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Battler Sue at victim support

PUBLISHED: 17:22 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 July 2010

Miles Jermy

A DESIRE to give something back to the community inspired Sue Howard to become a volunteer for Victim Support 25 years ago.

That passion has never wavered despite suffering for years with severe mobility problems and a bout of pneumonia at the end of last year that left her clinging

to life.

A DESIRE to give something back to the community inspired Sue Howard to become a volunteer for Victim Support 25 years ago.

That passion has never wavered despite suffering for years with severe mobility problems and a bout of pneumonia at the end of last year that left her clinging

to life.

Now well on the road to recovery Sue, 63, is looking forward to resuming her work at the Great Yarmouth branch of Victim Support.

After several years working in the witness service, Sue is now a community-based volunteer giving support and advice to crime victims.

The former hospital cleaner from Cobholm has become something of an expert on the criminal justice system in the quarter of a century she has been working for the charity.

“I must have done at least 100 courses in my time as a volunteer, but there is always something new to learn,”

she said. “I have been involved with every sort of case except murder, but each one is different.

“Sometimes people can see those in uniform as intimidating authority figures but we try to be friendly and approachable. It is important to be a good listener and non-judgmental. Some of the cases I deal with are quite harrowing, but I relax by playing the organ and it is very rewarding when people thank me for the help I have given them.”

Sue had to retire from her job in 1990 after suffering an accident at work that left her with trapped nerves in her arm.

But she never considered giving up helping the often vulnerable people who seek the help of Victim Support, and her determination is

just as strong now to

resume the work she

loves.

“I was in hospital for about five weeks and had to be treated in intensive care because I could not breathe unaided and lost two-and-a- half stone. Fortunately I pulled through and am hoping to rejoin the team in a couple of months.

“I have been amazed by the support my colleagues have offered me since I have been ill and cannot speak highly enough of them all. There were only four of us working there when I started, now there are 30 or 40, but it would be good if more young people got involved.”

Like many volunteers, Sue is happy to be an unsung hero, but she received the accolade, winning a Year of the Volunteer award in 2005.

Husband Andy said: “Sue is a special person and deserves some recognition.”

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