Awards and thanks given to Restorative Justice volunteers in Bradford (23 Sept 2016)

On Wednesday 21st September, Bradford Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership in conjunction with Restorative Solutions held a celebrating event for the Restorative Justice Hub. The event was to recognise the hard work and commitment made by the volunteers who are pivotal to the success of the project.

Restorative Justice is a process whereby victims and offenders, or those in conflict can communicate through a volunteer facilitator either directly or indirectly. The people affected are given the opportunity to ask questions of the person that has caused the harm and also explain the impact that this harm has caused.

People affected by crime or conflict take part in a restorative process for many different reasons. They might have questions, or may want to better understand something that has happened.

Many people who have engaged in restorative justice found it very positive and an empowering experience.

The 40 current active volunteers give up their time to volunteer in their own communities to make a difference in Bradford to deliver better safety outcomes. It is the commitment, passion and dedication of these volunteers that has led Bradford RJ Hub to be nationally recognised.

Cllr Jabar Chair of the Bradford Safer and Stronger Community Partnership said "This is a celebration event to recognise and value the work of the Restorative Justice (RJ) volunteers. The RJ volunteers drive this area of work and they contribute towards the success of the project and make significant differences to the communities which make up Bradford District."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner attended the awards and said "I was pleased to be able to help recognise the hard work and dedication of these volunteer practitioners who give up their time to help support victims of various crimes.

"Being a victim of crime can have a huge impact on people's lives and can often leave victims wondering why were they targeted, and the offenders do not stop to think about the implications of their actions and very often go on to reoffend. This is where Restorative Justice can come in to offer an alternative approach, where it's appropriate, which aims to work with victims and offenders dealing with the aftermath of any offence and its implications at the time and for the future.

"It's crucial that the victims' and survivors needs are always taken into account and that everything possible is done to support them whenever appropriate. Earlier this year I allocated £500,000 from the dedicated Victims Fund to further the valuable work of Restorative Justice throughout West Yorkshire and I constantly review the results."

If you have been a victim of crime and would be interested in finding our more about the restorative justice process please contact the RJ Hub.

The RJ Hub is currently recruiting more volunteers who will undertake training in November. To be invited to an information session in October please contact the RJ Hub at [email protected] or 01274 437516.

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Pictured from left to right, Mark Burns-Williamson, Councillor Jabar Chair of Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership Board, Kate Brooksbank of Bradford Restorative Justice Hub Manager, Superintendent Miller of West Yorkshire Police, Ian Day Assistant Director Neighbourhoods and Customer Services, Rebecca Trueman Safer Communities Coordinator, Barbara Szuskzo Bradford Volunteer Cooordinator and Tony Walker Restorative Solutions

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018