Whitburn Royal event - in pictures
Praise from victim
European Victims Week conference
The Executive Board of Victim Support Scotland bade farwell to Marion Johnston at its meeting on December 4. Marion has worked for VSS for 18 years and has served two chief executives as personal assistant.Bob Leitch, the VSS national chair and David McKenna, chief executive, both praised Marion's commitment and work for VSS and David presented her with a number of gifts to mark her retirement. Marion's last working day with VSS is December 18.
Victim Support Scotland began celebrating its 25 year anniversary yesterday at Edinburgh Castle at an evening reception hosted by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and attended by VSS President HRH The Princess Royal. As well as praising the ongoing work of Victim Support Scotland, Her Royal Highness emphasised the importance of volunteers to the organisation. She unveiled a commemorative badge, designed by volunteer Neil Watson to celebrate the 25th anniversary. The event also marked the launch of 'Shattered' - a crime book of short stories written by eleven of Scotland's leading authors, several of whom attended the event. VSS National Chairman Bob Leitch presented a signed copy of the book to Her Royal Highness, to Mr MacAskill and to Maureen McKellar, Victim Support Scotland's Campaign Manager. The evening, which ended with a viewing of the Crown Jewels, was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
On Monday 2nd November, six practitioners from various European agencies came to Scotland to discuss the issue of terrorism. The day included a visit to the Scottish Government, a visit to the Crown Office where the Lockerbie and Glasgow Airport terrorist attacks were discussed, and a visit to Victim Support Scotland's National Head Office in Edinburgh, where VSS staff gave personal accounts of the Dunblane tragedy and the Glasgow Airport attacks.
More than 140 staff attended the VSS national staff day at the Hilton Hotel, Dundee on October 30. David McKenna, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland, posed the questions 'What Is The Future?' and 'What Do We Need It To Be?' He outlined recent changes in criminal justice and how that impacted, or might eventually impact, on the work of VSS. He also spoke of a changing environment and how important it was that VSS addressed how it could continue to deliver top-level services for victims and witnesses of crime. Jim Andrews, Director of Operations, outlined how further development of the new database referral system was being prioritised and that all developments were being linked to a review of service delivery. He said that all VSS offices would be visited within the coming months as part of that review, which was designed to ensure effective delivery for service users. Bob Leitch, the National Chair of VSS, also addressed the meeting. Staff participated in four workshops to identify key issues which they felt would strengthen the work of VSS. The previous night, at a dinner, a number of long-serving staff received awards (see pictures below):
"Shattered" - Stories by Scotland's leading authors: Lin Anderson, Ray Banks, Christopher Brookmyre, Karen Campbell, Gillian Galbraith, Alex Gray, Allan Guthrie, Stuart MacBride, GJ Moffat and Louise Welsh. Introduction by Ian Rankin.
Victim Support Scotland held a fringe meeting at the SNP Conference in Inverness on Saturday 17th October. The well-attended meeting featured keynote speakers Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, and Susan Gallagher, Director of Development for Victim Support Scotland. New National Chair Bob Leitch chaired the meeting, which concluded with questions from the audience. Below: Susan Gallagher addresses the audience as Kenny MacAskill and Bob Leitch look on.
Victim Support Scotland received lavish praise from First Minister Alex Salmond at the AGM at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on September 24. As well as praising the work and commitment of staff and volunteers within VSS, Mr Salmond also announced the roll-out of a new Victim Information Service to ensure victims of youth crime received the best help and advice available in a consistent, easy and accessible way. Also speaking about the Impact of Crime on Children and Young People were Susan Gallagher, VSS Director of Development, and Dr Mairead Tagg of Glasgow East Women's Aid. The AGM confirmed Bob Leitch as the new National Chair, and thanks and praise were given to Ron Daniel and Drew Dempster who stepped down from their positions of National Chair and Vice Chair after many years of hard work and dedication to the charity. Ron will remain a member of the Executive Board and Drew will continue his voluntary work within VSS. The photographs below show (top to bottom): First Minister Alex Salmond addresses the AGM; Susan Gallagher, VSS Director of Development talks about the impact of crime on children and young people; Dr Mairead Tagg addresses the AGM; new National Chair Bob Leitch thanks outgoing Chair Ron Daniel; outgoing Vice Chair Drew Dempster and his wife are thanked by Bob Leitch (right), David McKenna, VSS Chief Executive (left) and outgoing Chair Ron Daniel (centre).
Neil Watson, 62, a volunteer with Victim Support Scottish Borders, has won a badge design competition. Neil's hand-drawn design was chosen from 31 other submissions and will be unveiled at a 25 year anniversary event to be held at Edinburgh Castle in November.
On Thursday 17th September, Victim Support Scotland's Campaign Board hosted a hugely successful fundraising event at the new Gateway building at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. The event included an auction and a raffle, which along with ticket sales and donations raised around £25,000 for victims of crime. A thoroughly enjoyable night was had by all.
Victim Support Scotland held a dinner at Prestonfield House, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 16th September, to celebrate the long service of 16 volunteers. The event also included a speech from Vice Chair Alan Davie thanking Ron Daniel OBE (National Chair) and Drew Dempster MBE (Vice Chair) for their commitment and dedication to Victim Support Scotland over many years. Drew will be stepping down from the Executive Board at this year's AGM on September 24th, Ron demits office as National Chair but will remain an Executive Board member.
On Tuesday 14th July, a royal dinner organised by the Campaign Board was held at Holyrood Palace and attended by Victim Support Scotland's president, HRH The Princess Royal. The event was a great success, and raised a substantial amount for Victim Support Scotland. The photographs below show: First Photo (L-R) David McKenna (Chief Executive of VSS), Ray Entwhistle, Maureen McKellar and Scott Brown of the Campaign Board, and Ron Daniel (National Chair, VSS). Second Photo (L-R) Scott Brown introduces HRH Princess Anne to guests
Two members of Victim Support Scotland's Executive Board received their awards at a ceremony yesterday (30 June) at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Ron Daniel (top) received his OBE and Drew Dempster (centre) was awarded an MBE. Also present at the Royal Garden Party was volunteer Jean Young, pictured below with her son. Jean founded the Victim Service in Paisley and has been supporting victims for over 20 years.
Top photo shows: VSS Relay Team (L-R): Julie Reynolds, Frida Petersson, Rebecca Lithgow and Alan McCloskey Bottom photo shows: West Lothian runners
The final of Victim Support Scotland's Schools Public Speaking Competition was held in Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday 28th May. Over 180 guests attended the event to hear the pupils discuss their ideas and opinions on 'A Safer, Stronger Scotland' (Primary topic) and 'Knife Crime' (Secondary topic). Lord Kinclaven chaired the judging panel, and was joined by Denise McGuigan of Reliance Security Group and Tyrone Jones, Head of Corporate Responsibilty with Bank of Scotland Corporate. The winning schools were Lochnell Primary School of Argyll and Bute, and Belmont Academy of South Ayrshire.
Director of Operations Jim Andrews and Chief Executive David McKenna hold a quaich presented to Victim Support Scotland by The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents for delivering the 7th Jack Urquhart Memorial Lecture on Friday 15th May 2009
Congratulations and thanks go to both Charlotte Scott and Adrian Walker, who ran in the Chris Hoy Edinburgh Half Marathon on 5th April 2009 and raised funds through sponsorship for Victim Support Scotland. Charlotte, a volunteer for VS Edinburgh, completed the race in 2 hours 2 minutes and raised £145 in sponsorship. Adrian's time was 1 hour 39 minutes and he raised £389 - a combined fundraising total of over £500. Such fundraising donations play an important part in allowing VSS to provide services for the victims and witnesses of crime which fall outwith those currently funded by the government, and which make such a difference to the lives of our service users.
Victim Support Scotland held the national semi-finals of their Schools Public Speaking Competition in Coatbridge on 22nd and 23rd April 2009. These highly enjoyable competitions determined four Primary and four Secondary school teams to compete in the national final to be held on May 28th 2009 in Glasgow. The winning Primary teams were St Mary's Primary School of West Dunbartonshire, St Helen's Primary School of North Lanarkshire, Mayfield Primary School of North Ayrshire, and Lochnell Primary School of argyll and Bute. The Secondary winners were St Andrew's High School of West Dunbartonshire, Woodfarm High School of East Renfrewshire, Belmont Academy of South Ayrshire, and John Ogilvie High School of South Lanarkshire.
(From left to right) Paul Santoni, chair of the judging panel; Allan Dickson (14) and Kieran McCool (12) of John Ogilvie High School; Russell Cleary, Provost of South Lanarkshire; Divisional Police Commander Tim Love; Jim Andrews, Director of Operations for Victim Support Scotland, and Larry Forde, Director of Education.
The South Ayrshire regional final of Victim Support Scotland’s Public Speaking Competition was hosted at Marr College on March 9th 2009 at 7pm. The three schools competing were Belmont Academy, Kyle Academy and Marr College. The topic of discussion was Knife Crime and all the teams showed that they had researched and structured their speeches in such a way as to make the whole subject and its horror and solutions one that they had all thought about deeply. Every team showed both in Powerpoint presentations and in rhetoric that they understood the problems and how the way forward was to break down barriers using education and instruction. All schools showed that these structures were already being put in place, (eg. Campus cops teaching on the subject in PSE), and were making a difference to the attitude of the local youngsters in their schools, though time would show the benefit of this. The competition was won by Belmont Academy, though according to the judges it was a close competition. It was a very good evening, enjoyed by all who took part.
Victim Support Scotland staged a highly successful one-day conference in Glasgow on February 20 to mark European Victims Day. The conference, held in the Strathclyde Police headquarters, was addressed by Kenny MacAskill, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, who spoke about proposed measures to be included in the Criminal Justice & Licensing Bill, expected to be published soon. Earlier in the week David McKenna, VSS Chief Executive, and Ron Daniel, chair of the VSS Executive Board, and other VSS staff participated in a Victim Support Europe meeting in Brussels to bolster VSE’s campaign to improve the rights for victims of crime across all member states of the European Union. Victim Support Edinburgh held a week-long ‘drop in for a cuppa’ event to increase awareness of the work of VSS.
The families of homicide victims will no longer be forced to pay for cleaning their properties following a new commitment from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS).
A series of roadshows have been held this week in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth to outline the new vision and mission for Victim Support Scotland.
Clicking on the link below will allow you to view the final publication of the Victims and Mediation Seminar
The charitable efforts of two senior figures within Victim Support Scotland have been recognised as part of the New Year Honours list.
Victim Support Scotland appoints two new members of the Executive Board
Help for Victims of Crime in Republic of Ireland
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced yesterday a substantial increase in the number of cases to be heard in the Glasgow specialist domestic abuse court.
Victim Support Scotland is looking for YOUR help
Victims of crime in Scotland will have the opportunity to tell the court about the physical, emotional and economic impact a crime had on them from spring next year. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced that a Victim Statement Scheme, in high courts and cases where a sheriff sits with a jury, will be introduced across Scotland on April 1, 2009.
Victim Support Scotland is making a major contribution to improving the support for victims and witnesses of crime. The Scottish national charity has developed a range of tools and framework for ensuring victims and witnesses’ needs are properly assessed and considered in the aftermath of crime.