Victim Support Scotland has been in existence since 1985 supporting victims of crime and vulnerable witnesses. We have a presence across all parts of Scotland including Highlands, Western Isles and Moray. Within the team locally we have 5 employees and 30 volunteers. Across Scotland 100 employees and 400 volunteers.
I’m Robert Kay, Head of Service Delivery for the North of Scotland and Highlands Western Isles and Moray is one of three Localities that I support. The other two are Grampian Shetland and Orkney and Tayside. My colleague Alan Prosser is the Locality Manager and is responsible for overall service delivery in the area. Our service is delivered through a team of volunteers who provide emotional and practical support to those affected by crime whether reported to the police or not. The service can be delivered primarily on a face to face basis or over the phone. We are continuing to support on a face to face basis despite the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions and see the type of support increasing as these restrictions begin to ease. In addition we support vulnerable witnesses as they move through the overall court process.
The team in Highlands Western Isles and Moray are very focussed on raising awareness of our services and reaching out to the local business community is a key part of that. We want to highlight all aspects of our service delivery as crime can affect everyone from all areas within the community. Knowing that there are local services available is really important and as we move forward with our Chamber membership we want to meet as many members as possible. The team in Inverness are based in the Inverness Justice Centre and we look forward to inviting fellow members to our offices as soon as we can.
We currently have a relatively product called the Victims Fund. Those affected by crime can receive financial support as a direct result of the impact of a crime where they are unable to do so themselves. We have supported many people / families across Scotland over the last year and Alan would be more than happy to discuss in more detail whenever appropriate.
VSS has just undergone a Strategy Review and this is being rolled out across all areas of the organisation. At the centre of this is ensuring we continue to support Victims of Crime and Vulnerable Witnesses and making sure their voices are heard across the whole Justice Sector. In addition, it is critical that as our organisation grows our volunteer numbers increase as well. Our volunteers are critical in the delivery of all of our services.
ICC asked what we value most about our chamber membership: “Having the opportunity to interact with the local business community as we focus on raising awareness of the service we provide.”
Our top-tip to other chamber members to maximise their membership would be to take part in as many events and encourage colleagues within your business or organisation to get involved as well.