Volunteer with our Witness Service
We’re looking for volunteers who have a friendly, mature and empathetic manner towards others. You need to have good listening and verbal communication skills. We’re also looking for people who are non-judgemental and impartial in supporting all people, and who have the confidence to support vulnerable people and people with specific needs.
Malcolm is a Witness Service court volunteer. Here he talks about what he does and why he does it.
Want to join our team?
We have opportunities in England and Wales. You’ll get full training, support and accreditation - and a warm welcome.
You can apply if you’re 18 years old or over. You’ll also need to commit to:
- at least 18 months (if you’re studying we can talk about what happens during the holidays)
- undertaking our online training
- undergo an enhanced DBS clearance
- A willingness to use IT - email, online training, and potentially tablets and entering information on online forms. You will need internet access, as the majority of our training is online. You will also need an email account, as this will be used to register you with our IT systems, and our main communication tool. If you do not currently have an email account we can help you to set one up.
We have a duty to ensure a safe working environment for our volunteers, and the current COVID-19 situation is no exception to this. We've taken all necessary steps to keep volunteers safe, carrying out risk assessments, providing masks and hand sanitisers, and changing working practices to maintain social distancing. In addition, HM Courts and Tribunal Services have a similar duty over the safety of the buildings we operate in, and take local measures to enable trials to go ahead in line with government social distancing advice.
Frequently asked questions and additional information
Our role profiles below give an overview of our roles, but if you'd like to know more about volunteering our frequently asked questions might be helpful.
We have also put together some additional information about volunteering with us - we hope it will help you decide whether you feel our roles are right for you.
About being a Witness Service Volunteer
You’ll support witnesses (including victims) and their friends and family when they come to court. You’ll give them practical information about the process, as well as emotional support to help them feel more confident when giving evidence.
Once you are an experienced volunteer, you may choose to move into supporting our enhanced service for witnesses who are vulnerable or at risk of intimidation. This involves meeting them in advance of their court appearance, to provide additional support and reassurance. This would be in a safe place such as a school or community centre.
To support witnesses in court, you’ll be needed during normal court hours (9am to 5pm). Supporting the enhanced service requires more flexibility with your availability, as your visits will need to be arranged at a time convenient to the witness. Please note that progression to this part of the role is a choice - if you do not have the flexible availability needed, do not let this put you off from applying.
Please note that we are currently transitioning to new role profiles and application forms - Welsh language translations will be available soon.
How to apply
If you click on ‘Apply Now’ you will be taken to our online volunteer application form.
Our application form will ask you some basic questions about yourself, and then what motivated you to apply for the role. Do try to give more than a one line response. The more information you give us, the more we can get a picture of whether this might be the right role for you.
We sometimes receive applications that we have to reject, as the applicant hasn't given us enough information to know whether they would be a good fit for the role. We don't want to miss out on people who could be great volunteers for us.
Applicants who aren't UK citizens: please note that you are only allowed to volunteer if your immigration status permits it. Many will, but please do check that you are entitled to volunteer, to avoid breaching the terms of your status. You can find further information about different visa rules on GOV.UK. Irish citizens, EU/EEA citizens with settled or pre-settled status, and refugees and asylum seekers are fully entitled to volunteer.
The information you give us on the application form is used to help us decide whether you will be right for our role. It will be seen by our Volunteering Coordinators and shared at a local level with the appropriate staff members who will lead the recruitment process. We also ask separately for information that will help us monitor the diversity of our applicants. This anonymous and will not be seen by the Team Leaders.
Why volunteer with us?
|“Bringing out the best in yourself by helping someone through what may be the most difficult day in their life: the reward is greater than any payment.”
Peter - Caernarfon
"Volunteering for the Witness Service came at a time when my life had reached an all-time low. I received amazing support and encouragement from my manager as well as other volunteers, and have made some friends along the way. My confidence has grown and I love meeting new people every time I go to work and knowing I'm helping someone through an ordeal."
"I would recommend volunteering within the Witness Service for anyone interested in the Criminal Justice System and looking to familiarise themselves with the court proceedings. This role provides a new challenge each day which can be very rewarding and allow you to expand on and learn new skills in a professional environment."