Court Volunteering

 

Volunteering offers a rewarding opportunity to work in courts helping vulnerable people

       Legal Volunteering

What our court volunteers do

The PSU’s incredible service is only possible because of the time, dedication and varied experience of life that volunteers bring to bear when helping our clients.

Attending court alone is daunting. Those we support are usually unable to access any formal legal help, yet need to be able to present their own case clearly and without emotion – often facing professional barristers in court. At a time of great stress, this can seem an insurmountable task.

Our volunteers provide both reassurance and guidance, so that our clients have the very best chance of engaging with the courts in a dignified away.

Volunteers support clients by:

  • explaining how the court works
  • helping to fill in court forms and organise court papers
  • helping clients plan what they want to say in court
  • going into court hearings with them
Watch PSU volunteers talk about helping people facing court alone

“The PSU service is simple but effective. I’ve seen first-hand the difference a PSU volunteer makes. Trained volunteers taking the time to listen to and support the client’s individual needs has a real impact on the life of the client” – Lord Thomas, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales

Benefits of volunteering

In return, PSU volunteers receive:

  • training and support for working with clients
  • reimbursement of travel and lunch expenses
  • experience of the court system
  • a feeling of satisfaction from helping people in difficult situations

“As a volunteer with the PSU, I have seen a number of cases when the client left the office in tears of joy, because they knew there was help available to them.”

Who can volunteer

We welcome applicants aged 18 or over with relevant skills, experience and time such as:

  • experience of working with people and good command of spoken and written English is essential
  • initiative, resourcefulness and problem-solving skills will help with some of the challenges you might face in the PSU
  • common sense, compassion and reliability

Legal knowledge is not necessary, although some familiarity with the legal environment is helpful. Current legal professionals are not eligible.

How to become a court volunteer

If you can spare at least two days per month volunteering in one of our locations, then we would like to hear from you. Please complete an online expression of interest and the relevant PSU will send you further details and a comprehensive application form. If successful you will then be required to have an interview with the relevant service.

Please contact your local PSU manager if:
  • you need a reasonable adjustment for a disability or significant health problem
  • are currently, or have recently been, involved in court proceedings

We will ask for and check references, including information on any criminal record and suitability to work with vulnerable people.

For individuals wanting more information, or universities interested in student volunteering opportunities, please contact your local PSU.

Other Volunteering Opportunities

Would you like to join a Friends Committee, a Volunteer Fundraising Board or become a PSU Ambassador?

Maybe you have some specific skills you could offer us. We need volunteers to support our small staff team in areas such as IT, fundraising, and general administrative work. Please contact your Local PSU to discuss how you can support us.