Mike Findlay introduces a campaign aimed at recruiting the next generation of Victim Support Scotland volunteers
Like most third sector organisations, Victim Support Scotland has seen many challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic. With the switch to remote working, we’ve had to rely on Microsoft Teams and good WiFi connections, to deliver our work and services.
We have seen firsthand the impact of delays to court trials going ahead and the distress this causes to victims, witnesses and family members. As a charity, we have had to rely on the dedication and support of our volunteers to enable us to continue in our mission.
Volunteering part of our DNA
Our volunteers are part of our DNA. Originally set up as a grassroots organisation in 1985 run by volunteers in Coatbridge, Victim Support Scotland to this day continues use the talents and commitment of people willing to part with their time in order to deliver for people in the aftermath of crime.
And we need more of them. Following a phased re-opening, in September 2021 the courts will return to pre-Covid-19 levels of activity. With a significant backlog of cases, there is an increased demand for new volunteers to help us in the courts and in local communities.
Next generation of volunteers
During this Volunteers Week, which runs between 1 to 7 June, we are therefore launching a campaign to entice the next generation of Victim Support Scotland volunteers into the organisation. Our ambition is to attract in the region of 200 volunteers throughout Scotland between now and September.
Our campaign focuses on what is unique about volunteering with us and what you will get in return for showing your commitment to us.
We are keen to hear from people from all backgrounds, representing the diversity of the Scottish population. In particular we are encouraging applications from diverse gender identities and LGBTQIA+ and BAME communities, as well as people with diverse physical abilities and neurodiversity.
We are inviting applicants to:
- Support people when they most need it
- Empower people to move forward
- Learn new support skills
- Gain experience of working within the criminal justice sector
- Gain access to a range of training
- Positively help their community
It is an exciting time to join Victim Support Scotland. We have recently launched our new five year strategy aimed at empowering people after crime. With Scotland’s new parliament, there are countless opportunities for us to push for positive change and legislation in a way that puts victims first. We are also looking for new and innovative ways to deliver our service as Scotland recovers from the pandemic.
By volunteering with us, you will be joining a supportive organisation and will have the chance to develop new skills and knowledge. Your work will provide a real and lasting difference to people affected by crime. As Amanda, one of our existing volunteers, describes it:
“As a Victim Support Scotland volunteer, the satisfaction I feel at the end of the day is second to none. I know I can’t take away the pain people feel but I can make their criminal justice journey easier. Simply put, the satisfaction of helping people is incredibly rewarding.”
Amanda’s experience is one of a number of blog posts that we will be using during Volunteers Week 2021, please see our website for more details.
For more details of our support volunteer roles see: Support volunteers | Victim Support Scotland. Follow @VSScotland for updates throughout the week.
Mike Findlay is Head of Communications & External Affairs at Victim Support Scotland