The Role of a Witness Service Volunteer
To support those giving evidence in court namely Victims, Witnesses and their friends and family members.
Main Responsibilities and Duties
1. Attend and undertake Pre-Trial Visits for Victims and witnesses.
2. Provide reassurance and emotional support to Victims, Witness and their friends or family members. Provide tea and coffee for those waiting to go into court. On occasion accompany, those requiring support into the court
3. Give information about the court procedure.
4. Where required liaise with the Prosecuting Agency and Court Personnel.
5. Provide witnesses with an expense form.
6. Keep a record of contacts with Victims witness and their families and provide the branch staff with a report of all work undertaken with or on behalf of those supported.
7. Consult with the branch staff to review the progress of service users, particularly in cases where a referral to another agency may be necessary.
8. Attend training events, volunteer meetings and supervision sessions.
9. Ensure that the branch staffs are aware of your availability – giving reasonable notice of holidays.
10. Submit, on a regular basis, claims for travelling and other expenses in accordance with branch policy.
Experience and Skills
No previous experience of this type of work is necessary as training will be given.
You will need to
• Have good communication skills, in particular listening skills
• Are open-minded and non-judgemental
• Have the ability to exercise confidentiality
• Be able to work within the organisation’s policies and procedures
• Promote equality and value diversity in all aspects of the work
• Be able to complete basic administrative tasks
• Possess good interpersonal skills
• Have the ability to get on with people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds
In addition to comprehensive training, you will have the opportunity to meet with other volunteers and attend workshops and seminars. You will have the satisfaction of learning to deal with issues you may not have experienced before, you will also develop new and existing skills and qualities which will be useful in other areas of your life. Out-of-pocket expenses to cover costs such as telephone and travel will be provided together with insurance cover.
You will also be rewarded by seeing the difference your contribution to Victim Support and the Witness Service can make to people whose lives have been shattered by crime.