Victim Support asks for ‘one hour’ volunteers

Victim Support is planning a campaign to persuade the public to give up an hour of their time to raise money for victims of crime.

The charity wants to highlight its work helping victims and witnesses of crime, particularly those affected by homophobic or racist attacks.

The move follows the high-profile murder of gay barman David Morley on London’s South Bank last November and a dramatic rise in the number of racially motivated crimes over the last ten years.

It is Victim Support’s first major fundraising appeal and comes as the charity attempts to raise its profile among minority and gay press in a bid to reassure different communities about the diverse backgrounds of its volunteers.

The charity is also hoping to increase calls to its hotline from victims who may not feel comfortable reporting crime to the police.

It plans to ask members of the public to ‘make some time for victims of crime’ and fundraise for the charity for an hour.

A survey about the different things people would do if they had a free hour will be used as a news hook for the campaign.

‘People think crime is a government problem and question why they should give to a charity that deals with it,’ said Victim Support head of comms Paul Fawcett. ‘Yet there are very few services available to victims of crime compared with, for example, victims of child abuse.’

He plans to emphasise to the press that an hour can be ‘a complete waste of time’ or can be used to ‘do something spectacular and help other people’.

Approximately 20 celebrities are lined up to support the campaign, including actors, politicians, sports personalities and TV presenters.

National and regional media will be targeted, as well as consumer, lifestyle, men’s and women’s magazines.

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