Volunteering

Volunteering



THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING

Social value of volunteers - our continual training and investment in our volunteers enables them to make a huge contribution to the Citizens Advice network. They are vital, allowing us to reach many more people than if we were purely staff-run. In turn, volunteers benefit from gaining new skills and personal development, better wellbeing and community engagement. These positive effects on individual’s lives have additional value for society, through the advantages and savings associated with happier, healthier and more productive members of the community.

Social value to local communities - each local Citizens Advice plays an integral role within its local community. Our extensive and trusted insight enables us to understand, respond and adapt to local needs. We also share this information and initiate action, working with others to develop the partnerships and services that will make communities stronger. We are a local service, working with the local people, for the benefit of the community.

Benefits to our volunteers - two volunteers share what they gain from volunteering:

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Anne - I applied for the adviser programme at Citizens Advice as I was looking for a challenging, interesting way to become more aware of, and get more involved in, local community issues. The volume of information provided in the training programme has been at times daunting but is an essential introduction to the variety of work undertaken by CA. Underpinning this formal training is the support provided by session supervisors and advisers in the office. You are gradually introduced to client work and reviews and appraisals, alongside ongoing training, help to fill out subject knowledge and an understanding of how best to help clients. Training is also provided in soft skills such as interview and research capabilities so there really are personal development opportunities no matter what your past professional experience. Having worked in a range of public and private sector organisations during my career, the CA adviser programme is one of the best training programmes I have come across.

There are opportunities to get involved in local campaign issues and also to specialise in areas which really interest you. I trained with a really interesting, fun group of people and we meet up regularly to check in on each other’s progress (and mistakes we have made along the way!). I find working with clients really rewarding; to help someone move forward with a problem (or more often, problems) which has caused them stress and/or hardship can be challenging but often results in a client who can move on with their lives knowing that there is a path to help with their problem.

In short, being a CA adviser is the challenging and rewarding role I was looking for! 

John - When I retired, unexpectedly about a year earlier than planned, and with my wife still working, I was determined to keep busy and to find new activities which continued to provide an intellectual challenge – and, importantly, which “gave something back” to the community. I had never thought about Citizens Advice, or about volunteering in general, but now felt able to think about “working for free”!  I now volunteer and enjoy a wonderful sense of well-being and achievement which derives from helping people resolve problems.

At the time of writing, I am a trainee adviser.  I began my training in April 2018 and have been in the front line providing telephone and face to face advice since June.  I expect to be fully fledged and “signed off” within the next 2 months. The organisation structure ensures that no advice is provided to clients without clearance from an experienced supervisor.  So, although I am “alone at the coalface” with the advice interviews being one to one, both the client and the adviser can be confident in the supporting infrastructure of supervision and in the quality of all our advice resources.

I have spent my entire working career in the commercial business to business sector, so the whole area of social need, personal debt and benefits was entirely new to me. The learning curve is steep but immensely rewarding. I genuinely learn something new everyday and, of course, each client is different and each offer their own unique challenge.

Probably the most rewarding aspect is in being able to help solve some of our clients’ most serious life problems, and the gratitude people show for our help. People come into the office with a real worry and leave it either with the problem solved or at least with a clear route to solving it. This, coupled with the spirit of teamwork and feeling of belonging I enjoy by being part of an organisation which really does make a positive difference to people’s lives, makes volunteering with Citizens Advice a great decision for me.

I would encourage anyone to volunteer.

John

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We are recruiting Trainee Advisers for our next training programme which begins on 8th March 2019. To find out more, please contact our training officer on 01453 758252 ext. 214

Calling all Students:  Looking to make a difference? 

Volunteer for Citizens Advice

Use your time at university to volunteer and show the world what a rounded, ambitious and exceptional person you are.  Enhance your CV and gain invaluable experiences.

A recent survey of the UK’s leading businesses found that 75% of employers prefer to recruit people with volunteering experience.  Volunteering provides the chance to:

    • Contribute and make a real difference to your local community
    • Build your CV
    • Gain practical work based skills and experience
    • Meet new people and make friends

Competition for jobs is fiercer and fiercer – stand out from the crowd

Volunteering can be flexible to suit individuals. Some students volunteer regularly for a few hours each week, others help out over the summer holidays. Last summer 4 law students trained to be telephone assessors and 2 used their customer service and IT skills to help out on reception and with administration. We are looking to recruit telephone assessors for our Stroud office and reception/admin workers for our Cotswold offices.

VOLUNTEERING BENEFITS EVERYONE


Why volunteer for us?

    Join a dynamic, forward thinking organisation

    Work with a team that achieves amazing results

    Active role in supporting and strengthening your local community

    Boost your confidence with a new focus and sense of purpose

    Structured training with ongoing support

    Gain new skills and update existing ones

    Expenses paid for all reasonable travel costs

    Tea, coffee, cake and biscuits!


Benefits for the community

In 2016-17 our dedicated team of 197 volunteers and staff working in 12 locations across Stroud & Cotswold Districts helped us to

    Resolve 15,799 different problems for our clients

    Achieve overall income gain of £861,818 for households

    965 households were helped to manage £659,881 of debts

    807 people were helped with employment problems

    854 people and their families were helped with housing problems including threatened homelessness

    Have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our clients.

    The economic value of our volunteers was £709,262


We are a local service, working with local people for the benefit of the local community.

Join us today


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Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering with Citizens Advice in the Stroud or Cotswold Districts means you will be part of a valued team and know that you are making a real difference in your community

Full training is given for these rewarding roles and all travel and out-of-pocket expenses will be paid.

Advisers

We are recruiting Trainee Advisers for our next training programme which starts in March 2019. We offer free, flexible training which is a mixture of group sessions, self-guided learning and on the job training.  We are looking for people who can spare 8-10 hours per week for a minimum of 2 years and who are looking for an opportunity to take up new challenges.  This is an exciting and dynamic role that gives you the chance to develop the skills and knowledge required to empower clients to resolve problems.

To find out more, please contact our training officer on 01453 758252 ext. 214

You might prefer to undertake our Self-Guided Learning Programme where you work through the online modules in your own time.

Reception and Administration Volunteers

We are often also looking for people to provide Reception support in our Cirencester office, and Administration and Reception support in our Stroud and Dursley offices.

We occasionally require more volunteers to provide administrative support to our Money Advice specialists in Stroud. Tasks will include data processing, collating statistical information, dealing with correspondence and liaising with clients and creditors. If you have a good level of basis numeracy, good organisational and ICT skills and good interpersonal skills, we'd love to hear from you. There will be opportunities to train as a full Debt Advice Worker if you are interested, plus the chance to develop your skills and knowledge in all other areas of advice.

Fundraisers

Do you love organising fundraising events or can you run fundraising campaigns on social media? If so, please get in touch.

For all the above roles, just download the application form here and send it back to us at the address shown at the bottom of the form, depending on whether you want to volunteer in Stroud or Cotswolds.

Trustees

If you are more interested in the overall governance of the charity and have the ability to think strategically and see the bigger picture, consider becoming a Trustee. We're particularly looking for Trustees with knowledge of the Cotswolds communities and/or with expertise in PR or marketing. If you're interested in applying, download the Trustee application form here and the Trustee Skills Audit form here and return them to the address shown on the application form.

Whatever your skills or interests, if you'd like to get involved to support our work, then we'd love to hear from you and to discuss what you can do to help.