As we approach the Christmas holidays we can all be forgiven for reflecting how much has changed since this time last year. It’s not just the absence of festive parties with our work colleagues and friends; it’s not just the absence (in many parts of the country) of masses of people scrambling to get presents for families and loved ones; it’s not just the sight of near empty buses and trains…..

We have all been impacted in the last year by the scourge of Covid 19. We hear, on a daily basis, of the huge toll being paid in serious illnesses and loss of life. We are acutely aware of the impact on staff, residents and their families in care homes. The numbers of people out of work and so facing a bleak Christmas grows on a daily basis. Our lives are looking very different than they were this time last year.

The impact on those needing support following their experience of crime, and those who offer that support has been no less significant. Indeed, in many cases it has been even more profound as many victims are also vulnerable, marginalised, dispossessed in ways that go beyond the impact of the crime itself. Our online survey, to which I respectfully draw your attention gives us a taste of how this pandemic has affected victims and witnesses and those who look to meet their needs. Covid survey

But as well as the negative impacts we can also note an underlying resilience and ability of many people to adapt, to try to make the best of what has been for all of us a deeply challenging experience. And we seem to have some really good news with the arrival of at least one, and several more imminent, effective vaccines for the virus. So, perhaps, we can, with a collective sigh of relief and with positivity in our minds, start to look how we make the most of what we have learned during this pandemic and how we can begin to re-imagine services to victims and witnesses in the future.

Supporting Justice and Moorhouse recently held a webinar to consider the impact of Covid on these services and consider some of the key learning points to help develop services in the future; a digest of this webinar can be found here: webinar digest . A return to “business as usual” does not have to mean a return to the status ante quo and we have, perhaps, a real opportunity to learn, build, and improve the services we can offer having captured so much useful intelligence as a result of the last year or so.

If you would like to hear more on our thoughts or think we can help then please get in touch with us here at Supporting Justice or with our colleagues at Moorhouse. Contact details are below.