CRC’s Court Support Volunteers
It has been a long and tough road for our Court Support program during COVID-19 with our valued volunteers having been unable to carry out their role for much of 2020 and 2021. Their friendly and approachable faces and quiet, gentle assistance have been much missed by court users and staff.
All of us at CRC would like to thank our volunteers for the wonderful job they do. Volunteers like them help make the world a better and more equitable place with their time, knowledge and energy. We are looking forward to returning to normal service in the courts as soon as possible in 2022 and being able to meet up with our volunteers again in person.
Attending court can be challenging and distressing, especially if it is your first time. Trained volunteers provide information on court protocol, sources of legal assistance, emotional support and referrals to other services. 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.
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 Legal Aid NSW, CSS is available for defendants, witnesses and victims of crime, as well as the many friends and families of those attending court.
The scheme is delivered by more than 50 trained volunteers who give freely of their time to help people navigate the court system. For those facing the stress of their first court appearance, multiple adjournments or having a family member in custody, being assisted in a friendly manner can make a real difference. CRC volunteers provide information on court protocol, sources of legal assistance, emotional support and referrals to other services. Volunteers do not offer legal advice and there is no referral or fee required for its service.
“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 represents an outstanding commitment to improving access to justice, especially for vulnerable and socio-economically disadvantaged members of our community.
Local Courts Serviced
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.
Important to know: This service does NOT provide legal advice. For legal information please visit the Legal Aid NSW website or alternatively see the Law Access NSW website.
This service does NOT provide individual, one-to-one support throughout the court hearing. If you are seeking court support for a witness or victim of crime, please contact CRC’s Telephone Information and Referral Service on (02) 9288 8700 to find out what options may be available.
Funding: Legal Aid New South Wales.
Are you looking for more information on how to navigate the court system? Going to court can be confusing and overwhelming!
Click here to read our guides about how to best prepare for local court
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 contact the Court Support Scheme Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer Application: Court Support Volunteer Application Form
For more information about this service, please contact our Court Support Scheme Coordinator at email@example.com. If you have an urgent matter please phone (02) 9288 8700 or contact us.
“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 walks of life. We also benefit from the friendship of colleagues.”
– Susan, volunteer