I have been a Community Volunteer for Victim Support since November 2014. I am a single mum who was made redundant when I had my daughter 10 years ago.
I started a part time job cleaning at a school that fitted around my daughter but wasn’t using my brain and felt deflated – however it was convenient. It was then that I decided to become a volunteer so I could feel like I was doing something worthwhile and be appreciated as well as gaining new skills. Choosing my own hours meant it would fit in with my child and my work.
I chose to volunteer with Victim Support as they supported me seven years ago and made a tremendous difference to my life at the time. I will always be grateful for the support I received. It’s not always easy talking to friends and love ones as you don’t want to burden them and you try to protect them from the facts, but talking to Victim Support I felt able to say anything as they were so understanding and didn’t judge. They reassured me constantly and made me believe in myself again.
Since volunteering with Victim Support I have gone on to do additional courses and am now domestic violence trained and hope to get my sexual violence training course under my belt very soon.
I have dealt with many victims all different ages, religions and walks of life and it is the most rewarding job I have ever done. Volunteers start by doing core training then can go on to do more specialised training. Victim Support looks out for the welfare of their volunteers and there are regular meetings with other volunteers to discuss difficult cases and seek advice.
Volunteers must commit to four hours a week. It’s easy to exceed this but I love it so much it doesn’t feel like a job. You know it is worth every second when you get an email from the office saying they have spoken to one of your victims and you have received positive feedback. It is also great to work alongside other agencies and volunteers to get people back on the right track.
Until I volunteered for Victim Support I didn’t know how much they offered. So for anyone looking for a new challenge, with no two days the same, this is the volunteering role for you!