Call for volunteers to support victims and witnesses of crime across Scotland

Nationwide recruitment drive targets 200 more volunteers with new flexible volunteering initiative

20 May, 2024

Victim Support Scotland (VSS) is searching for more than 200 volunteers across the country to help continue its work supporting victims and witnesses of crime in Scotland.

VSS, an independent charity that provides free and tailored support to anyone affected by crime, is urging people living throughout Scotland to sign up to help deliver much-needed emotional and practical support to the people who need it.

VSS provides a range of bespoke, personal support to individuals and families dealing with the impact of crime in Scotland. This may be by providing advice during court visits to help demystify the process, signposting specialist or professional support services or just being there to listen.

Volunteers are essential to VSS’s operations and, by committing just a few hours each week, have a transformative impact on victims and witnesses, as well as their friends and families.

The organisation is also able to provide dedicated facilities such as a remote court suite which offers victims and witnesses the opportunity to participate in trials away from the courtroom and the specialist Evidence by Commissioner (EBC) suites which create safe, managed, trauma-informed environments where witnesses are supported to provide their best evidence as early as possible. The national EBC suites scheme recently received a further £2 million investment from Scottish Government, with an additional £0.5 million allocated towards developing suites at VSS’s Edinburgh office.

Once enrolled, VSS volunteers receive comprehensive hands-on training and day to day support to ensure they have the skills and resources to provide the support that is required.

Jane Lynn, a former lawyer who volunteers in Edinburgh, said her role with VSS allowed her to maintain her connection to law when she was unable to return to work after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

She said: “VSS was the perfect way I could maintain my link to law but on a completely different footing. I really missed being in the workplace but with VSS I was able to build my social network and connect with people in a different environment while challenging myself and building my confidence. It’s wonderful that VSS support not only goes outwards to service users but inwards to employees and volunteers too.

“I’m really enjoying being able to give back to the community – there’s really no downside to giving up a few hours of your week. It’s made a big difference to me and the way I feel about myself and the contribution I feel I’m making to society.”

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: “Volunteers are the backbone of our organisation, and we need more of them across Scotland to ensure we can continue to deliver vital services to the people who need it most.

“Our dedicated teams provide a broad range of support to help people affected by crime take control and move forward with their lives. Our work helps ease concerns and anxieties and offers comfort and hope to people in our own communities. Without volunteers, these services wouldn’t be possible.”

Because of the level of training and support required, as well as the relationships built with people affected by crime, VSS asks that all volunteers can provide a minimum amount of time over the course of a year. In an effort to make volunteering with the organisation more accessible though, it has recently developed a new more flexible way of volunteering.

Kate Wallace said: “Our new four-hours per week initiative opens up even more options for full-time workers, students, and stay-at-home parents to make volunteering with VSS work around their lives. We hope this will allow more people to spend a small amount of time helping others and making a real difference in people’s lives.

“VSS is an inclusive organisation so we encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch as we push towards supporting even more people affected by crime in Scotland.”

For more information on Victim Support Scotland’s volunteer recruitment campaign and volunteering opportunities, go to: