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HELP YOUR COMMUNITY – CITIZENS ADVICE LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR NEW VOLUNTEERS

Citizens Advice Cornwall is expanding to meet growing demand for help with problems about debt, benefits, housing, employment and relationship breakdowns following lockdown in the county.

Chief Executive, Gill Pipkin, said:

“To help more people improve their lives we need more volunteers to act as advisers, administration assistants and trustees. No previous experience is required but you will receive full training and ongoing support.

“Our volunteers are all ages, come from all walks of life and get great satisfaction helping other people find a way through their problems. They enjoy being part of a friendly and positive team putting something back into their local community.”

Citizens Advice offers free, independent and confidential advice to everyone in the community on a wide range of issues.

Last year, the charity saw around 9,000 people in Cornwall who needed advice on problems ranging from benefits to debt and consumer issues to housing and employment.

Training Officer, George French, said:

“Anyone who joins is always made very welcome and whether you’re planning to become an adviser, admin worker or one of the many other volunteer roles we have a full training programme and support.”

Benefits of volunteering include:

  • Challenging but satisfying work helping people in their time of need
  • Learning new skills
  • Working as part of a dedicated team backed by professional supervisors
  • Many volunteers end-up in paid work with Citizens Advice
  • Ideal opportunities for those who have been out of the workplace but want to get back into work
  • Flexible work days with opportunities to work from home
  • All travel expenses paid.

 

Georgina added:

“The best way to find out about our work is to attend a no-obligation information day, where you can find out about the opportunities available and talk to our current volunteers.”

For more information about volunteering email: volunteer@citizensadvicecornwall.org.uk

 

MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS:

Ema Vaitkute (Falmouth)

“Having recently finished my Law degree, I joined to volunteer for Citizens Advice as I wanted to carry on developing my skills and gaining experience in different environments. One of my biggest motivations is to help people, as I still have not decided what career I want to go into. I do know that I want to be helping people in some way. Joining Citizens Advice has furthered my skills and experiences, but most importantly, I have been trained to answer Adviceline calls, which has been rewarding, helping people, whether their problems are little or big.”

 

 

Mark Burnett (Bodmin)

“After school in Cornwall, I moved to study and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. When I retired and returned to Cornwall, I wanted to still be active. Conscious of the tremendous work Citizens Advice do and feeling my experience might be useful I decided to volunteer. I act as a generalist adviser dealing with many and varied questions raised by clients.

“It is this variety that gives both the greatest enjoyment and challenge. I have also really enjoyed the challenge of learning and the extensive training I have received has reinforced it is never too late to learn.

“The breadth of knowledge held by my colleagues leaves me in awe and with their unwavering support, and the extensive reference material available I feel fully equipped to deal with what arises every day. I have been truly impressed by the way in which clients are dealt with holistically, trying to fully deal with the issues they know they have and identifying those they haven’t yet recognised.

“Would I recommend others to volunteer? I’ve already done so!”

 

Maureen Godfrey (Liskeard)

“Most of my working life was as a technician in the broadcast industry.

“Although now working on projects at home I also wanted to do something useful so when I saw the ‘volunteers wanted’ poster in the Liskeard office I applied. I work on webchat, helping people with Universal Credit applications. I enjoy advising via this platform and have great support from a great team. I didn’t think my TV background would be relevant to a CA adviser but both of these roles involve communication so I feel at home.

“I did wonder about training at my time of life but our CA trainer made it accessible, interesting and enjoyable resulting in a sense of achievement at learning new skills.

“Even in the information age, CA is needed not only to decode but also listen and advise each client according to their particular situation. For some CA is the ‘last port of call’ so volunteers are needed and as well as knowing you’ve helped someone in some way you will also make great new friends.”

 Anyone interested in volunteering opportunities at Citizens Advice can find out more at https://www.citizensadvicecornwall.org.uk/volunteer-with-us/

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