West Lothian Victim Support service urgently needs more volunteers

Victim Support Co-ordinator Stephanie Simpson and volunteer Gordon -Credit:Stuart Vance/ReachPlc
Victim Support Co-ordinator Stephanie Simpson and volunteer Gordon -Credit:Stuart Vance/ReachPlc

Victim Support Scotland (VSS) is searching for more volunteers in Livingston to help continue its work supporting victims and witnesses of crime.

VSS, an independent charity that provides free and tailored support to anyone affected by crime in Scotland, requires volunteers in Livingston and is urging local people to sign up to help deliver much-needed emotional and practical support to the people who need it.

VSS provides a range of bespoke, personal support to individuals and families dealing with the impact of crime in Scotland. This support may be providing advice during visits to court, including Livingston Sherriff Court, to help demystify the process providing emotional support, signposting specialist or professional services or just being there to listen. All support is geared towards helping them know there can be a way forward.

Volunteers are essential to VSS’s operation.

By committing just a few hours each week, volunteers can have a transformative impact on victims and witnesses, as well as their friends and families.

Ensuring that victims and witnesses of crimes are supported, Victim Support Scotland is also able to provide dedicated facilities such as a remote court suite in Glasgow which offers victims and witnesses the opportunity to participate in trials away from the courtroom. The suites, which offer the ability to provide Evidence by Commissioner (EBC) create safe, managed, trauma-informed environments where witnesses are supported to provide their best evidence as early as possible.

Once enrolled, VSS volunteers receive comprehensive hands-on training and day to day support to ensure they have the skills and resources to provide the support that is required.

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: “Volunteers are the backbone of our organisation, and we need more of them in Livingston to ensure we can continue to deliver vital services to the people who need it most in these areas.

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland -Credit:© Julie Broadfoot
Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland -Credit:© Julie Broadfoot

“Our dedicated teams provide a broad range of support to help people affected by crime take control and move forward with their lives. Our work helps ease concerns and anxieties and offers comfort and hope to people in our own communities. Without volunteers, these services wouldn’t be possible.”

Because of the level of training and support required, as well as the relationships built with people affected by crime, VSS asks that all volunteers can provide a minimum amount of time over the course of a year. In an effort to make volunteering with the organisation more accessible though, it has recently developed a new more flexible way of volunteering.

Kate Wallace said: “Our new four-hours per week initiative opens up even more options for full-time workers, students, and stay-at-home parents to make volunteering with VSS work around their lives. We hope this will allow more people in Livingston to spend a small amount of time helping others and making a real difference in people’s lives.

“VSS is an inclusive organisation so we encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch as we push towards supporting even more people affected by crime in Scotland.”

For more information on Victim Support Scotland’s volunteer recruitment campaign and volunteering opportunities, go to: www.victimsupport.scot/volunteertoday

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