Witness Service Court Based Volunteer - Ipswich Crown & Magistrates' Court
Purpose of the role:
To support witnesses (and their friends and families) through the experience of attending court and giving evidence.
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.
You must be able to volunteer during normal court hours (approximately 9am - 5pm), we require a commitment of at least two days per month (minimum) for at least 12 months (after accreditation).
Complete all relevant training required for the role, including core training, accreditation and refresher courses.
Attend volunteer meetings and regular one-to-one support session
Required Education, Skills and Qualifications:
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
Contribute to service’s aims of supporting witnesses within a dynamic team.
Training, accreditation and continued development and support in the role.
Gain valuable experience and development of interpersonal skills.
To have a positive impact in your community and on people’s lives, the witnesses and their supporters.
You will receive payment of agreed expenses.
To provide practical and emotional support and information to witnesses attending Crown and Magistrate Courts so that they are able to give their best evidence.