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Passionate about the value of good support

23-year-old Destiny is one of Victim Support’s newest volunteers. She’s just finished her initial training and is still yet to attend her first call-out. But she’s ready.

“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the training,” she says. “It was comprehensive and gave a fantastic overview of the importance of support workers from all walks of life. It really reassured me that I’m here for the right reasons. I just thought to myself, I’m going to back myself and see this through, because it’s an honour to be part of this organisation and support people in their time of need.”

Currently working for a large law firm as a legal secretary, Destiny’s motivations for becoming a volunteer are a little different than most.

“I was initially drawn to the legal profession, and then to volunteering with Victim Support, due to my upbringing,” Destiny explains. “I grew up on the streets as a kid – homelessness and poverty were very big parts of my life.”

It’s not something that Destiny usually talks about, but it’s life experience that she feels has shaped her into an understanding, empathetic person who finds it easy to connect with others – qualities that make for a fantastic volunteer.

“I don’t like to speak about it often because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. But my upbringing has definitely given me a unique insight and perspective on life that many people might not have.”

She understands the value of having good support in difficult times and is keen to be a reliable support in someone’s life.

“While living on the streets, I was still attending high school every day, it was here that I formed really solid relationships with my peers and teachers,” she says. “They were the ones that got me through school and into university.  This is where my focus on the importance of having community around you comes from – I can see how important it is, for the benefit of post-traumatic growth and to bring a much-needed sense of stability in someone’s time of need.”

While Destiny admits she may have more life experience than most at age 23, she’s adamant that the most important qualities to have in the role are being able to listen with empathy and having a desire to do good.

“I know a lot of younger people want to get involved with their communities to make a positive impact, and this is something that so many people can be a part of.”