Cochrane and Area Victim Services have put out a call for volunteers to join the organization. Due to the pandemic, volunteer numbers have dropped, and they are looking to bring the volunteer count back up to pre-pandemic numbers.
Cochrane and Area Victim Services is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is described as follows, “A volunteer-oriented organization that strives to empower and respect the rights of victims by providing support, information, and referrals to reduce the adverse effects of crime, tragedy, and trauma.” The team of volunteer victim advocates works in partnership with the RCMP to provide on-call crisis response.
Lauren Delahunt, Executive Director of Victim Services says what volunteering looks like is, “Following up with a lot of referrals from the RCMP. We typically provide crisis support, follow-up support, and court accompaniment for people who have been victims of crime. We will help support them by providing court updates, accompaniment, and preparation. And we also provide on-call services.”
Delahunt says over the past two years, they have been providing on-call/online support but that is anticipated to change. “As we move to go back to be in-person for our call-outs we are looking to have a bigger roster of volunteers to be able to fill all the scheduled spots.” Ideally, to be able to respond in pairs to a call, Victim Services needs twenty-plus volunteers.
Victim Services covers a large area that includes Cochrane, Morley, Bragg Creek, Redwood Meadows, Springbank, Bearspaw, Glendale, Bottrel, and all surrounding areas.
Some of the core prerequisites for volunteer advocates include:
- They must live in Cochrane or area, typically the same jurisdiction as the RCMP due to the need for a quick response.
- Must be 18 years of age.
- Must have a valid driver’s license.
- Be someone who wants to give back to the community and provide support to those who may be going through the worst day of their life.
- Must be a life-long learner as there is continuous new training involved.
Prior to working in the field, volunteer advocates are put through a lengthy solicitor general training program which is supplemented with monthly training programs.
Cochrane and Area Victim Services work out of the Cochrane RCMP detachment and therefore must undergo a full criminal record check with a security clearance given to an officer. The check can be a lengthy process, taking as long as three months.
If you feel that being a volunteer advocate for Cochrane and Area Victims Services is something you would like to pursue you can contact Volunteer Coordinator, Tanya Galliott at 403-851-8055 or go to the volunteer application form by clicking here HERE.