Support service seeks support

A recent plea for help on Facebook highlighted the work that Victim Support does within the community.

The post, which was put up at the request of Victim Support, described an elderly man who had been burgled. One of the items taken was the digital camera that he loves using to take photos of his dog. A family who saw the post provided him with a new camera. The Victim Support team, located at Whangaparaoa Police station, was thrilled with that outcome.

The staff and volunteers there deal with tragedy and trauma every day.

Service coordinator Cindy Kawana says whether it’s a handbag stolen in the street, a house fire, burglary or fatal motor accident, they help people pick up the pieces and move forward with their lives.

The team is separate from Police but works closely with them and covers the whole of the Hibiscus Coast and Rodney. There are two paid roles and around 13 volunteers. Ideally, Cindy says they need at least 20 volunteers to reduce the number of shifts that each person has to take on.

A drive to recruit more volunteers has just begun and Cindy says in particular they are looking for men. “Victims are often men, and there are also the fathers, brothers or sons of victims,” she says. “They relate to other men in a very different way so the more male support workers we can get the better.”

Training is provided. The volunteers’ involvement may be anything from a single phone call with a person in crisis, to ongoing support that lasts for years.

The team will be out and about in the community from now until October telling people about the service and selling tickets for a national Victim Support fundraising raffle with a car as first prize.

Info: www.victimsupport.org.nz or phone 0800 842 846 or 424 6514.


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