Citizens Advice Newsletter June 2023
THANKS TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS – WE COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!!
Local Citizens Advice organisations are individual charities which employ some paid staff and many volunteers.
Between 2021 and 2022, Citizens Advice volunteers helped a total of 2.55 million people in England and Wales with one-to-one advice on issues ranging from debt and benefits through work, housing, family issues, law and courts, family matters, immigration health and consumer issues. With nearly 20,000 volunteers delivering services across the network of charities, there are plenty of opportunities to help out at Citizens Advice.
So, if you’ve been wondering what you can do for the BigHelpOut, here are some typical roles for which volunteers train and some of their reasons for volunteering -
Adviser: Our advisers provide confidential, impartial and free information and advice both face to face and on the telephone. They research information to provide clients with options so that they can make effective decisions.
‘Volunteering provides me with intellectual stimulation and a sense of challenge, whilst giving me the satisfaction of feeling I’ve helped people and been able to give something back to my community’ – adviser
Administrator: Administrative support to team.
‘I wanted to give something back to my community. My skills matched an admin role. This also provided more flexibility’ – administrator
Communications Volunteer: The Communications Team spread awareness of local Citizens Advice work via our website, social media and articles.
‘Alongside generalist advice work, I act as a local office Communications Volunteer. I create and curate content for all our social media platforms. I feel passionate about helping to spread awareness of the work we do and reaching new clients who need our help. I enjoy working for a local Citizens Advice office because our team strives to make a difference in our communities’ – communications volunteer
Research and Campaigns Volunteer: Act as a link between advisers providing evidence of the effect problems have on their clients and the organisations whose policies or mistakes are causing those problems. Using the evidence to solve issues either locally or nationally and improve the situation for others.
‘I am very aware of the power of evidence to bring about changes, so I make sure that the team are aware of local and national issues where evidence is required to demonstrate the real life effects of policies which are not working effectively’-Research and campaigns volunteer
In Waverley we also have a new and exciting way for volunteers to make a difference:
Community Engagement Partners:- Outreach services are based within the local community of Waverley and provide advice and assistance to clients who may struggle to access our services in the normal way; by going out to them, Citizens Advice can empower them to tackle the problems they face. These volunteers are tasked with identifying who needs our help and how we can best serve them.
Working together, our volunteers provide a valuable service for their local community and also pass data on the issues they are advising on to National Citizens Advice, who monitor the trends and can use the data and real life anonymised examples to demonstrate to Government, Industry Watchdogs and other national and local organisations the areas where people are finding difficulties with their services.
There are many reasons why people volunteer for Citizens Advice and if you think it might be something that you would like to know more about, please look at the website for your local Citizens Advice and follow the volunteering links.