A national charity is highlighting the effects of crime beyond the statistics with a new campaign during National Volunteer Week.
Victim Support Scotland (VSS) has set itself the target of recruiting 70 new volunteers between June 1 and 12 to help support victims of crime.
It provides skilled and trained volunteers support people affected by any crime, whether it is reported to the police or not.
Official figures show that 1 in 7 people in Scotland is a victim of crime each year, but behind the numbers are real people, real crimes and real victims.
All volunteers make a difference to real people affected by crime, whose physical and mental health can be affected adversely which can have a knock-on effect to well-being, relationships, work, family and finances. Many do so by providing emotional and practical support and information.
Ben, who was a victim of crime and was supported by the charity, said: “I finally feel more positive about life and am beginning to deal with the events of the past and the effects it has had on me.
“I am extremely relieved to know that Victim Support Scotland are there for me throughout. I cannot express my gratitude to all the staff and volunteers for what is an invaluable service.”
Volunteers with Victim Support Scotland develop their skills and knowledge while making a real difference to people in their communities.
Anyone can be affected by crime and anyone can apply to be a volunteer with Victim Support Scotland. The organisation emphasises that anyone who does not feel able to directly support victims or witnesses to crime there are other ways they can help. Skills in graphic design, fund-raising, governance are just some of what VSS is looking for.
Susan Gallagher, the charity’s acting CEO, said: “Volunteers are vital to supporting people affected by crime, without them we simply could not help those who need our services.
“Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of skills. We always welcome and encourage people to call and have a chat with us about how their skills may be able to help VSS. Volunteers are supported and provided with training to deliver the challenging but rewarding roles we have available.
Potential volunteers can find further information at www.victimsupportsco.org.uk or by calling the charity’s helpline on 0345 603 9213.