Victim Support Scotland (VSS) is calling for more volunteers throughout the Western Isles to help the organisation to support people affected by crime.
VSS volunteers help people affected by crime to navigate the criminal justice system as well as providing emotional and practical support. Volunteers play a key role in making sure the voices of victims are heard and understood.
The nation-wide charity supports volunteers throughout the islands in both the community and in Stornoway and Lochmaddy Sheriff Courts, and in High Courts throughout Scotland. There are also a number of opportunities throughout Scotland to volunteer at our National Service Centre (NSC). Our NSC volunteers assist in running our helpline and webchat services, providing a safe space for victims, witnesses, or their families to talk about their experiences, ask questions and find further information.
Since 2019, VSS has been providing more support sessions than ever. With demand for practical and emotional support continuing to grow, so does the number of volunteers we need in order to keep providing a vital service to people affected by crime. Volunteers make a significant difference to people who come to VSS for help, providing dedicated and often long-term support.
The organisation was also recently reaccredited by Investing in Volunteers, the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management.
Louise McGinty, Head of Volunteering at Victim Support Scotland said: “Volunteering at Victim Support Scotland within the Western Isles is a unique opportunity. We depend on our volunteers to support people affected by crime when they most need it, empowering them to regain control and move forward with their lives.
“As well as helping others, volunteers gain benefits such as learning new support skills, experience of working within the criminal justice sector, and accessing a wide range of training opportunities.
“If you are looking for a challenging yet rewarding experience with valuable training and development opportunities, I would urge you to consider joining us as a volunteer.”
Jane Lynn, who is an existing Victim Support Scotland volunteer, comments: “I have been a volunteer with Victim Support Scotland for a number of years, helping people affected by crime through emotional and practical support.
“The role of volunteer with VSS is interesting, dynamic and rewarding, with many opportunities to learn new skills and upskill in different training modules.
“I have never left a volunteer session without feeling like I have made a difference. The people supported and staff are so appreciative of my time, and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to support people who have been deeply affected by what has happened to them and help them to move forward.”
To get in touch with VSS about volunteering opportunities in the Western Isles, go to victimsupport.scot/volunteertoday or phone 03330 341078.