Suffolk Youth Justice Service works with children and young people who have been dealt with by police or courts. The aim of Suffolk Youth Justice Service is to prevent offending by children and young people and a key part of this is through increasing their victim empathy.

You can get involved as a volunteer if you want to:

  • Make a difference to a young person’s life
  • Help make your community safer
  • Ensure that the victims of crime are listened to
  • Learn new skills and gain useful experience

Who can volunteer?

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to be a volunteer with the Suffolk Youth Justice Service and if they have the necessary skills they will be offered ongoing training and support.

The things we look for in any volunteer include:

  • Interest in working with children
  • Effective communication and listening skills
  • Ability to ask questions and challenge appropriately
  • Ability to empathise with children and victims of crime
  • Ability to remain impartial
  • Understanding issues of diversity

Volunteering opportunities

Referral Order panel members

Referral Order panels provide children with an opportunity to put forward the reasons for their offending and how they feel about the offence following sentencing at court. The panel will work with the child to write a contract to make reparation to the community, or directly to the victim, for the offending behaviour, as well as looking at tackling the issues surrounding the offending behaviour. 

This is a real opportunity for local communities and the victims of crime to get involved directly in improving outcomes for vulnerable children in Suffolk. Referral Order panels consist of a youth justice service case holder and two volunteer panel members.

Local people are invited to volunteer on our Referral Order panels as representatives of the community. The aim is to engage the child to talk about their offending behaviour and identify factors that may help them to desist further offending.

Referral Order panels can be both challenging and rewarding and this is a role that would be beneficial to those wishing to gain experience of working with children.

Assisting with restorative justice tasks

Restorative justice allows for communication between those affected by a crime and those responsible for the crime. The aim is to help everyone who is affected by the crime to have a role in repairing harm and identifying positive ways forward.

Find out more

If you would like further information on how to apply or have questions you would like to ask, contact one of our offices.