National Support Centre support volunteers
For many people affected by crime, talking to us via our helpline or webchat service is the first step towards moving forward after a crime.
Our National Support Centre volunteers assist in running our helpline and webchat services, providing a safe space for victims, witnesses, or their families to talk about their experiences, ask questions and find further information.
Our volunteers arrange the support they need most from our Community & Court Services, where we can also refer them to specialist organisations.
As an NSC volunteer, you will hear about a number of issues from victims and witnesses who are looking for information about court processes, with others asking if we can help with safety or neighbourhood dispute issues. We often take calls from people who are victims of theft, cyber-bullying or assault, as well as those who may be in an abusive relationship and don’t know where to turn for help.
You will be trained to confidently support victims and witnesses using trauma-informed principals, which will enhance your communication and interpersonal skills, which can be useful in all stages of your life and career.
Our National Support Centre volunteers can expect to complete the following tasks:
- Answer incoming helpline enquiries
- Make outbound calls to service users
- Respond to webchat enquiries
- Provide relevant support and information to anyone affected by crime
- Promote VSS’ support and make referrals to our local services
- Link service users with specialist organisations
- Update our database record system
Learning & Development opportunities
Volunteers will be required to undergo in-depth learning and development, through online self study, virtual workshops and supervised support. This will equip you with the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to provide high quality support to victims and witnesses of crime.
Getting the most out of volunteering
We know that our volunteers have busy lives, so we agree time commitment with each individual volunteer. However, we ask for:
A minimum commitment of approximately eight hours a week, to make a lasting impact on people’s lives.
A minimum commitment of at least one year, ideally two, so that you might get the most out of development opportunities and your support experience.
Volunteering with us can be challenging, but also extremely rewarding. As a volunteer you will gain many benefits, such as:
- Supporting people when they most need it, helping them to recover from what can be a very distressing time in their life and empowering them to move forward
- Learning new skills and gaining experience of working within the criminal justice sector
- Gaining access to a range of training courses that are relevant to your volunteering role
- Positively affecting your community as a member of a team actively working to reduce the impact of crime
As a volunteer with Victim Support Scotland, you can expect:
- Support in your volunteering role to deliver services effectively
- Training and development to give you any further skills you need to support people effectively
- Reimbursement of all reasonable expenses (e.g. travel)
We are looking for committed, reliable and empathetic volunteers who can work with people of all ages, backgrounds and life situations. Knowledge of the criminal justice system and experience of supporting people is beneficial, however we will provide training and support. As a helpline volunteer you will need:
- Effective communication skills
- The ability to actively listen to service users and anyone affected by crime
- A non-judgemental approach to working with people from all sections of the community
- An interest in learning about the criminal justice system and understanding the challenges a service user might face
- An awareness of confidentiality obligations and your responsibility to uphold these
- Good IT skills
The people we support come from all communities across Scotland, as do our volunteers. We welcome new volunteers from all backgrounds and languages.
If you have any questions about this volunteering opportunity, please contact us using the Volunteer option and we can discuss via email or phone.
Recruitment and induction process
We are committed to the welfare and protection of children and protected adults and have a duty to ensure the suitability of any individual who volunteers with the organisation.
To ensure we provide the best possible service to people affected by crime, we ask all volunteers to follow our recruitment and induction process. This involves:
- Completing our volunteer registration form
- Completing our criminal offences self-declaration form
- Undertaking a Disclosure Scotland check and joining the PVG scheme, paid for by VSS
- Providing two satisfactory references
- Participating in an online Discovery Session to ensure this is the right opportunity for you
- Attending an interview
- Participating in an online Welcome Session
- Undertaking in-depth training and development
- Signing and abiding by Victim Support Scotland’s confidentiality agreement; data protection commitment; and volunteer agreement