Parramatta Court helpers expand role

Facing court charges is a confronting time for people, which makes the friendly faces of volunteers at the Parramatta court house valuable.

The Victims and Witnesses of Crime Court Support is a voluntary agency servicing the Parramatta children's and local courts among other major courts across NSW.

The agency has been given permission to expand its service to Parramatta District Court, which means more volunteers are needed.

Training for court support assistants will take place in Sydney over five days at State Parliament, from February 18-27 next year.

Its principal objective is to provide a non-judgmental, high standard court support service for victims and witnesses of crime, their family members and their close friends in criminal matters.

Agency founder Pieta Thornton was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her services to the community.

In addition, the service has been a finalist in this year's Law and Justice Medals, and winners of NSW Volunteering Awards.

The agency is strongly supported by NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard and his department and is well regarded by NSW Police and agencies which the services collaborate with in the legal system.

The agency is non-affiliated and relies on donations, one-off grants as well as contributions from its volunteers.

It has just recently achieved status as a "deductible gift recipient".

Details: vwccs.org.au

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