Attending court can be challenging and distressing, especially if it is your first time. Trained volunteers provide information on court processes, where to seek advice and emotional support when needed.
CRC’s Court Support Scheme (CSS) was established in 1982 and operates in local courts across the Sydney metropolitan area, Central Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong. Funded by the Legal Aid NSW, CSS is available for defendants, witnesses, victims of crime, as well as the many friends and families of those attending court.
The Court Support Scheme is made up of over 50 volunteers who give freely of their time to help people navigate the court system. For those facing the stress of their first court appearance, or multiple adjournments or having a family member in custody, being assisted in a friendly manner can make a real difference. CSS volunteers provide information on court protocol, sources of legal assistance, emotional support and referrals to other services. CSS volunteers do not offer legal advice and there is no referral or fee required for its service. Over 50,000 court attendees were offered assistance in the past financial year.
“A big thank you to the skilled and committed volunteers who give so freely of their time. The dedication of these volunteers to providing support and information makes a real difference to people who are feeling confused, stressed and often overwhelmed when they come to court.”
– Legal Aid NSW –
This volunteering initiative delivers an outstanding commitment to improving access to justice for many, especially to the vulnerable, the socially or economically disadvantaged members of our community.
Local Courts Serviced
Bankstown, Blacktown, Burwood, Downing Centre, Gosford, Hornsby, Manly, Mount Druitt, Newcastle, Newtown, Parramatta, Penrith, Sutherland, Waverley, Wollongong, Wyong.
Eligibility: This is a free service available at courts supported by the scheme.
Access: This service is available on list days only, between the hours of 9am and 11am.
Funding: Legal Aid New South Wales.
Volunteering with the Court Support Scheme
There are limited places available for volunteers and vacancies may arise throughout the year depending on volunteer retirements. For further information about current vacancies, please speak to the Court Support Scheme Coordinator on (02) 9288 8700 before sending in your application.
“We do it because, like a lot of people who have liberated themselves from the workforce, we want to give something back to our community, and because doing a little bit of good is better than doing nothing at all.”
– Jan, volunteer
“The people who benefit are the court attendees, their families and loved ones and the court’s administrative staff. Of course, we benefit too, because we interact with a fascinating cross section of our fellow human beings from all works of life. We also benefit from the friendship of colleagues.”
– Susan, volunteer