£1m compensation secured for victims

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Last year just under £1m of compensation was secured for people in the Foyle area who had been victims of crime.

Wendy Stewart, service manager of the new Foyle Hub for Victim Support which opened on the sixth floor of the Embassy Building on Tuesday, revealed that all of this money went directly into the pockets of the victims themselves.

Officially opened by the new Justice Minister Claire Sugden MLA the new Victim Support hub in the heart of the city includes a specialist training room for volunteers and the number of client meeting rooms has been doubled to four.

And Wendy revealed how the new space can allow them to see clients quicker than they did before.

“At Victim Support we help people in the aftermath of a crime,” she said. “Initially the contact is by phone and if the clients wish to speak to one of our volunteers we can arrange that in the hub or in one of our outreach centres. We also help people through the criminal injuries compensation service which is totally free.”

Volunteer Jonathan Redpath, who was a victim of crime when he was younger said that if the Victim Support Hub was not here, victims of crime would not be offered enough emotional support or signposted towards the right services.

“I came into this work studying for a degree in counselling,” he said. “And because I have been through it myself, it is great to help other people. It is great to see this hub open.”

Victim Support NI Chief Executive Geraldine Hanna said: “I am very proud of our terrific team of 13 staff and 25 volunteers who work tirelessly throughout this Hub area supporting people through often very traumatic experiences assessing their needs, assisting them with criminal injuries compensation and helping victims and witnesses through the daunting court process.”

If you have been affected by crime and need support, call our Foyle Hub on 02871370086.”