Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side - Victim Support and the Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group is working with Victim Support on a research and development programme to identify the support needs of victims of hate crime. The research, which was published on 16 August, is intended to inform the development of support guidelines for the charity's staff and volunteers

KEN MADINE, HEAD OF FUNDRAISING, VICTIM SUPPORT

Why did you choose this partnership?

We were looking for a partner that felt strongly about helping us find out more about the impact of hate crime. The Co-op has staff who speak to victims of crime when they claim on their insurance. We can help them by training their claims advisers to handle calls from victims in a sensitive way.

How do you benefit?

Through £100,000 of support for the research programme, the sale of our training for claims advisers and new volunteers.

Did you have any reservations?

How can you have reservations about working with a company that is built on such an ethical approach to business?

What are your plans for the partnership?

To learn more about what we can offer each other.

CHRIS SMITH, HEAD OF COMMUNITY AND CO-OPERATIVE AFFAIRS, THE CO-OPERATIVE GROUP

Why did you choose this partnership?

The Co-operative Group has been working with offenders for years. But we wanted to balance this with support for victims.

How do you benefit?

We hear our communities experiencing difficulties arising from issues around diversity. Hate crime is an issue with a major impact on society and individuals.

Did you have any reservations?

We did not want to be seen as a sponsor that merely hands over a big cheque. We wanted to be involved in making a real difference in a controversial area.

What are your plans for the partnership?

Our insurance business receives calls from people affected by crime, so we have asked Victim Support to deliver training that will help our staff to handle these calls with sensitivity.

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