The national Victim Support charity is to hold quarterly Drop-Ins at St Mary’s Health Centre to help islanders affected by crime.
The Drop-Ins aim to extend islanders’ opportunities to access VS in person, with the first session taking place this Thursday (February 22nd) between 1pm and 5pm.
Subsequent sessions will be held on Thursdays (to coincide with off-islands shopping day) May 17th, August 9th and October 18th between 10.30am and 2.30pm.
Heather Welch, who is the Victim Services Manager for VS Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “We are really excited to be able to offer this new Drop-In service to those living on the Isles of Scilly. We know how important it can be for those who have been affected by crime to be able to talk confidentially to someone outside of their immediate circle about how they are feeling, and this can be particularly true in a small community. If we help just a small number of people to access the help that they need, we will consider the Project to be a success.”
Victim Support aims to help people make sense of how the crime has influenced them "as the impact of crime is not well understood". They discuss coping strategies and help people to improve confidence, as well as providing information and practical support such as help with Criminal Injuries Compensation. Above all they "listen without judgement and encourage people to take back control in their lives”.
VS told This is Scilly that they "want to make it easier for islanders to seek support for any crime they have experienced, including hidden harm, in a confidential and safe space". The service is free and open to anyone affected by crime directly or indirectly, including friends, family, witnesses or members of the community.
VS is an independent charity and not part of the police, courts or any other criminal justice agency. It works with all crime types, regardless of when they happened and whether they have been reported to police. The success and continuation of the Drop In on the Isles of Scilly will largely depend on how well the service is used.
The Drop-Ins will support existing services open to islanders including a local VS Helpline (open 12pm – 6pm weekdays) on 0300 303 0554 and a national Supportline (open 24/7) on 08 08 1689 111. People can also self-refer via the charity's website or email them at email@example.com. They are also active on Facebook and Twitter.