The Croatian National Call Centre for Victims of Crime has won an award for this year’s Best Volunteering Organizer, awarded by the Croatian Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy. The National Call Centre for Victims of Crime is an anonymous helpline for supporting victims and witnesses and their families, which can be reached at a free of charge number 116 006. By calling 116 006 victims and witnesses can receive legal and practical information, referrals to relevant organisations and institutions and emotional support. From 2013 until now, the Centre has been contacted by more than 10,000 callers.
Main support providers on the helpline consists of specially educated volunteers of the National Call Centre, who are usually students of law, psychology or social work that have been selflessly sharing their knowledge, skills and free time with the callers for seven years. To this day the National Call Centre has educated more than 250 volunteers that have jointly accumulated more than 38,000 volunteer hours.
The Croatian National Call Centre for Victims of Crime is cognizant of the importance of having continuous, free and easily accessible support for victims and witnesses and the responsible role that volunteers carry out. Due to that reason, the National Call Centre actively works on improving the volunteering programme, as well as the additional and specialised education that it provides to its volunteers.
Because of the importance placed on developing and maintaining the volunteer programme, the National Call Centre values awards and accolades that recognise the effort and quality of work of its employees involved with the volunteering activities, volunteers and the volunteering programme. We are especially proud of our coordinator Maja Štahan, who won the 2018 State Award for Volunteering Coordinator and are incredibly pleased that the National Call Centre was awarded this year, in 2020, the State Award for Best Volunteering Organiser.
The work and effort we do in volunteering was as well recognised by the Volunteering Centre Osijek, which on the 3rd December awarded us with the Award for Good Practice in Volunteering Inclusion.
We believe that this was a challenging year for all, including the National Call Centre. The volunteer programme was halted for the first time ever due to lockdown in the pandemic, and the education trainings were held online or in alternated conditions.
Still, we are proud that in this challenging year 2020, we managed to ensure stable functioning of the 116 006 helpline, conduct three recruitments and trainings of volunteers, expand our team by five new employees and extend our working hours to 24/7.
We are glad that our efforts and quality were noticed this year as well, and that the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy recognized and awarded us as the best organisers of volunteering in 2020. While we believe that the future will bring new and unexpected challenges, recognitions like these motivate us to persevere in our work and to reflect on new, more creative and effective ways of providing assistance and support to victims and witnesses.