Meet more vulnerable and intimidated witnesses away from the court environment, either at their home if safe to do so, or at an agreed community venue. Witnesses will include children and young people, people with learning disabilities, and people with mental health issues
We carry out risk assessments, provide training, and use a ‘call-in’ system to keep volunteers safe.
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.
1) Make an initial visit and assess the needs of vulnerable witnesses in relation to attending court. Develop a tailored plan of preparation and support.
2) Make further visits, according to their needs, to help prepare the witnesses and manage their expectations about the process of the trial, the verdict and the sentence.
3) Invite the witness to have a pre-trial visit, liaise with the court based staff to arrange the visit.
4) Work with court based volunteers in providing support on the day, accompanying the witness into the courtroom when permitted and as appropriate.
5) Ensuring that witnesses continue to receive our assistance after court if they need it, for example: offering a debrief session after the trial.
You don’t need specific qualifications but you’ll need to:
1) Be friendly, caring, supportive and empathetic towards others.
2) Be non-judgemental and impartial.
3) Have good communication skills; both written and verbal, as well as being a good listener.
4) The ability to travel, use of a personal car will be required.
To Cover all of the Durham area if needed, this can be discussed at interview.
We use an online training course, alongside shadowing staff and/or volunteers. The full training programme can take up to 12 weeks to complete. We pay full travel expenses.
What's in it for you?
1) Contribute to the service’s aims of supporting witnesses.
2) Training, accreditation and continued personal development and support in the role.
3) Use your skills and life experiences to help others.
4) The chance to take on additional internal roles such as volunteer mentor.
5) Gain valuable experience and development of interpersonal skills.
6) Have a positive impact in your community and on the lives of witnesses and their supporters.
7) Reimbursement of agreed expenses.
The commitment of an outreach volunteer is varied depending on the requirements of the witness being supported. The role requires a great deal of flexibility, volunteers should do their best to commit to supporting at least one witness with outreach per month.