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Community Advice and Support Service

The Community Advice and Support Service is looking for volunteers to support people through the criminal justice system

Location: All of Plymouth

Over the last 17 years, the Community Advice and Support Service (CASS+) has discovered a real need for free, impartial, practical advice as defendants, victims and witnesses and families struggle through our legal system.

The cuts to Legal Aid have compounded the difficulties they face. Many have limited resources (emotionally, socially and financially) and, as a result, nowhere to turn.

We aim to reduce the risk of re-offending and improve their wellbeing by being there for them at their time of need, showing them a way through and giving them hope for the future.

The Community Advice and Support Service is looking for volunteers to support people through the criminal justice system.

People are facing some very tough choices right now. They end up on the wrong side of the law for a variety of reasons, many of which are not always of their own making.

CASS+ is here to change the outcomes for these people, their families, their friends, and ultimately, our community in Devon and Cornwall.

Each month, we support over 150 people in need of a helping hand as they go through the courts in Plymouth, Truro, Bodmin and Newton Abbot, and into a more positive future.

We could not do this vital work without our volunteers who go above and beyond to provide a listening ear and a safe haven for over 150 people who come through our doors each month.

In 2017 we won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – lifetime recognition for the dedication of our team. We are always looking for people of all ages and all backgrounds to join our highly-motivated and dedicated team.

At CASS+, we all share a passion to change lives and we work inside the courts, providing emotional and practical support to help the defendants, witnesses and victims and their families get the help they need and find a way forward.

Do you have a passion for supporting people through the criminal justice system? Perhaps you want to make a difference in your community? Or maybe you understand the need to steer people through this complex system?

No two days will ever be the same at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court. You will be guiding defendants, witnesses, victims and their families who are in crisis. Working sensitively and confidentially, you will quickly identify their needs and get them the help they need, supporting them all the way.

You will be an excellent communicator and have an understanding of local agencies and services. You will also be able to provide some administrative support.

You will be fully supported with our in-house wellbeing and training programmes, enabling you to get better at what you do.

You will be part of a team focused on reducing the risk of re-offending.

The Role

This role suits anyone interested in working in the following areas:

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Teaching
  • Social work
  • Legal system

We are flexible on days and timings, and you will learn a great deal about our legal system.

You will be sitting through court sessions so that anyone going through Plymouth Magistrates’ Court knows that they can get the advice and support they need when they are at their most vulnerable.

You will then guide them to our expert team who can provide one-to-one confidential advice. This way, they get free support with a range of issues, from housing to benefits and from debt to form-filling.

As you grow in knowledge and experience, you will be able to work direct with our clients, providing back-up administration so that we can keep accurate and confidential records.

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