Six Victims’ Forum members in Northern Ireland have become the first in the UK to gain a qualification for working with victims.
These included Larne man Mitch Bresland, development officer with the Northern Ireland Phoenix Group, which supports former security force members.
Mitch undertook a six- month course to gain the Skills For Justice (SFJ) National Level 4 Diploma in Working with Victims,Witnesses and Survivors qualification.
This will allow him to engage with victims and survivors as competent and ethical practitioners.
Mitch said: “I am relatively new to my role in the Victims’ Forum, so undertaking and completing this course showed me that I was taking the right approach in my work.
“Having it all put into a formal structure has crystalised the importance of what we do to support those affected by the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Dr Mary Magee of the Time Out Northern Ireland Assessment Centre, added: “The six forum members were assessed against 142 criteria including how they worked with colleagues and stakeholders, assisted victims and survivors to manage the effects of their experience, equality and diversity, safeguarding, managing volunteers, reflective practice, compliance in quality assurance and in meeting legal, ethical and social requirements.”