Rikihana (Riki) found Victim Support when he went looking for something to offset his high-pressure position with one of New Zealand's biggest commercial entities.
“I saw an opportunity to make a difference and not be measured in Key Performance Indicators," says Riki.
Riki does a weekend shift each week on Auckland's North Shore. To develop his skills, he completed the initial training programme as well as specialist training in family harm, sexual violence, homicide and suicide. "Being raised and living the majority of my life on the North Shore I wanted to make a difference in the community. I read a story about Victim Support and the role they played in the community, and instantly felt a connection to the work they do."
"Victim Support volunteers attend incidents or provide support after events that are life changing for the people, whānau, and witnesses involved. I always remind myself that my role is to walk alongside people as they navigate the next few minutes, hours, days and months."
He recalls a callout early on that highlighted the importance of the service for victims of crime and trauma.
"I was asked to attend a visit to notify the family of a sudden death. I remember waiting with the Police for our client to come home. When they pulled into the driveway and saw us, their mouth dropped – knowing that something had happened. That incident gave me much more of a sense of the impact that these events have on people. It made me realise the role we're there to play.
You're not there to be the knight in shining armour - that's the value in it – it's just being there and being a rock for the person who needs that support. Victim Support volunteers attend incidents or provide support after events that are life changing for the people, whānau, and witnesses involved. I always remind myself that my role is to walk alongside people as they navigate the next few minutes, hours, days and months. I can't take away the grief, hurt and loss these people are experiencing, but if I can let them know they are not alone and hopefully guide them along a support path that will illuminate over time."
Riki notes, “I took this role with Victim Support to not be measured on performance targets or budgets, but to help people in the background one on one. I feel honoured that I'm able to help Victim Support to make a difference to people in need."
Rodger Barlow, a dedicated Victim Support volunteer, witnesses remarkable changes in his work, providing crucial support and making a positive impact.
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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.
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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.