|Organisation:||Citizens Advice Witness Service|
|Location:||The Hedges, St Georges, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS22 7BU|
The commitment of an outreach volunteer is varied depending on the requirements of the witness being supported. The role requires a great deal of flexibility, volunteers should do their best to commit to supporting at least one witness with outreach per month. This will include: ○ Telephone contact, to maintain contact both before and after the trial. ○ Out of court visits at a time and place that suits the witness, which may be in the evenings until 6.30pm and on Saturday mornings until 11.30am. ○ Providing a pre-trial visit as required ○ Attending court on the day(s) of trial when the witness is giving evidence. ○ Possible follow up support visits and attending the court again for sentencing if required. ● Attend all relevant training and refresher courses that the role requires, (including 3 days core training), 2 days of outreach training, accreditation and refresher courses. ● Attend volunteer meetings and regular one-to-one support sessions.
Main duties and responsibilities include:
● To make an initial visit and carefully assess the needs of witnesses in relation to attending court. Together with the witness and where appropriate their carer/ support worker/ parent/ guardian, develop a tailored plan of preparation and support.
● Make further visits, according to their needs, to help prepare the witnesses and manage their expectation about the process of the trial, the verdict and the sentence.
● Invite the witness to have a pre-trial visit and explain how this may help, liaise this visit with the court based staff.
● Assist the court based Witness Service volunteer in providing support on the day, accompanying the witness into the courtroom when permitted and as appropriate.
● Ensuring that witnesses continue to receive our assistance after court if they need it, for example: offering a debrief session after the trial, support at the sentencing hearing and with follow up contact in one/two weeks to see how they are.
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:
1. Be friendly, caring, supportive and empathetic towards others
2. Be non-judgemental and impartial in supporting all people, with the confidence to support vulnerable people and people with specific needs
3. Good communication skills; both written and verbal, as well as being a good listener
4. Be able to work effectively on your own and as part of a team, building positive working relationships with a diverse range of people
5. Be reliable, committed, flexible and have the ability to travel
6. Having respect for the diversity of all people, this includes witnesses, fellow volunteers and staff
7. Must be resilient and adaptable, with the ability to handle challenging situations
8. Good problem solving skills with the ability to use your initiative, experience, training to make appropriate decisions.
9. 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
10. Have at least basic IT skills and be willing to use internal IT systems and communication methods
Desirable: Have experience of at least one of the following:
● working with/supporting children and young people
● working with/supporting people with learning disabilities
● working with/supporting people with mental health issues
The role will require an Enhanced level DBS clearance
|Special Needs:||Dependant on needs.|
|Offer:||Yes ongoing support and training|
Application form, DBS Check, Interview, References