Supporting people during the coronavirus outbreak is challenging but worthwhile

3 June, 2020

Marie, a volunteer in South Lanarkshire, describes what she loves about volunteering and writes about the difficulties supporting people during the coronavirus lockdown.

I have volunteered with Victim Support Scotland in South Lanarkshire for seven years. After I retired, I worked at various volunteering posts, then I saw the advert for Victim Support Scotland and felt that it was something that I would find challenging and rewarding. I applied to volunteer and have never looked back.

I love the work I do as a volunteer as I can support, listen and guide victims of crime who, because of circumstances, need our service at that particular time. It is so inspiring when you are told that you have made a difference to someone by listening and not judging them and offering ongoing support if required.

I would certainly recommend Victim Support Scotland to anyone who is looking to volunteer as the development is great with ongoing training offered continually. Once you have completed your initial training, there is always support available as you help victims and witnesses which gives you confidence. My support coordinator is superb and has so much experience. She is always there to support me and help with anything that is worrying me.

The current coronavirus lockdown is affecting the people we support and the type of crimes which are referred to us. Speaking to a victim in person means I can make them feel relaxed before speaking about the crime. However, with the current lockdown measures, we cannot see the people we are supporting, and I am finding it difficult not speaking face to face. Talking to victims over the phone makes it much harder to connect with someone, especially when it is a rape case which is sensitive.

At a time when people are feeling isolated and unsure about what will happen with COVID-19, the support we are providing to people is extremely worthwhile. Lockdown measures make dealing with a crime even harder. A crime can majorly impact someone’s life, but it makes a difference knowing that, with everything happening right now, there is someone at the end of the phone who is interested and truly cares.