Meet the Volunteers
Meet Brian Robbie, a Volunteer Advocate at Victims First Northumbria…
“After 30 years I retired as a senior officer in the fire service. During this time, I took on various roles volunteering for the brigade, some of which I continued with until recently. I also took on the role of Sunderland life boat station manager for some years and am still a panel member for the Youth Offending Service.
“When I heard about volunteering opportunities with Victims First Northumbria, I was keen to apply and was delighted to be accepted. I soon began my training - this was mainly to improve my communication skills and to learn more about Victims First and the practical and emotional support it offers to victims of crime. The training was great – really friendly and engaging. The trainees welcomed our input and after some role play sessions I was ready to begin my role, with the support of the full time co-ordinators.
“How it works is - once or twice a week, a member of the team at Victims First updates me of the cases that need my support each week and I am informed of the assistance that has already been placed by Victims First. Ways in which I can help the victim further include: providing regular telephone support or occasional check in calls, attending appointments with the victim and supporting the victim at court.
“I volunteer because I want to help victims cope and recover from their experience. Through this work I am able to help a range of people from all sorts of backgrounds who are facing difficulties as a result of being a victim of crime.
“For me, it’s very rewarding to see how someone, who comes to us as a victim without hope, can with our help and support, move on with their lives. The healing may take weeks or much longer and for some, but, talking it through and seeking professional help can make such a difference. Eventually hearing the words ‘Thank you, I don't need help anymore’ means one thing – success. It really is a worthwhile role.” - Brian
Call us: 0800 011 3116