To give free and
confidential support and information to help witnesses and their supporters
(such as family and friends) deal with the experience of attending court to
Meeting and greeting
witnesses on arrival.
Providing information about the court
procedure and layout.
Showing people around a courtroom ahead of a
trial so that they are familiar with the environment (we call this a pre-trial
Listening to and empathising
with the concerns and anxieties that witnesses have.
Helping witnesses to prepare for possible
verdicts and sentences in their case.
Accompanying witnesses into court if
Explaining any legal jargon or decisions.
Referring witnesses to the
local Community Service office or other agencies as appropriate.
Working as part of a team and keeping the
local Witness Service Co-Ordinator up-to-date on developments.
Liaising with other court staff as required.
Providing additional support when special
measures are requested.
As well as these daily
activities, volunteers will be required to attend regular supervision and team
meetings as part of the role.
Person Specification & Role Requirements:
In order to be considered for this volunteer
role you must be able to demonstrate how you meet the following criteria. This
will be assessed at interview and throughout training and your trial period.
Final selection of volunteers is only made on completion of a trial period,
during which the below criteria will continue to be assessed.
Commitment to undertake the full Core Learning
training course and all essential training to be able to carry out the
Ability to work as part of a team – support
your fellow volunteers, attend and contribute to team meetings, work together
to ensure all victims and witnesses are supported.
Good timekeeping and reliability – committing
a minimum of 1 day per week to volunteering activities, arriving in good time
and giving advanced notice where you can’t attend.
Ability to work independently and use own
initiative within Witness Service guidance and boundaries.
Willingness and ability to work within a
framework of Equal Opportunities – supporting all clients regardless of
background and with a non-judgmental approach.
Ability to treat all company and client
information in the strictest confidence.
skills in English, with the ability to adapt communication styles to suit a
wide range of people from varying backgrounds.
Ability to adhere to Victim
Support NI’s policies and procedures
Good literacy skills
(English language) – to enable completion of paperwork to record meetings.
Experience with supporting other people in a
mature and caring way – this may be in a work, voluntary or personal setting.
Ability to separate your own and your clients’
experiences and maintain professionalism in all situations.
Disclosure of any criminal
record held - Access NI and Court clearance checks on your criminal record are
required before volunteering activities can commence.
What you can expect from us:
Induction and Training Victim Support NI
provides full induction and training for our volunteer roles. Our initial
training, which we call Core Learning, is accredited at level 3 with the Open
College Network. You can receive accreditation by completing post training
learning journals and delivering a minimum of 5 support sessions in court, with
an assessment of your support skills at the end of your trial period.
Accreditation is optional and there is no cost to you for receiving the OCN
On completion of your trial
period (see below) you will be asked to attend suicide intervention training.
This is compulsory training and is carried out over 2 consecutive days,
normally on week days but may be arranged at weekends on occasion
As well as this compulsory
training we offer ongoing optional training courses for volunteers and you will
complete a skills audit with your Coordinator to identify any training areas
that may be applicable. We also provide ongoing training through volunteer
supervision and team meetings.
On completion of Core Learning you will begin
a trial period in your local office, where you will have the chance to shadow
staff and experienced volunteers while they support clients. You will then
start to lead support sessions while being shadowed by a volunteer or staff
member, who will support and feedback to you to help you become confident in
the role. You must complete a minimum of 5 supervised support sessions and you
will then be assessed on your support skills by our Learning & Development
team. You must demonstrate the required skillset in order to be confirmed in
the volunteer role at the end of the trial period.
Supervision Witness Service Co-Ordinators
will support volunteers through regular supervision and volunteer team
meetings. These are primarily to offer you support in managing this challenging
volunteer role and to discuss in confidence any concerns or issues you or we
What is the time commitment? We need volunteers to commit to be available for a minimum of 9.30am to 4.00pm one day per week (weekdays only). You will also be expected to attend ongoing training and meetings. You should be able to commit at least 1 year to volunteering with us.
Expenses Volunteers will be
reimbursed for any reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while training
and volunteering, usually on a monthly basis.
All Witness Service
volunteers will be required to undergo Access NI disclosure checks and Court
clearance checks. Victim Support NI will pay the cost for obtaining these