Our volunteers are the heart of Citizens Advice Cornwall and provide the bedrock of the work that we do and the service we provide.
Giving your time as a volunteer with Citizens Advice is a challenging but extremely rewarding role and makes such a difference to the lives of the people of Cornwall. For over 80 years, Citizens Advice Cornwall has been a fundamental part of the community that provides advice and assistance to the members of the public and this has existed because of the time, commitment and dedication of our volunteers.
Volunteering with Citizens Advice Cornwall can come in a variety of ways and roles. We provide a supportive and welcoming team who will provide full induction and training to assist in your development within the role you choose. We aim to provide an individualised voluntary experience for all who choose to work with us, identifying people’s skills and ambitions within the service to create a volunteer path that is best suited for them.
No previous experience or qualifications are necessary, as our nationally recognised and accredited training programme and highly skilled supervision is provided for free. You will only need to be friendly, approachable and have a desire to help others. We welcome people from all walks of life, and value the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills from everyone’s own individual backgrounds and lived experiences.
Our Adviser training programme runs three times per year (starting in February, June and September) however we welcome enquiries about volunteering in this role at any time.
In this position, volunteers will be providing information, advice and support to our clients in all different areas including, but not limited to, benefits, debt, employment and housing. This also occurs through different channels such as face-to-face, telephone, webchat and email.
This is one of the largest roles that our volunteers undertake and is crucial to our service delivery. We need to ensure to have highly trained, knowledgeable and approachable advisers who undertake various types and level of advice and support, including triaging emergencies, signposting, providing detailed advice and in some circumstances undertaking long-term case work. Comprehensive training is provided in order to gain the skills and knowledge advisers require to undertake this role.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Gateway Assessors & Generalist Advisers*
Our Administrators are an essential part of our service, ensuring that all those contacting Citizens Advice Cornwall get a seamless experience when seeking advice and support. Those volunteering as an Administrator/Receptionist will undertake a vital role in providing the admin support that ensures clients records are kept accurate and up-to-date, correspondence is sent out promptly and to a high standard and a friendly and welcoming first point of contact is provided at every office.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Administrators/Receptionists*
Our Research & Campaigns team are those raising social policy issues and championing changes for local and national issues. This aligns part of our twin aims at Citizens Advice Cornwall to identify and raise the injustices that people face in society.
This is a mixed role which can entail identifying key issues of concern, completing Evidence Forms alongside their further investigation and analysis, writing reports for MP’s and undertaking local campaigns to promote change.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Research & Campaigns*
A key part of our service is to ensure that people know that we are a charity alongside raising awareness of the work we do and the support we can provide. It is essential to promote ourselves to the public and other organisations so that we can raise our profile.
This role allows for volunteers to contribute in a different way that focuses more on our promotion and publicity; this can be through creating content, long-term social media plans and raising awareness of our organisation through different platforms such as radio, social media, and publicity events.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Social Media, Publicity & Promotion*
As a charity, it means that fundraising is crucial to enable us to continue providing a service to our clients and help those most vulnerable and in need of support within our community.
This means that we are looking for volunteers to help us drive fundraising ideas and initiatives that not only help us raise funds for the organisation but raise our profile and promote the work that we do.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Fundraising*
In this role you would support Citizens Advice Cornwall to recruit other volunteers to help deliver its services. In addition to aiding the organisation to encourage volunteer recruitment and produce recruitment materials, other aspects could include supporting the Learning & Development team with Introduction Days to the service, inductions and ongoing volunteer enquiries and support. There is also the opportunity to be involved with ongoing training support; monitoring and maintaining training records and materials to aid in the ongoing training of Citizens Advice Cornwall’s paid and voluntary staff.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Volunteer Recruitment & Training Support*
Citizens Advice Cornwall has a trustee board which oversees the governance of the charity. They are a group of volunteers who use their own individual skills and experience to work with the Chief Executive and help shape the strategic direction of the organisation. We always look to expand the membership of the trustee board, and welcome new knowledge and insights to join the service in this role.
To find out further information about this role and what it entails, please see: *Link to Trustees*
I had recently retired and I was loving the freedom, but at the same time I realised that I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to do something useful and to work directly with people again. When I’m in the office I see clients who drop-in or attend an appointment. At the moment I’m working from home, talking to clients on the phone.
It’s great to be a part of CA’s work and to know we are making a difference to people who are going through difficult times. The work is always interesting, often challenging, sometimes sad, never boring.
I would recommend volunteering for CA because the training and support are excellent. There is a lot to learn, which can seem daunting at times, but advisers aren’t expected to know everything. There is always a supervisor or colleague to turn to for advice and support. I feel like I’m part of a team, and that we’re doing an important job.’
‘I am a Retired British Aerospace engineer and project manager and was looking for an activity that was mentally stimulating and would give me an opportunity to help others.
At CA, I give detailed advice to clients who after a brief interview have been found to need an appointment for a face-to-face advice session. I enjoy the mental stimulation and the satisfaction of helping clients to solve their problems and reduce their worries. I would recommend volunteering for CA as It provides a meaningful occupation for those who can spare the time and want to give something back.’
At CA I have taken on various projects which has given me the opportunity to have contact with other organisations and members of the public around Cornwall. My most recent project is to work alongside Trading Standards in order to get young people to become aware of loan sharks and the devastating impact they can have on people’s lives. This work led, much to my surprise, to me receiving an award. I felt immensely proud.
I enjoy volunteering for CA as it means Being part of a very friendly and skilled team of people. I feel I can approach anyone for help and support, everyone is working towards the same goal of helping people whatever their needs. When I first started I was amazed by the range of help and advice CA provide. To think that in some small way that I am contributing to this work gives me great satisfaction. I am constantly learning about the numerous difficulties and challenges people have to face.’
Our support not only helps our clients help themselves, but also creates a benefit to society through the way we deliver our services. Our social value includes:
Satisfying job helping members of your community in need
Working with a team of like-minded volunteers and dedicated staff
Comprehensive and detailed training with ongoing professional support
Opportunities for work experience and building your CV
As a network, of which Citizens Advice Cornwall is a member, our trusted local insight helps us come together to do more, such as inform collective:
Opportunities to work from one of our nine offices across the county or from home
Chance to develop specialist knowledge such as working with debt cases, energy advice projects or with victims of domestic abuse
All travel expenses paid and free tea and biscuits in the office