Working out of our Pukekohe office but resident in Kaiaua on the Firth of Thames, Rodger Barlow came back to Victim Support after a long break and has noticed a huge change in his volunteering. “It’s interesting and quite eye-opening and a lot of it is stuff I’ve never experienced before. It’s totally different from when I worked with Victim Support almost 30 years ago. The training system’s different, the approach is different. The whole thing has improved so much, it’s unbelievable. It’s more professional now.”
"The work is stimulating and it gives me a sense of self-worth."
Since joining Victim Support, Rodger has worked on a number of family harm cases, three suicides, and several sudden deaths. His Day 1 experience particularly sticks in his mind. “My first case was a non-fatal motor vehicle accident. I’d just completed training and it was my first night on call. It was a young fella in his car, it was raining and he managed to hit a power pole at 3am. His young partner had a child and was pregnant with his second one. I went on my own as no support person was available and blundered my way through for about two hours, then the processes fell into place, such as contacting the family, letting them know they had to go to the hospital, organising counselling, and sorting out financial stuff. It turned out alright in the end, but I really didn’t know what I was doing to be honest! Now I would be much better. I’d know the questions to ask, I’d know the people to talk to, and I’d know where to go to get answers.”
An ex-teacher of 50 years, a natural people person, and good listener, Rodger is able to lend a friendly and supportive ear to anyone who needs him. “I’m impartial. I’m not going to make judgements on anything they say or do. If they want to go off about their partner or neighbour, I’m quite happy to listen to them. I’m able to help them if they want to be helped.
“The work is stimulating and it gives me a sense of self-worth. I ring somebody and talk to them for 5 minutes or 10 minutes, I may never speak to them again, but right at the very end they will nearly always say, ‘Thank you for making contact. I feel better.’ That’s the bit that makes it all worthwhile.”
Rodger Barlow, a dedicated Victim Support volunteer, witnesses remarkable changes in his work, providing crucial support and making a positive impact.
Jenny Tosswill, a resilient Victim Support volunteer in the Wairarapa, draws on her paramedic experience to support traumatic cases at Victim Support.
Jo's inspiring journey as a Victim Support volunteer in the Wairarapa, from overcoming personal tragedy and finding solace in helping others.
Former psychiatric nurse Tricia brings valuable experience to her volunteering at Victim Support, making a difference in the community.
Victim Support were there for Billy Davis when his wife unexpectedly passed away and now he’s determined to be there for others as a volunteer.
Hong Kong migrant Yau volunteers at Victim Support, providing crucial support for Chinese-speaking victims.
A dedicated volunteer, trained in homicide support, Maria has supported many victims in her community including the mosque attack victims.
Martyn, a retired UK police officer, found a new purpose as a volunteer for Victim Support in New Zealand.
When a frenzied attack occurred in a popular Dunedin supermarket, Victim Support workers and volunteers were on hand to help the 26 people affected.
Meet Chris, a St John paramedic and volunteer with Victim Support and Coastguard, who understands the importance of self-care all too well.
Daniel's experience as a Victim Support volunteer making a difference in people's lives has given him a new perspective on life.
Discover how Fred, a retired nurse, is using his empathetic nature and skills to help victims of crime and trauma in his community.
Chantal, a primary school teacher, found her love of helping others when she became a volunteer for Victim Support.
Meet Wendy, a volunteer who is on a mission to strengthen people's mana and give back to her community.
University professor and weightlifting silver medallist Jennifer is a busy woman, but she still finds time to volunteer for Victim Support.
A 15-year veteran with Victim Support, volunteer Wayne has always been passionate about solving problems and connecting with others.
Diana, assault survivor turned advocate, finds purpose in aiding others with similar experiences, turning trauma into empowerment.
Victim Support volunteer Christine Cowell says that her role involves being constantly outside her comfort zone.
On top of her busy schedule, Sheila volunteers one 12-hour night shift each week for Victim Support in the Wellington region.
Gurpreet Singh, a doctor from India, became a volunteer to help others, follow his spiritual journey and be a positive role model.
Rikihana (Riki) found Victim Support when he went looking for something to offset his high-pressure position and give back to his community.
With her kids grown up, Deidre Anderson went looking for an opportunity to support the people in her community -then she found Victim Support.
Jim's exceptional commitment to his community was recently recognised with the Queen’s Birthday Honours and Service Medal for Victim Support work.