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Victim Support KentOnline, kmfm and KMTV's Charity of the Year for 2019

By Ismail Khwaja

A charity that helps victims of crime has been announced as KentOnline, kmfm and KMTV's Charity of the Year.

Victim Support is a national charity funded locally by Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.

It provides free and confidential support for all victims of crime from its base in Ashford.

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WATCH: David Naylor describes the help Victim Support can offer

The charity also operates support via weekly walk-in events held in Folkestone, Chatham, Tonbridge, Folkestone, Gravesham, Maidstone, Ramsgate, Swanley, Sheerness, and at Bluewater.

Last year they were in contact with more than one million victims across England and Wales.

Rebekah Vela-Castro, senior service delivery manager, said: "It means so much to us.

"We're really excited about it because there's going to be so many opportunities with increasing the awareness of Victim Support.

"More importantly, making sure that vulnerable people can access all of the support and they know about all of the support we can give them.

"It could be emotional support, it could be having someone to listen to the victim and provide them with assurance.

"It could be practical support, so we can provide bits and pieces that people need to help them move beyond the crime."

The service is predominantly delivered by volunteers who work all throughout the county, which means they are able to reach anyone.

Daniel Hunnable, a service delivery manager for the charity, became a volunteer after moving to Kent while studying at university and initially wanted to join the police.

The 21-year-old said: "I thought about joining Victim Support because of the work they do and I felt that it’s very important before going into the police to have that understanding of what it's like to be a victim of crime and to understand how crime can affect victims.

"Having done the work with Victim Support, I found it very rewarding and that’s when I thought this was the type of work I wanted to do going forward."

Nicola Everett, head of multimedia news at the KM Group, said: "We know Victim Support helps thousands of people across the county every year and thought the hard work of their many volunteers should be highlighted.

"We hope that by having them as our charity of the year we will be able to tell more people about the vital work they do in assisting those who have, unfortunately, been affected by crime."

For more details about the charity’s work and if you need support call 0808 168 9276, when the local office is closed call 0808 168 9111 or visit www.victimsupport.org.uk

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