When Neil Bond left work early to surprise his wife and daughter with an impromptu family picnic, he had no idea that his family had already been destroyed.
But when he arrived home and saw his driveway full of police cars he knew something terrible had happened.
Bond's wife Veronique was killed on March 4 2015 on Island Block Rd, Te Kauwhata as she drove to the Manukau Institute of Technology, where she was in her third year of a marketing and communication degree.
• The other side of crime: What is Victim Support?
Just 4km from home, Veronique stopped at a roadworks site behind a truck carrying shingle.
As she sat on her scooter behind the truck, it reversed over her.
Later that day Bond decided to leave work early and surprise Veronique and their daughter Angelina, then 5, with a picnic and treats.
On his way home tried to phone his wife several times, but she did not answer or call back, which was out of character.
He was then diverted because of a crash and was told at the detour point there had been a fatal accident between "a man on a motorbike and a truck".
When he approached his address - the dream home he and Veronique had moved into just a month earlier - he realised exactly who had been killed.
"I thought 'shit… no... no," he told the Weekend Herald.
Bond got out of his car and was met by police officers.
"Straight away I said 'it's Veronique isn't it?'"
A woman named Linda introduced herself, said she was with Victim Support and was there to help him.
Bond went into shock, unable to comprehend what he was hearing.
"Linda was right there from the get-go, she said she was there to support me, to organise anything I needed - I think the first thing she did, she went straight in and made a cup of tea."
The next few hours were a blur.
"I had no idea what to do," Bond says.
"You're in shock, so your brain isn't operating… you feel like you've just had a hole blown through the middle of you and you're really wondering 'what?'."
Bond says Linda was at his side the whole time.
She helped him call family, find out where his Angelina and his stepson Shane, 17, were and made arrangements to get them home.
"Having that person there who only had one thing to focus on, my and my family's well being, was actually pretty good, it was pretty comforting," Bond said.
"You're thrust into something you've got no experience of whatsoever and just having those questions answered, having Linda there offering little bits of advice, that was so good."
Bond does not think he could have coped without someone like Linda at his side - not just on the day Veronique died, but in the days, weeks and years after as he navigated her funeral and two court cases.
He says Linda made his sad journey easier in many ways.
She checked up on him, made sure he was functioning so he could take care of the kids,
kept him updated on the court process and found answers to any questions he had.
"That really made a big difference: just those little things like that that you don't know; having those little bits of advice, and the follow-ups day after day," he explains.
"If Victim Support didn't exist I think it would have been a lot tougher, because I would have felt isolated.
"Don't get me wrong, the police were good - but you still feel like they have their job to do so having that person there, on your side, they've only got one job and that's making sure you're ok."
Bond says Linda was never intrusive, she didn't pry and her questions about his wellbeing were non-confrontational.
Her support buoyed him through his darkest days.
"I think the world would be a worse place without Victim Support that's for sure - they really help a lot of people who are really struggling, who are really on the edge."
"Victim Support can be a lifeline...just that one person who cares can make the difference," Bond says.
"Unless you actually know someone who works for Victim Support or has needed them, you don't realise what they do.
"I didn't know what the ins and outs were - most Kiwi's wouldn't know."
He is urging people to support the service, either by donating or volunteering, and says he and his kids, now 8-and-a-half and 20, will always be grateful for the support they received.
"It's real caring, I always felt it was genuine - so a huge thank you to Linda, she made our tough time a whole lot easier."
What is Victim Support?
Victim Support has been operating in New Zealand since the early 1980s, starting with several small voluntary groups and transforming into an official national group by 1991.
These days the organisation provides practical and emotional support to more than 30,000 people each year who are affected by crime, trauma and suicide — roughly the same number of people as the population of Pukekohe, Blenheim or Timaru.
The number of people needing support is rising, says chief executive Kevin Tso. "We hope this series helps people understand that Victim Support is a place where anyone who is affected by a crime, trauma or suicide can go for help — and find someone compassionate to talk to, someone to help you find safety from harm, or someone who can give well-informed advice and information to remove some of the stress and uncertainty that follows a harmful incident.
Victim Support currently has 622 volunteers and 90 frontline staff working across 60 locations and providing nationwide coverage, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It is not a government agency and though it receives some funding, it generally relies on donations to provide services.
Tso says Victim Support's annual costs run into the millions of dollars and the organisation needs to recruit 200-300 new volunteers nationwide every year to maintain its service, and Tso says the organisation is always on the lookout for more people who want to get involved.
"It takes a very special kind of person to be a Victim Support volunteer, to throw yourself voluntarily into the midst of crisis and trauma," he says. "But the same intensity that makes the work challenging is what makes it rewarding".
How to help
To donate to Victim Support click here.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer or for more information, visit www.victimsupport.org.nz.