|Organisation:||Citizens Advice Witness Service|
|Location:||The Hedges, St Georges, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS22 7BU|
● Be able to volunteer during normal court hours (approximately 9am - 5pm Monday - Friday), we require a commitment of at least two days per month for at least 12 months (after accreditation). We welcome suggestions from applicants for flexible arrangements for example half days may be available in Magistrates Court. ● Attend all relevant training required for the role, including three days of core training, accreditation and refresher courses. Attend volunteer meetings and regular one-to-one support sessions
Main duties and responsibilities include:
• Giving witnesses and their supporters confidential support, guidance and information to make their experience of a criminal court more comfortable.
• Help witnesses cope with the emotional effects of giving evidence.
• Explaining court procedures, legal terminology and decisions.
• Showing witnesses and others around the courtroom before a trial so they are familiar and at ease in the environment.
• Listening to the concerns witnesses have, empathising with them, and advocating where appropriate.
• Helping witnesses prepare themselves for a range of possible trial outcomes.
• Going into the courtroom with a witness when it’s allowed.
• Ensuring that witnesses continue to get our assistance after court if they need it.
• Working as part of a team with other Witness Service volunteers and staff as well as liaising with court personnel.
The Witness Service became part of Citizens Advice in 2014, the service is based in all criminal courts and provides help and support for those who have been called to give evidence. The service provides support to both Prosecutor and Defence Witnesses within the Court environment and in relation to the outreach service at up to 8 weeks prior to the trial date.
Skills, qualities and experience required:
- Be friendly, caring, supportive and empathetic towards others
- Be non-judgemental and impartial in supporting all people
- Good communication skills; both written and verbal, as well as being a good listener
- Be able to work effectively as part of a team and build positive working relationships with a diverse range of people
- Be reliable, committed and flexible
- Resilience and willingness to adapt to change
- Having respect for the diversity of all people, this includes witnesses, fellow volunteers and staff.
- An understanding and commitment to the principles of confidentiality and information sharing as and when appropriate
- An understanding and commitment to work within the service’s values, procedures and policies, including confidentiality, data protection and ensuring equal access is offered to all witnesses and and their supporters
- Have at least basic IT skills and be willing to use internal IT systems and communication methods.
The ability to handle challenging situations and use your initiative, experience and training to solve problems and make appropriate decisions.
The role will require an Enhanced level DBS clearance
- Experience of working with people in a criminal justice setting
- Experience of supporting people with specific and varied needs
- Experience of providing 121 support
- Learn more about the Criminal Justice System in local area
|Expenses:||Yes (within CA Policy)|
|Induction:||Induction and shadowing available before and after training course|
|Special Needs:||to be advised|
|Offer:||ongoing support and training as part of volunteers personal development|
|Training:||3 days core training and following compulsory sessions 5-10 hours a year|
Application form, DBS Check, Interview, References