Witness Service Outreach Volunteer

To meet Vulnerable and Intimidated witnesses (VIW) away from the court environment, either at their home or other agreed safe place. To assess their needs and provide support to help reduce their anxiety and enable them to give their best evidence.


Main duties and responsibilities include:


  • To make an initial visit and carefully assess the needs of VIWs in relation to attending court
  • Together with the VIW, and where appropriate their carer / support worker / parent / guardian, develop a tailored plan of preparation and support
  • Make further visits, according to their needs, to help prepare the witnesses and manage their expectation about the process of the trial, the verdict and the sentence
  • Invite the VIW to have a pre-trial visit and explain how this may help, liaise this visit with the court based staff
  • Assist the court based Witness Service volunteer in providing support on the day, accompanying the witness into the courtroom when permitted and as appropriate
  • Ensuring that witnesses continue to receive our assistance after court if they need it, including a de-brief after the trial, at sentencing hearing and with follow up contact in one / two weeks to see how they are


    The courts are:


    1. Newcastle Crown Court
    2. Newcastle Magistrates
    3. Gateshead Magistrates

Skills

  • Be friendly, caring, supportive and empathetic towards others
  • Be non-judgemental and impartial in supporting all people, with the confidence to support vulnerable people and people with specific needs
  • Good communication skills; both written and verbal, as well as being a good listener
  • Be able to work effectively on your own and as part of a team, building positive working relationships with a diverse range of people
  • Be reliable, committed, flexible and have the ability to travel
  • Having respect for the diversity of all people, this includes witnesses, fellow volunteers and  staff
  • Must be resilient and adaptable, with the ability to handle challenging situation
  • Good problem solving skills with the ability to use your initiative, experience, training to make appropriate decisions
  • An understanding and commitment to work within the service's values, procedures and policies, including confidentiality, data protection and ensuring equal access is offered to all witnesses and and their supporters
  • Have at least basic IT skills and be willing to use internal IT systems and communication methods
  • must be able to drive
  • Have experience of at least one of the following:


  1. Working with / supporting children and young people
  2. Working with / supporting people with learning disabilities
  3. Working with / supporting people with mental health issues


Details

  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Ongoing support
  • Training provided

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 18/07/2023

End Date: 18/12/2024

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Afternoon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

Out of court visits at a time and place that suits the VIW, which may be in the evenings until 6.30pm and on Saturday mornings until 11.30am.

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