Awards & News

A Galway Carol for ASSC

The Parlour Singers are kindly fundraising for Accompaniment Support Services for Children (ASSC) by performing “Galway Carol” written by Brian McNicholl.

Please listen to Galway Carol on YouTube or on Spotify/ iTunes by searching for “Galway Carol”.

If you chose to, you can donate by clicking on this link.

Thank you and Happy Christmas!

The Galway Mayor’s Awards 2022

A.S.S.C. Volunteers win the 2022 Children and Youth Support Award at The Galway City Mayor’s Awards (Gradam an Mheará)

On behalf of all our volunteers, A.S.S.C. is honoured to have received the Children and Youth Support Award at the 2022 Galway City Mayor’s Awards. The outline below from the award ceremony presentation highlights the impact that our volunteers have every day of the year. Thank you to all our volunteers!

“People from all walks of life come together in Galway each week with a common cause: to help ensure a vital support service is available to young people if and as needed. Volunteers have enabled this service to operate 24 hours, 365 days a year and without these volunteers, this vital support service for children attending in Galway would not be available. These volunteers give their time willingly to provide accompaniment and advocacy for young people and their families at different stages. Despite the impact of the pandemic, these volunteers contributed to delivering this service ensuring every child had a person there solely to support them.

With the support, professionalism and knowledge provided by our recipient, children and their families are provided with a vital, much needed support while they are negotiating through different divisions of our justice system.

For their dedication, commitment, motivation and peer support and
For providing all children/young people and families with accompaniment and support during a time when it is most needed

The 2022 Children and Youth Support Award goes to:

Accompaniment Support Services for Children (A.S.S.C.) Volunteers.”

Year in Review – Justice Sector Update

Year in Review – Justice Sector Update<br />
Courts Service News, December 2022
Back row (L to R), Lynette Bradshaw (Executive Director), Cathy Wyer (Advocacy Phone Support). Front row Grace Jordan (Director of Services), Karen Keaveney (National Service Coordinator) and Emma Heslin (Volunteer Coordinator).

Courts Service News, December 2022

ASSC is very proud to announce that, as of end of October 2022, 118 young people and their families were supported in the Criminal Courts of Justice Dublin and other locations across the country. Also, within the two forensic units, ASSC has provided support to 78 young people and their families.

Looking to 2023 we are hoping to reach more young people and their families across the country, and we welcome Courts Service support in this. Thank you!

ASSC is a volunteer-led charity set up in 2020 to address the gap 
for child victims of crime. ASSC 
has three core services. They are: Forensic Accompaniment Support, Court Accompaniment Support and Advocacy Phone Support supporting young people and their families as 
they negotiate the Criminal Justice System. ASSC specialises in working with vulnerable young people and their families, particularly in cases of child sexual abuse. ASSC provides support to any young person who is testifying in any criminal trial.

ASSC is the only child-centred charity dedicated to safeguarding children during criminal proceedings. Working in partnership with and funded by the Department of Justice, ASSC is guided by the principles outlined in the Children’s First Act 2015. ASSC provides Forensic Accompaniment Support and Advocacy to young people and their families when a child presents for a forensic and/or medical examination. Accompaniment is provided at Barnahus West in Galway and the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU), at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. Continued crisis support is provided via the Advocacy Phone Support service on leaving the unit.

ASSC currently provides Court Accompaniment in the Dublin region for young people and their families, along with nationwide Advocacy.
Our Phone Support service helps parents and caregivers of children referred to ASSC. This service provides ongoing crisis support, information, and signposting to relevant services whilst they negotiate the judicial process.

Volunteering – can you help?

Our volunteers provide onsite support in Barnahus West, SATU Rotunda and the Criminal Courts of Justice. Volunteers are required to attend extensive training that that takes place over two full weekends, including some evening sessions. Areas of learning include: the impact of child sexual abuse; child safeguarding; the forensic medical process; the criminal justice process, responding 
to disclosures of child sexual abuse and the invaluable role of the volunteer within these processes.

Once initial training is complete, volunteers are offered additional training to continue to support them in their role. The recruitment of Volunteers is ongoing and is expanding nationwide. We are always on the lookout to expand our dedicated volunteer cohort so that
 we can continue to provide the best support for young people and families. If you are interested in volunteering with ASSC and becoming part of our committed team, please contact Emma Heslin at or register your interest on our website

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