Victim Support workers there to help

400 volunteers keep operation going 24 hours





Every year, thousands of New Zealanders are affected by crime, trauma, and suicide. Victim Support operates nationwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it couldn’t do what it does without its 400 volunteers. Victim Support volunteers come from all walks of life, just like those who need their help. They make a huge difference in their communities by supporting victims in their times of need across a wide range of events from burglary and assault to sudden bereavement. They are a patient ear to listen and talk, while also providing practical information to help victims find safety, healing, and justice. Volunteer Support workers receive comprehensive training and are closely supported by locally based staff and experienced volunteers. They will visit victims in their home, at the police station, at the scene of an incident or provide support over the phone. They don’t have to be qualified counsellors or social workers, they just need to be patient and a good listener, with the empathy and resilience to help others under pressure. Volunteers have a wide range of motivations for joining Victim Support, ranging from having their own experiences of crime and trauma, to studying a subject like criminology at university, to having worked in an allied profession such as policing or law, to simply wanting to give something back. Our volunteers get as much from their work as they give. Volunteer Support worker Martyn says, “Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing much in the grand scheme of things, and how could people possibly be getting anything out of your support? “Then you’ll give someone a ring to check in and they’ll say how nice it is to have someone to talk to that isn’t family or friends, someone removed from the situation. “It’s work that’s very rewarding and very worthwhile.”