10 vol­un­teers needed for ser­vice

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

Cen­tral Otago Vic­tim Sup­port is in des­per­ate need of vol­un­teers with the ser­vice un­able to man­age the num­ber of peo­ple need­ing help af­ter be­ing a tar­get of crime or suf­fer­ing trauma in the re­gion. Vic­tim Sup­port ser­vice co­or­di­na­tor Rachael Brown said the sup­port ser­vice was un­der­staffed and ev­ery town in the re­gion was cry­ing out for more helpers. There were 12 sup­port staff work­ing through­out the district and at least an­other 10 were needed, Ms Brown said. Cromwell and Roxburgh were ex­tremely un­der-staffed ar­eas, she said. ‘‘Car crash, sud­den death, bur­glary - th­ese are the trau­mas New Zealan­ders can face on any given day. Vic­tim sup­port is there to ease the bur­den,’’ Ms Brown said. Ev­ery­day about 1000 crimes were re­ported to po­lice across New Zealand. Of the 14,000 se­ri­ous crimes re­ported across the coun­try last year, Cen­tral Otago vol­un­teers pro­vided sup­port to 315 vic­tims of se­ri­ous crime.

Those who were good lis­ten­ers, had em­pa­thy and were non-judg­men­tal were the qual­i­ties of per­son needed in the role. Vol­un­teers helped vic­tims cope with grief and worked closely with po­lice, of­ten go­ing with po­lice to no­tify fam­i­lies of a sud­den death. ‘‘It would be great to give them (cur­rent vol­un­teers) some down­time,’’ Ms Brown said. The ser­vice will be host­ing a vol­un­teers drive in March in a bid to get more helpers on board, she said. Cen­tral Otago sub area com­man­der se­nior sergeant Ian Ker­risk said ‘‘why Vic­tim Sup­port is so im­por­tant is that they can spend that ex­tra time with vic­tims and their fam­i­lies’’. Emer­gency ser­vices crews from po­lice, fire and am­bu­lance all worked to­gether to pro­vide the best out­come in a sit­u­a­tion and Vic­tim Sup­port ser­vices were an­other im­por­tant branch of that, Mr Ker­risk said. The next train­ing ses­sion for those who are will­ing to be­come a sup­port vol­un­teer would take place be­tween March 22 and 24.

Photo: CHE BAKER 627642612

Back­ing: Cen­tral Otago sub area com­man­der se­nior sergeant Ian Ker­risk.

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