Suffolk Youth Offending Service works with children and young people who have been dealt with by police or courts. The aim of Suffolk Youth Offending 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 Suffolk Youth Offending 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 young people
  • Effective communication and listening skills
  • Ability to ask questions and challenge appropriately
  • Showing empathy to young people and victims of crime
  • Ability to remain impartial
  • Understanding issues of diversity

Volunteering opportunities

Referral Order panel members

Referral Order panels provide young people with an opportunity to put forward the reasons for offending and how they feel about the offence following sentencing at court. The panel will work with the young person 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 tackling youth offending in Suffolk. Referral Order panels consist of a Youth Offending 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 young person to talk about their offending behaviour and identify factors that may cause them to offend.

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 young people.

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.