The Witness Service provides practical and emotional support and information to witnesses so that they feel valued, respected and informed and able to give their best evidence in court.
The role is court based and will involve providing support to witnesses, and their supporters, by explaining the court procedures and legal terminology, showing them around the courtroom before trial and sitting in the courtroom with them, when permitted.
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from people with physical or mental health conditions, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) and LGBT+ communities. We are committed to offering a welcoming and inclusive environment to witnesses, staff, and volunteers.
Provide impartial support for both prosecution and defence witnesses.
Our trained volunteers provide practical help, emotional support and information to witnesses so that they feel valued, respected and informed and able to give their best evidence in court.
Witness Service volunteers need to have a caring, mature, supportive and empathetic manner towards others. You need to be friendly and approachable with good listening and verbal communication skills.
A non-judgemental, impartial and confidential approach to supporting others is essential.
Volunteers need to have respect for the diversity of all people, which includes commitment to the service’s objective of ensuring equal access is offered to all witnesses and and their supporters.
Volunteers need to be committed, trustworthy, discreet and prepared to adhere to Citizens Advice Witness Service standards to ensure we deliver a high standard of service to our witnesses and victims.
We need more volunteers at court locations across Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria.
Minimum commitment requirements are for 1 day per week (9am - 5pm) for a minimum of 12 months after accreditation. Some court locations can accommodate half day volunteers (9am - 1pm)
WE WILL REIMBURSE REASONABLE TRAVEL AND LUNCH EXPENSES.
BASIC IT SKILLS ARE NECESSARY TO VOLUNTEER WITH US - WE USE AN ONLINE TRAINING PLATFORM, EMAIL AS OUR PRIMARY COMMUNICATION TOOL, AND, ESPECIALLY DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES, VIDEO CALLS FOR VOLUNTEER MEETINGS AND EVENTS.
DUE TO THE NATURE OF OUR WORK, WE CAN ONLY ACCEPT VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE 18 OR OLDER.
Volunteers can benefit from a thorough training programme and full support throughout their accreditation period and beyond.
Other benefits include:
- Full dedicated staff member support
- Support from volunteer mentors.
- Direct experience supporting witnesses in a variety of cases
- Direct experience liaising with other court users. E.g. Crown prosecution Service, Ushers, Defence solicitors & domestic violence advocates.