Victim Support seeking help
When the worst happens, Wakatipu Victim Support is there to help. Now the organisation is seeking assistance for itself.
‘‘We’d like the town to know we’ve always been there for them and we’d like them to be there for us for a change,’’ Wakatipu chairwoman and volunteer Fae Robertson said.
The volunteer crew of about 15 work rosters to make themselves available for those in need during some of Queenstown’s darkest moments. Usually the call comes from the police, but it can be individuals or other emergency services who see someone in need.
Now, with two staff on leave of absence and another leaving, they need more volunteers to train and be a part of their work.
Wakatipu and Central Otago Victim Support co-ordinator Rachael Brown said the trained volunteers work with people affected by crime or trauma to assist them through their ordeal.
‘‘We empower – not rescue. Being a volunteer is not about feeling good about yourself – it’s about giving back to your community,’’ she said.
Robertson is a veteran of 19 years with the organisation in Queenstown and has assisted in practical ways and giving support in many sad cases. She is expecting work to increase as the busy winter months approach.
Often it was tourists who need help, or workers in town for the season. Wakatipu and Central Otago Victim Support co-ordinator Rachael Brown and Wakatipu Victim Support chairwoman and volunteer Fae Robertson are seeking new volunteers for the organisation.
Photo: Debbie Jamieson/Fairfax NZ
It was not unusual to be assisting someone with no close family or friends in town.
‘‘I’ve had flatmates say ‘I don’t know her very well. She just has a room in our house’.’’
The reward was the feeling that you had helped someone, she said.
Volunteers came from all walks of life and were all ages.
‘‘It’s nice to have different ages so they can meet different needs.
‘‘You become almost like a family. There’s an incredibly good bonding of trust and care. We work very much as a unit.’’
Brown said volunteers were police vetted and had initial training over two, two-day courses.
There was ongoing training three times a year and an on-call roster.
The minimum commitment was four hours a week. ◗ Potential Wakatipu Victim Support volunteers should contact Rachael Brown on rachael.brown@victimsupport. org.nz or 0274 510 276.