a range of specialist training courses that are relevant to your volunteering role
- Positively contribute to your community as a member of a team actively working to reduce the impact of crime
- A chance to give something back
- Receive support in your volunteering role to deliver services effectively
- All reasonable expenses (e.g. travel) will be reimbursed
What skills and experience do I need?
We are looking for committed, reliable and empathetic volunteers who can work with people of all ages, backgrounds and life situations. Although we provide full training and support, knowledge of the criminal justice system and experience of supporting people is beneficial. As a Victim Support Scotland Volunteer you will need:
- Effective communication skills
- The ability to actively listen to service users and anyone affected by crime
- An interest in learning about the criminal justice system and understand the service user’s journey
- An awareness of confidentiality obligations and the responsibilities that come with upholding these obligations
- Effective time management skills (and working under pressure)
- Access to a car or ability to use public transport
What is the time commitment?
We know that our volunteers have busy lives, so we agree the time commitment with each individual volunteer. However, we ask for:
- a minimum commitment of approximately one day per week, however this may vary depending upon the needs of the service.
- a minimum commitment of at least 1 year so that they might get the most out of a volunteering role.
How can I apply?
The people we support come from all communities across Scotland, as do our volunteers. We welcome new volunteers from all backgrounds and languages.
To ensure we provide the best possible service to people affected by crime, we ask all volunteers to follow our processes. This will involve:
• Joining the Disclosure Scotland PVG scheme
• Providing two satisfactory references
• Completing our three day ‘Introduction to Victim Support Scotland’ training module
- Signing and abiding by Victim Support Scotland’s Confidentiality agreement
- Commitment to Data Protection
- Volunteer Agreement