Volunteer’s award for helping victims

A VOLUNTEER has been given a long-service award for helping victims of crime.

Gordon Dixon, 68, of Burry Road, St Leonards, was presented with a 20-year Milestone award from the charity Victim Support by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, during a ceremony at the Ramada Plaza at Gatwick last Thursday (April 18).

He was one of 48 to receive accolades from across Sussex and Surrey. The Princess spent the afternoon handing out awards to Victim Support volunteers who had been giving up their free time for the charity for more than 15 years.

Mr Dixon said: “When you have helped someone, it’s a wonderful thing, even if you’ve only helped them a little bit.

“The cases come through to us from Sussex Police, whether it be a minor traffic offence right through to a murder to our Victim Care Unit based in Shoreham. These are passed on to our boss in Bexhill. We then take down brief details before arranging to meet and help the victim as best we can.”

Mr Dixon has helped countless people in his 21 years working for the charity, from burglary victims to those affected by car crashes.

He said: “Burglary is one particular crime that’s nasty as a lot of victims affected by it usually can’t replace their property.”

Maralyn Smith, divisional manager for Victim Support Surrey and Sussex, said: “Our volunteers do such an amazing job of helping victims and witnesses of crime through a tough time.

“Having Her Royal Highness presenting them with Milestone Awards is such a rewarding way to have their efforts recognised.”

The Milestone awards were part of Victim Support’s Surrey and Sussex Divisional Volunteer and Staff Conference.

The day covered talks on different restorative approaches with speaker Peter Woolfe who talked about how the process of restorative justice helped him stop offending. Last year Victim Support helped 40,022 victims of crime in Surrey and Sussex. For more information log onto www.victimsupport.org.uk.