Ella – Gaining valuable experience whilst empowering victims of crime

Article date
16 October 2020
Primary interest

Ella – support volunteer

The work of volunteers plays a vital role in making our town a unique and vibrant place. We are delighted to be sharing with you a collection of volunteering stories to highlight and celebrate some of the work done by charities and volunteers.

Ella works as an emotional support volunteer at Victims First. Victims First provides free emotional and practical support to those who have been victims or witnesses to a crime as well, as their family members. When Ella came to the University of Reading she was looking to gain relevant experience to her course, Psychology and Language Sciences and came across Victim’s First on the RVA website and has been volunteering with them for the past 18 months. 

Ella describes her role as an emotional support volunteer as working to empower victims of crime by helping them come to terms with what has happened and talk through ways in which they can get their life back on track. Victims First has an extremely supportive team and Ella states that although it is a volunteering role she still receives as much support as she would in another full-time role, and her ideas and experiences are valued. She states “the feedback you get from a client when you’ve made a difference to their lives is also really rewarding.”

Volunteering is such a good opportunity to gain new skills and experiences which can be beneficial not only to your own development but can help when searching for employment. Ella now has some experience in casework management and also managing time. Receiving training such as a domestic abuse awareness course with the Reading borough council last year. And more generally gaining the confidence to approach people and talk to them. She “recommended it to anyone looking to gain more skills and also to give something back as well.”

We want to say a huge thank you to Ella and all the volunteers at Victims First for all the incredible work they do. 

Inspired by Ella’s story? Take a look at www.rgneeds.me to find the role for you!