What is your role and when did you start volunteering with Victim Support?
I'm a caseworker and started volunteering with Victim Support almost nine years ago.
What inspired you to volunteer and what motivates you to keep volunteering with Victim Support?
I felt I wanted to help a worthy organisation by offering my skills, at the same time as getting to know my community and being part of a team. Helping people less fortunate than me has always played an important part in my life, and knowing that I might be able to help victims carry on with their lives, despite being affected by crime, was also an incentive for me. I am motivated by the fact that I might be able to make a difference to people’s lives by changing them for the better and helping them to get over trauma.
What are your main volunteer duties?
I contact victims over the phone and describe how I might be able to help them through both practical and/or emotional support. We briefly discuss whether it would be more beneficial to them to meet face-to-face or discuss how I might be able to help over the phone.
In recent years I have moved into supporting victims in more serious areas of crime and together we work out a step by step approach to help them recover from the traumatic events. I am able to offer support in moments of great emotional, physical and mental stress. I can also provide some guidance regarding certain aspects of the criminal justice system. I will support a victim for as long as he or she needs me.
What skills and experience do you bring to the role?
In the past I have worked as a mentor in a large college, and my listening skills have certainly played a big role in my work with Victim Support. I have always been non-judgemental and am very committed, patient and reliable.
What have you gained from your volunteering experience?
Being able to see the positive impact I make is one of the reasons I choose to volunteer. It feels good to go to bed and think about a day knowing I might have changed someone’s life and done something good. Seeing the bravery of some of the victims I have supported in building a new life is very inspiring.
What would you say to people thinking about volunteering with Victim Support?
Volunteering with Victim Support allows you to strengthen your core skills and develop new skills, working as part of a team with people from all walks of life. You receive excellent training, which enables you to carry out your volunteer duties, and help people in moments that could be described as severely stressful and traumatic.
What three words would you use to describe your volunteering experience?
Challenging, rewarding and satisfying.
If you'd like to volunteer for Victim Support like Anita, find out how you can get involved on our volunteering pages.