Victim Support Scotland National Conference 2019 – Victims and Witnesses First

Victim Support Scotland held its national conference on Wednesday 27 November 2019 at The Barracks in Stirling.

We were delighted to be the first major conference for this new venue, which is run by the charity the Robertson Trust.

The main aim of the conference was to gather Victim Support Scotland employees and volunteers from across Scotland together for the first time since we realigned our services, to allow us to consider how best we can deliver on our strategy of putting victims and witnesses first. The day gave recognition to our work, a chance to consider the next phase of our development, as well as providing professional training and networking opportunities.

Around 120 delegates were in attendance, and we heard from a number of keynote speakers:

  • Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, looked at the challenges and opportunities in the criminal justice system
  • Paul McGee, motivational speaker, explored kinder conversations in the workplace
  • Mary Glasgow, CEO of the charity Children 1st talked about partnership working between both Children 1st and Victim Support Scotland and what this means for child victims and witnesses
  • Lynn Burns from the Victims Taskforce gave her personal reflections on experiencing the criminal justice system.

The Cabinet Secretary also presented some of our colleagues with Long Service Awards, alongside VSS’ Chair Jon Turner, for their hard work and dedication towards improving the lives of those affected by crime.

Graphic illustrator Graham Ogilvie creatively capture the main themes and discussions points throughout the day.

Delegates were given the opportunity to attend two workshops out of a series of eight which covered a range of topics: building resilience in the workplace; the difference that partnerships can make; stress busting and health and wellbeing; getting equality right for all; and putting the experience of victims first.

The day ended with delegates writing their own personal pledges of what they would aim to change within the workplace based on their learning from the day.