Volunteering for Witness Service branches in London
Why should I help?
Volunteers are crucial to the work of the Witness Service. Nationally, we help over 250,000 witnesses each year, and, despite the funding we get from the Home Office and sponsors, we could not do this without our local volunteers.
The Witness Service
Going to court can be a stressful and bewildering experience, both for the victims of a crime and their families, and for witnesses called to give evidence. Witness Service volunteers are based in magistrates' and Crown Court buildings and offer emotional support and practical information to people going to court. This can include: offering witnesses a chance to visit the court before giving evidence; explaining court procedures; accompanying a victim or witness into the courtroom, and giving the chance to talk over the case when it has ended. Volunteers in the Witness Service need to be available during the working week and should be able to offer two full days a month.
Are there any age limits?
Anyone aged 18 or over can apply to become a Witness Service volunteer.
What do I have to do to become a Witness Service volunteer?
We have to carry out some basic checks to help ensure the safety of the people we work with, and our staff. Everyone who wants to volunteer to support victims and witnesses must supply references and declare any criminal convictions they may have (both spent and unspent). We will also carry out a police check. Having a criminal record does not automatically exclude someone from volunteering and the selection panel will carefully consider each case on its own merits.
What training is needed?
You do not need any existing qualifications to become a Witness Service volunteer. We believe that many people have within them the ability to help victims and witnesses of crime. All volunteers involved in supporting victims and witnesses are given basic training.
Who do I contact if I would like to volunteer?
Please contact your local Witness Service branch.