Registered Charity No. 1164578
“Whoever the victim, and whatever the crime, we will always put them first and give the best possible support, care and advice”

Hate Crime Awareness Week

Sadly Hate Crime Awareness week was a little different this year due to COVID19, last having seen us host our own Hate Crime event, however we still marked the week by hosting a week long advice and support provision via Live Chat.

Live chat has been an essential tool throughout the last 7 months, allowing people to access support as required from our staff working at home and offers an alternative to our usual methods of calling our 0800 number, which sadly is unmanned at the moment.

This week focussed on tips and advice, statistics to raise the profile of Hate Crime and also our dedicated Hate Crime Coordinator on hand, via Live chat to answer any hate related questions.

We also took part in filming a Disability Hate Crime video (all socially distanced of course) alongside LD North East which was a brilliant opportunity.

The week was a success and people came forward to ask questions they may not have felt comfortable asking on the phone.

Hopefully in 2021 we can get back to hosting events and getting out in the community again but it was great to know we can diversify our support in this way if needed.

Information for victims of domestic abuse during the Coronavirus Pandemic

We are still operational for anyone requiring support following a crime. Due to staff home working we are not able to accept incomimg calls.

 

If you need support please use our referral form in the contact us section of thr website or contact us via Live Chat abnd we will call you back.

Please find further information and advice below about what to do if you experience domestic abuse during this time.

https://victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Safety-planning-guide-for-victims-and-survivors-during-COVID-19.pdf

Coronavirus – what we are doing to keep our staff and clients safe

Dear all,

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak we wanted to let everyone know what our response is and how we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus and keep our all our staff, volunteers, visitors, clients and partners safe.

We are following government guidelines in regards to decision making and will continue to review this and provide updates as the situation progresses.

Current precautionary measures Victims First Northumbria are taking:

  • Providing guidance on regular handwashing and providing hand sanitiser, soap and anti bac wipes for staff and visitors.
  • Providing additional office cleaning for the premises during the coming weeks.
  • Reducing home visits and community visits where possible and limiting meeting attendance where not absolutely necessary.

We do operate a drop in service and in house appointments and we recognise that people may not wish to engage with us in this way at this time, therefore we want to promote our numerous alternative communication methods available to receive support including Live Chat on our website, social media, email and telephone.

Further information as supplied by the NHS can be found here  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you do have any questions about our response or visiting the premises during this time please contact 0800 011 3116 or email enquiries@victimsfirstnorthumbria.org.uk and we will continue to review our position as more information becomes available.

Many thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Victims First Northumbria

Mental Health First Aider Training

Our volunteer co-ordinator Krysia has recently completed St Johns Ambulance Mental Health First Aider training. This is great to have this in house facility for our staff to help assist and improve their mental health and wellbeing and be on hand should any issues arise.

We wish Krysia all the best of luck with her new duties!

Need to hire a room for a meeting, conference or training?

Looking for versatile meeting room space to hire in North Tyneside?

Look no further – we can help.

We have various rates and options available .

The Sandhaven Conference Room. £100.00 full day / £50.00 half day. 

Modern, light and airy.  Seats up to 22.   Various layout options.   Projector.

Great for meetings, seminars, conferences, workshops and training.

The Bamburgh Room & The Lindisfarne Room £50.00 per day or hourly rates available upon request. 

Light, airy, versatile layouts. Seats up to 8. Two small sofas and a table with 4 chairs.

All rooms provide:

Refreshments avaialble upon request at an additional charge.

Wifi

Limited Car Parking available.

10% discount on block bookings.

Interested in becoming a Trustee for Victims First Northumbria?

Would you be interested in becoming a trustee to the Victims First Northumbria board?

 Trustee to the Victims First Northumbria (VFN) Board.

OUR VISION

We will put the victim at the heart of everything we do, increasing the support to the most vulnerable and those persistently targeted.

OUR MISSION

To create a Northumbria area where victims of crime feel confident to seek help and when they do, they are provided with a choice of high quality support tailored to meet their individual needs.

OUR VALUES

We are responsive, trusted and ambitious; valuing integrity, empathising and empowering victims in their recovery journey.

What we do

Victims First Northumbria (VFN) was established in April 2015 to provide support to victims of crime to help them cope and recover from their experience.  VFN provides free confidential support to empower the victim in their journey to recovery. This includes emotional and practical help and referrals to specialist organisations when required.

Since 2015, VFN has supported over 70,000 people with a year on year increase in referrals. Victim satisfaction rates are at 99% with 98% of victims being contacted within 48 hours of the crime being committed. This is something VFN is really proud of.

Part of the service delivery relates to Restorative Justice which is victim focussed.  The process brings together the victim and offender, enabling everyone affected by the crime to play a part in repairing the harm caused.  This gives the victim the opportunity to look offenders in the eye and explain to them the real impact that the crime has had on their life.

Victims First Northumbria is now seeking Trustees to join the VFN Board. Trustees are key in playing a leading role to support the growth and sustainability of the organisation, ensuring effective governance at all times. We are particularly interested in candidates with the following expertise or experience:

  • Strategic Planning and business development
  • Finance
  • Experience of victim services
  • Governance and / or legal practice
  • Fundraising
  • Charity governance
  • Leadership and management
  • HR
  • Marketing

The Board will meet no fewer than four times a year and Trustees are invited and encouraged to attend as many meetings as possible in addition to representing the charity, where possible at public events. Board members are required to scrutinise papers in advance of Board meetings and add appropriate agenda items.

 Responsibilities of Board members

 To ensure VFN complies with its governing document, charity law and appropriate legislation

  • To ensure that VFN is carrying out its purpose for the benefit of the public
  • To act in the charity’s best interests ensuring VFN is accountable
  • Manage the charity’s resources effectively in pursuance of the charitable objects
  • To act with reasonable care and skill, safeguarding the reputation of VFN
  • To contribute to the Board giving strategic direction, agreeing organisational goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against key performance indicators.
  • Support the CEO and monitor her performance
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of VFN

All new trustees will be supported through a full induction, followed by ongoing support from Board members and the management team at VFN.

These roles are unremunerated, but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

Candidates are required to send CVs outlining their experience to Michelle.Anderson.6965@northumbria.pnn.police.uk by 15th November 2019.

 If any interested candidates would like to discuss the role further, they can contact the CEO, Ruth Parker on 0191 4373209

 Interviews will take place on a date to be fixed in December 2019

Hear from one of our volunteers about why she became a Victims First volunteer

My name is Jo and l am a volunteer with Victims First Northumbria.

I want to tell you a little bit about myself, why l decided to volunteer, and my experience as a volunteer.

I am 46 years old, married for 21 years and l have 18 year old triplets. I am a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience, most of which has been in A&E and trauma. I love nursing, l love being able to help others, and l have loved my career, but an accident at work has left me with a back injury. This injury has impacted on many aspects of my life, with my career taking the brunt of this impact. This has resulted in me taking a break from my working life. I felt completely lost, with no real purpose. Taking a step back though allowed me to look critically at my life and look at what other kinds of career options could be out in the world waiting for me to discover.

I was getting bored at home and needed to do something proactive. l decided some voluntary work could be beneficial and came across an advert on a jobsite for volunteers for Victims First Northumbria. I hadn’t heard of them, so l did some research and found out about the organisation and the services that they provide. I got an interview and was offered a position as a volunteer. Since then l haven’t looked back.

VFN has given some great experiences and training. I had a thorough 2 day induction. Access to online training, and l have had the opportunity to attend additional training on Domestic Violence, Rape Crisis and Mental Health. I have represented VFN at a number of events promoting the service, and met some pretty amazing people.

VFN has also opened the door to a new job for me. After completing training, and getting my own caseload of victims to support, l updated my CV to include my volunteer role at VFN.  Suddenly, l started getting invites to job interviews. I recently attended an interview for a role with a charitable organisation that support female victims of domestic violence, and their dependants. I was offered the position and in receiving the feedback from my interview, l was advised that the training and experience with VFN was influential in offering me the job.

I love my role with VFN. It is up to me how much time l offer. I can help offer practical solutions and signpost individuals to other services and support networks, or l can just lend an ear. When a victim tells me at the end of a call that they feel like a weight has been lifted, or that they tried something that l have suggested, and it offered a solution, it feels good to know that you are making a difference. Now l can use the training and new skills and knowledge l am gaining through my work with VFN to help me in my new job. It’s a win for everyone.

Award for Victims First Northumbria team member

‘We are so Proud of our colleague Karen who has received a prestigious award for the support she gives to victims of domestic abuse and for her commitment to helping to protect vulnerable people. This is such an a wonderful achievement and so well deserved. Well done. ‘

 

Ruth Parker CEO and colleagues at Victims First Northumbria

Victims First Northumbria AGM

This year we look forward to holding our Annual General Meeting on 18th October this year. More inforamtion about this to follow soon.

Victims First Northumbria wish Dame Vera Baird QC congratulations on new post

.

The staff and Board members from Victims First Northumbria would like to congratulate Dame Vera Baird QC on her appointment to the position of Home Office’s Victims Commissioner for England and Wales.

We would like to wish her every success in the new role and to thank her for the constant support she has given to Victims First Northumbria as Chair of the Board