Gardeners mark Volunteers’ Week at Glenavon House Hotel

Volunteers at Glenavon House Hotel.
Volunteers at Glenavon House Hotel.

Victim Support NI, the charity supporting victims of crime, marked Volunteers’ Week 2017 with an event in Cookstown’s Glenavon House Hotel on Friday, June 2.

BBC Radio Ulster’s Gardeners’ Corner was recording an episode of their popular gardening show which was broadcast on June 10.

Presenter Helen Mark and the expert gardeners Brendan Little and Avril Milligan were taking questions from the Victim Support NI audience on a range of green-fingered issues.

The volunteers were offered the opportunity to take part in free biometric screening during the morning, and then gathered for a tasty lunch before Volunteer Now CEO Wendy Osborne presented the charity with their newly achieved ‘Investing in Volunteers’ Award.

The ‘Investing in Volunteers’ Quality Standard recognises the excellent work organisations do with volunteers, aims to improve the volunteering experience, and demonstrates that organisations value the enormous contribution made by their volunteers.

Victim Support NI was assessed against a range of best practice standards and proved to excel in all aspects of working with its volunteers.

Victim Support NI’s Volunteer Manager Jolena Flett said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the ‘Investing In Volunteers’ Award, and were so happy that so many of our volunteers were able to attend this event.

“Victim Support NI could not do what they do without our team of volunteers, who give up their time to help and support people in need. I would personally like to thank every onefor the service they provide.”

Volunteers’ Week 2017 ran from June 1-7, and Victim Support NI’s event celebrated the generous contribution the volunteers make throughout the year, giving up their time and using their skills to support and help victims of crime across Northern Ireland.

Victim Support NI offers a ‘listening ear’ service, providing emotional support to help people deal with the impact of crime. Victim SupportNI also runs a Witness Service in every criminal court in Northern Ireland, and volunteers provide support to witnesses and their families at court, and provides advocacy services in the areas of criminal compensation claims, sexual violence, and hate crime.

They meet victims and witnesses of crime and providing help and support to almost 40,000 people per year.

Last year, community service volunteers spent 3997 hours of support to people affected by crime, and witness service volunteers offered 87% of 11,393 hours delivered in courts.