When people are affected by crime or traumatic events, it's crucial they have the help they need to deal with what's happened. Victim support and charities that help with this play a vital role in encouraging people to get through a range of difficult circumstances.
Why Volunteer With A Victim Support Charity?
Victim support charities rely on volunteers to help them with a wide range of things. Whether it's providing direct support or helping out behind the scenes, most charities couldn't operate without the amazing work of volunteers.
You can join a massive movement of people when you decide to volunteer, and you know that your time's being put to good use with something like victim support. It can be really fulfilling to help someone come out the other side after a traumatic event, and you may find yourself meeting lots of great new people and picking up some valuable new skills too.
How To Help Victim Support Charities
BECOME A COMMUNITY SUPPORT VOLUNTEER
Some of the UK's biggest victim support charities need volunteers who offer practical and emotional support to the people that live in their local area. As well as listening and providing support to people who need it, as a victim support volunteer you'll also play a role in identifying who needs what kind of help.
BECOME AN ONLINE SUPPORT VOLUNTEER
The way we communicate has changed, and although you may still prefer to volunteer with a telephone helpline or in a face-to-face role, more and more people prefer to seek help online. Some charities have online chat features where you may be the first point of contact for someone who needs help.
HELP WITH SUPPORTING CHILDREN
Charities like Place2Be provide support to children who may be the victim of things like bullying, domestic violence, neglect and trauma. With the aim of intervening as early as possible, you could help to positively shape young lives by getting involved with the services provided to schools. Or, you could help behind the scenes, such as volunteering in an office.
SHARE YOUR SKILLS
If you have professional skills that could help either children or adults, providing them to a charity for free is an amazing way to help. Perhaps you're a trained counsellor who could tailor their skillset towards victim support, or you have experience working with children through an educational or health role. Even a few hours a month could make a huge difference to people who need your help.
SPONSOR A CHILD
Whether it's abuse, being forced into marriage at an early age or being subjected to genital mutilation, children around the world are subject to things they should never have to see or experience. Charities such as Plan International UK allow you to choose a child to sponsor and keep in touch with them to see how you're making a difference to their life. This could be a good idea if you're looking to supplement your volunteering work, or if you don't have much time to spare.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
If you're volunteering in a role where you deal with children, you should expect to go through appropriate background checks.
Providing victim support can be emotionally challenging, but you should receive training on how to deal with this, so don't let it put you off.
Where To Get Started
If you're looking to get involved with a charity you could take a look at:
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