• Cases range from ‘neighbours at war’ to murder
  •          Helping victims gain satisfaction
  •          Rehabilitating offenders
  •          10 volunteers needed

A double award winning Gloucestershire organisation is on the lookout for new volunteers to help them bring victims and offenders together through a process called restorative justice (RJ).

Restorative Gloucestershire ‘brings people together to put things right’. Last month it received the Dedication to Restorative Justice Award from the Chris Donovan Trust which works with schools and communities to reduce gang violence.

Burglary victim Ruth Lambert corresponded with her burglar. Restorative Gloucestershire arranged a meeting which helped them address their issues

A few weeks before that, it was the Police Support Volunteer Team of the Year at the 2015 South West Region Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteer Awards.

Now the organisation is looking for up to 10 new members to expand its team. Interested candidates will go through an application and interview process.

Restorative Gloucestershire Manager, Becky Beard said,

“This year we have dealt with a range of very different cases from conflict between neighbours to GBH and murder.

“Once they have been trained, volunteers work with victims who have been harmed as well as those who caused them harm. The aim is to bring both parties together. It can be a long and emotional process but the work is both fulfilling and rewarding”.

Ray and Vi Donovan of the Chris Donovan Trust at an RJ conference in Cheltenham

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who provides funding to Restorative Gloucestershire said:

“Restorative Justice plays an important role in getting satisfaction for victims and rehabilitating offenders.  

“It would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of all the staff and volunteers who thoroughly deserve recognition for their work.”

RJ facilitator Bob Chandler said,

“Quite often the harmer and the victim

can gain a lot of insight and meaning from those preliminary meetings, even if doesn’t result in them meeting-up.  I really enjoy playing a very small part in trying to bring some comfort to the victim, with the added aspiration that the harmer will not re-offend”.

Interested parties can find out more at contactus@restorativegloucestershire.co.uk

Restorative Gloucestershire manager Becky Beard and Project Inspector Erik Sherwood receive the Police Support Volunteer Team of the Year award for 2015