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"Is it okay if I cry?"

"Is it okay if I cry?"

Image of Manaaki Tāngata Victim Support volunteer Billy Davis

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 with Victim Support.

In September 2020, Billy Davis came home from work to the shock and disbelief of finding his wife had died of a heart attack."Is it okay if I cry?"

He remembers police mentioning Victim Support, but at the time he was simply unable to take anything in. A few days later though, he made the call, and not long after Support Worker Deborah Du Toit was on his doorstep.

“She was amazing,” says Billy. “There was obviously a lot of darkness and hurt, pain and confusion, but Deborah came in with her big smile and said, ‘I’m with you. Let’s just do this one step at a time’.”

"When I see the people that we help starting to improve, it is hugely rewarding."

Though he did have a lot of support from people around him, Billy felt he could open up a lot more to Deborah.

“I asked her ‘is it OK if I cry’”? He says of his first meeting with Deborah.

“She gave me licence to cry whereas family, they look at you as being the stalwart, the backbone. So, I was able to let out those tears before the family arrived.”

Some months later, after coming across an ad, Billy found himself at a Victim Support volunteering information evening. Before he knew it, Billy was training to be a Victim Support volunteer.

Since going through the training and internship, Billy has supported around 150 local people in his community in getting through some very tough times. For Billy, a large part of what he enjoys at Victim Support is the teamwork and opportunity to help someone in a way that can be life-changing.

"I understand what it’s like to be in that dark place, so when I see the smiles start to come, it’s a really good feeling."

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