"I decided almost two years ago that Devon Rape Crisis Service was the right organisation for me to volunteer for because I wanted to make a full commitment to an issue that I felt deeply about and one where I could really make a difference.
What I hadn't anticipated is the enormous joy that I get out of being a member of such an amazing bunch of women volunteers who make me laugh and make me proud. In this supportive environment we manage to deal with difficult situations all the time, and this builds my confidence in helping women to know that they are not alone, we are there for them, and to help them find a way forward and cope.
I have learned such a lot over the time I have been a volunteer, both about the issues of sexual violence and about myself - what I am capable of and about the power of working together" - Lyndy
"I am delighted to be a volunteer with DRCS. The sheer strength of purpose and vitality shared by supportive women working together is inspirational. My work has involved the provision of health care services for many years. More recently this has particularly highlighted Devon women's health issues, including rape and sexual abuse and the need to provide women survivors with direct access to confidential, non judgemental and empathetic support locally. It is an honour to be part of DRCS, an organisation that believes in women. As a woman and a mother I believe too in the significant contribution that women make to our society and how important it is to change the inequalities that can be a cause of violence against women and which disregard their individual human rights" - Veronica
"I feel incredibly valued as a volunteer. I'm informed and well supported to support women affected by sexual violence and raise awareness within my community" - Catriona
"I can't exaggerate how rewarding it is to volunteer for Devon Rape Crisis Service. There is an amazing environment of support and understanding among all the volunteers and staff, which makes it such a great place to be. It is a real honour to be able to provide the opportunity to survivors of rape and sexual assault to reach out, knowing that they will be believed, respected and valued" - Elena
"Being a volunteer at DRCS is an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience, and I feel privileged to support the women who contact us. The organisation as a whole is very supportive, inspiring and compassionate, staff, trustees and fellow volunteers alike. The ongoing training and support we receive as volunteers has built both my confidence in myself and when supporting the women we support" - Sarah K
"The moment I knew I wanted to work with survivors of sexual violence was in my final exams at university. I was there, writing about rape statistics and attrition rates and I realised that these aren't just words, this isn't just a grade on a piece of paper. This is real. This is happening in this world, in this country, in this town .... right now. I wanted to know what I could do to help and remembered seeing a DRCS poster at Torbay hospital. I sent in my application, was offered an interview and accepted for the training course. I have never looked back. The training was a fantastic experience on so many levels. The knowledge, the skills, the people. Not only did I enjoy getting to know Anna and Fee better but the friendships I've forged with others will be connected for many years. You feel as though you are part of a family (maybe more The Simpsons than The Waltons) but we are united in our goal, our revolution to help and support survivors of sexual violence. And not just that alone but also taking part in fundraising and raising awareness of the issues surrounding sexual violence within society - for example Reclaim the Night. We are always kept in the know with opportunities for volunteering at events, invites to conferences and places on further training courses so that we are constantly and consistently on the pulse. As individuals, as volunteers and as an organisation we are growing and developing all the time. And I am so proud to be a part of it" - Gemma
"I was drawn to Devon Rape Crisis Service because I wanted to swell the number of people out there offering support to survivors of sexual violence. It was a simple philosophy. Since joining I have got more than I bargained for and I mean that in a good way, not the 'careful what you wish for' way. The core training we received was fantastic; as is the ongoing professional training we are given to ensure we're always equipped to deliver the best support we can. As for my fellow volunteers - I'm happy to have met such a vibrant, strong, diverse group of women all working for the same cause! Our monthly volunteer meetings are invaluable for sharing tips and improving our skills, and we frequently have opportunities to meet up during other activities like promoting the service, fundraising and additional training. To anyone reading this who's thinking of getting in touch: there is no rigid formula we thrust on women who contact us. If you're looking for some practical exercises in how to deal with distressing feelings, we can help. Or if you're looking for someone to just listen while you talk, that is fine. Perhaps communicating via e-mail is what you prefer. We see every woman as an individual with her own life story, likes and dislikes and our job is to help you on your journey to healing, without pressure, in a way that works best for you" - Laura