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Demand grows for Victim Support and Witness Service

Demand grows for Victim Support and Witness Service

Sunday 30 September 2018

Demand grows for Victim Support and Witness Service

Sunday 30 September 2018

Growing demand for its services has meant the local charity that runs the Victim Support and Witness Service has had to complete another round of training volunteers.

The charity was set up in 1998 to help victims and has developed to support people who are witnesses in Guernsey’s court system. In that first year the Charity helped more than 400 people and it was realised how much the services were needed.

Now working with more than 800 people every year, additional volunteers have been recruited.

Amanda Winkett, Manager of the Service, said: "It is very satisfying to see a volunteer help someone else and at the same time get so much back from the time they give.

“Most of our 21 volunteers have been with us for more than three years, some for 20 years. But as well as expanding the service, we do need to replace retiring volunteers from time to time, making sure the new people are fully trained and keeping the established team refreshed and up to date.

“Because we work so closely with professionals from the court system, the police and other officials, few people realise we are a charity. Most people don’t know that the people escorting witnesses around the court or helping those who have been through the trauma of a crime are volunteers, helping to make difficult experiences easier for others. The high standards of knowledge, commitment and conduct of the team is something we are really proud of.”

The three latest recruits have now completed their initial Victim Support and Witness training and will soon undertake additional training along with some of our established volunteers who take regular update and refresher training. 

Amongst the established team is Tony Goss who, along with his wife Ann, first volunteered twenty years ago when the service was set up in Guernsey.

“The ongoing training sessions provide us with extra knowledge on difficult aspects like domestic violence and sexual abuse which give us more confidence and knowledge to support victims. It is extremely interesting and rewarding to be able to look after someone at a very difficult and traumatic time for them. Victim and Witness support is not a high profile charity - however people are very grateful that it is here in Guernsey for them when it is needed.”

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