What is your role at Victim Support?
I'm a Volunteer Support Worker and started volunteering in September 2015.
What inspired you to volunteer and what motivates you to keep volunteering with Victim Support?
After a close family member of mine was a victim of a serious crime, I saw for myself how much victims can be impacted by crime. Physically they can be seriously affected, but the psychological and social impacts can also become deeply rooted. For this reason, I wanted to join an organisation that specialised in helping victims of crime.
So, during my gap year I decided to apply for the volunteer role as a Support Worker. One thing that motivates me to keep volunteering is the positive response from victims, who sometimes say that all they need is someone to talk to.
What are your main volunteer duties?
The role involves either speaking to people over the phone, or carrying out home visits, where I offer emotional support to victims. I also offer practical support, which might involve helping people to fill out forms, or speaking to other organisations on behalf of victims. In doing this, I liaise with several other services, including the police and housing associations.
What do you think is unique about volunteering with Victim Support?
One thing that is unique about volunteering with Victim Support is that (in a good way!) it is a lot of work. It is not an average volunteering role and you are always kept on your toes! I also believe another unique quality about volunteering with Victim Support is the great skills I have gained. Victim Support offers other specialist areas in which you can volunteer, such as domestic violence and young people. There are always a range of different options to move to and progress.
What would you say to people thinking about volunteering with Victim Support?
I would say definitely make sure you have one day during the week free to do your volunteering. Read up well on the roles you will be required to do as it can be challenging, but the hard work is worth it!
What three words would you use to describe your volunteering experience?
Intense, enjoyable and fulfilling.
If you'd like to volunteer for Victim Support like Monique, find out how you can get involved on our volunteering pages.