Mary appeals for more child court volunteers

Mary Taggart.
Mary Taggart.

Portadown volunteer Mary Taggart is appealing for others to join the NSPCC’s Young Witness Service, which helps children who have to give evidence in court.

The service needs more volunteers to support children through what can be a frightening and intimidating time.

Mother-of-six Mary, who started volunteering in 2014, said, “On the day of the case (working with another volunteer) I meet the family, stay with them for the duration of the trial, put them at their ease by providing a relaxed, empathic, non-judgemental and caring environment.

“I accompany the child to the video-link room when he/she has to give evidence. I also provide support after the trial when necessary.”

Earlier this year, the 66-year-old, who also volunteers with the Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement, was presented with a British Citizen Award for her services to her community at a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster in London.

She added, “Being a volunteer enriches my life and make me happy. I would most certainly encourage others to sign up. You will get to do something that you would normally not get the chance to do.”

The service is running training for new volunteers in November. Anyone who would like more information on how to apply should contact 028 9448 7568 or visit the NSPCC website at www.nspcc.org.uk/volunteer.