Three-year funding package for Victim Support Scotland

Today, 19 April 2018, the Scottish Government announced a three-year funding package for Victim Support Scotland (VSS).

19 April, 2018

A new service led by VSS will provide free, practical and emotional support to victims of crime across the country.

VSS has been awarded £13.8 million over three years, part of which will provide for a new homicide service giving families of murder victims access to a dedicated case worker and continuous support.

We will also lead on the development of a new ‘victim centered’ approach, working with partners to streamline points of contact, improve information flow and ensure victims of crime feel supported through the criminal justice system. This will reduce the need for victims to have to retell their story to several different organisations as they seek help.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson announced the funding on a visit to VSS in Edinburgh where he met VSS Chief Executive, Kate Wallace, and Bea Jones, founder of The Moira Fund and mother of Moira Jones who was murdered in Queens Park, Glasgow in 2008.

He said:

“I am aware that victims and their families often have to turn to multiple  organisations to get information about the criminal justice process and find out what support they are entitled to receive. This can feel like they are being passed from one organisation to another – adding to their trauma when they are most vulnerable.

“I want to improve the situation and that is why I am announcing funding for VSS to work in partnership with criminal justice and victim support bodies to develop a new approach. Along with the Homicide Service it will ease the journey for victims and their families, whether or not they engage with the criminal justice process.”

Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of VSS said:

“We’re delighted with the shift to three-year funding which provides us with greater long-term stability to enhance the front-line support we provide for people affected by crime. The creation of the Homicide Service and the victim-centred approach are also very positive new developments and we will be working closely with all our partners to make these a reality.”

Bea Jones, who has campaigned for greater support in Scotland for families bereaved through murder said:

“This is an important step and one which will have a positive impact on many lives in Scotland. It will ensure more families will be helped than before, and that those families will get the right support, at the right time and from the right people. I’m pleased that in Moira’s name her charity has played a part in bringing about today’s news and that it enriches her legacy.”

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