Central Alberta Victim Witness Support Society: Front-Line Volunteering

Central Alberta Victim & Witness Support provides direct support, information and referrals to victims and witnesses of crime and tragedy, including court preparation and accompaniment for over 22 years. Their area covers the 2000 sq kms surrounding Red Deer City, including Blackfalds, Clive, Village of Gull Lake, Joffre, Springbrook, Gasoline Alley – large portion of Red Deer County and Lacombe County. Number of people served in this detachment area over 70,000 plus the number of motorists that stop in Gasoline Alley as they pass through.

They currently have 4 paid staff; 5 Board Volunteers; 15 Volunteer Crisis Advocates; and 15 community volunteers that contribute over 3,000 volunteering hours annually.

Bridging the Gap

Volunteers play a crucial role in Central Alberta Victim & Witness Supports mission to the community. Volunteers assist with crisis call outs, and responding 24/7 to calls from the RCMP. Volunteers also assist with the input of client files, administration and follow ups with clients, assisting at community events and fundraising for the society. Victims of crime and tragedy are often overwhelmed and confused, distrustful of others, and unsure how to deal with the emotional trauma. CAVWSS provides support and reassurance to clients navigating through the aftermath. Volunteers help clients move forward through the trauma, helping bridge the gap from hurt to hope to empower survivors of crime and tragedy to take control of their lives.

As volunteers, equipping clients to engage positively and productively through professional and compassionate provision of direct support, information, referral and education affects the community constructively.

Compassion Can Be Hard to Come By

For CAVWSS, the most difficult thing is finding volunteers who have the compassion for people, and the time and commitment for extensive training as a first responder. CAVWSS has had success with finding great volunteers through Volunteer Central through their ability to submit specialized postings that attract the right types of volunteers for the position. CAVWSS has also found the nonprofit training opportunities available to staff at subsidized rates to be beneficial and valuable in continuing to be community leaders. Volunteer Central has helped CAVWSS bring awareness to the community through advertising for volunteers to over 6,000 readers (website visitors and newsletter subscribers), and also by advertising their events and training opportunities, which has helped enhance community engagement and awareness for CAVWSS.

“ It’s our go to when we need volunteers! Thank you for your service to the community!”

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