Why Volunteer

See our possible volunteering roles below and volunteer today

It’s great that you’re considering volunteering with Citizens Advice. If you’ve come to this page you’re probably wondering what we can offer you and what you’d like to do.

All sorts of people volunteer with us for many different reasons, but one thing that our volunteers tell us is that volunteering with their local Citizens Advice is enjoyable, rewarding, challenging and varied.

Possible volunteering roles

Fuel Poverty Assistant
Advisers
Receptionists
Information Assistants
Adviceline Telephone Assessors
Administrators
Trustees
Research & Campaigns
IT Support Co-ordinators
PR and Marketing
Fundraisers
Volunteer Recruitment

Fuel Poverty Assistant

Citizens Advice County Durham is one of the biggest charities of its kind in the North East of England and helps one in 20 adults in the county every year. There are three hundred and twelve excess winter deaths on average in County Durham each year. A warm home is crucial to maintaining good health. In addition many residents of our County must decide whether to heat their home or eat over the winter months. Simple measures taken by consumers can help a limited budget stretch further when it’s needed most.

We have an opportunity for a Fuel Poverty Assistant who is empathetic with good communication skills and computer skills. An interest in advising and assisting vulnerable customers who are suffering from fuel poverty would be an advantage. This opportunity is perfect for somebody who wants to make a real impact in their community and can provide 4 hours or above each week to support this project until March 2018.

Full training will be provided and expenses paid. Full support will be offered throughout duration.

 Hours – Minimum 4 hours a week commitment

Location – TBC location’s County wide

Duration – Until March 2018

Key Tasks:

  • To provide assistant to those in fuel poverty
  • To assist with identifying eligibility for the warm home discount
  • To assist consumers with switching energy supplier
  • To identify whether a client needs assistance with fuel debt
  • To explain energy bills to vulnerable customers
  • To contribute to CACD’s research & campaigns work surrounding energy

 

To apply now please contact us by email

researchandcampaigns@cdcab.org.uk

We are particularly interested in hearing from people with interest in tackling fuel poverty who are able to perform the key tasks outlines above.

Application deadline: 7th November 2018


Advisers

Without our trained volunteer advisers we could not continue to meet the demand for advice. Our generalist advice service looks at a client’s situation holistically as opposed to looking at their problems in isolation from one another. Advisers are given free training, both formal and on-the-job. As a Citizens Advice adviser you would:

  • interview clients
  • help them negotiate with people such as creditors or service providers
  • draft letters
  • make phone calls on their behalf
  • refer them to other agencies
  • represent them in court and at tribunals.

Attention all law students
If you train as a Citizens Advice adviser, you can get up to six months off your solicitor training contracts!


Receptionists

Receptionists are an integral part of the team, managing ‘front-of-house’ on the basis of information provided by the advice session supervisor. Depending on the size and resources of the office, the receptionist role may be undertaken by one or more people. As a receptionist you would:

  • greet clients and other visitors
  • answer the phone
  • ensure clients know what is happening and how long they have to wait
  • explain the services available
  • point out leaflets, lists and self-help materials
  • monitor client numbers and waiting times
  • maintain the reception area
  • enter information into computer systems.

Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on the role. You need to:

  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing skills
  • have an understanding of, and commitment to, confidentiality
  • be friendly and approachable.

Information Assistants

Not all clients need advice – some only require help to locate the right information. Information assistants provide exactly that, and also support clients to use the different facilities that are available, such as kiosks, online PCs, benefits calculators and direct-dial phones. As an information assistant you would:

  • actively promote the use of kiosks/ PCs
  • support clients to use kiosks/ PCs
  • help identify the correct leaflet, self-help resource or service provider
  • identify where a gateway assessment may be required
  • record client numbers and issues.

Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on the role. You need to:

  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing and good literacy skills
  • be friendly and approachable.

Adviceline Telephone Assessors

An Adviceline telephone assessor is a diverse role and you will not be expected to know it all! We provide all Adviceline telephone assessors with training, which will help you develop the skills you need to deliver an excellent level of service to clients.

As an Adviceline telephone assessor you would:

  • be the first point of access for Citizen Advice clients when they ring the Adviceline number
  • deal with a wide range of clients problems and issues
  • support members of the public of all ages and backgrounds
  • give information from the Citizens Advice electronic information system and other sources to the client
  • refer clients for more specialist advice where appropriate
  • keep records of all clients cases on the database
  • help prevent future problems by identifying issues that affect a lot of clients.

Specific qualifications or experience is not required to train for the role. You need to:

  • be good at listening
  • have a good telephone manner
  • have basic computing skills
  • be open minded and non-judgemental
  • enjoy helping people.

Once fully trained we will continue to support you throughout your time as an Adviceline telephone assessor.


Administrators

As a Citizens Advice volunteer administrator you would ensure the smooth running of a bureau by:

  • word processing
  • file management
  • arranging events
  • using databases and spreadsheets
  • answering emails and phone calls
  • updating local information.

Trustees

Because every Local Citizens Advice is a registered charity, each has its own board of trustees. Some trustee roles require specific skills but we welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and experience to their trustee boards. Because trustee boards tend to meet in the evenings, you can fit this around a full time job or study. As a trustee you would:

  • manage and plan the overall strategic direction for the organisation
  • act as employer for paid staff
  • manage the organisation’s finances
  • ensure the charity complies with the law
  • be responsible for premises, insurance and equipment.

Research & Campaigns

By using evidence that Citizens Advice gets from our clients, you could help bring about changes in local and national policies and services which can benefit everyone – even those who have never used a local Citizens Advice before. As a campaigner you’ll:

  • fill out and gather evidence forms which explain the detail of what our clients come to us about
  • find out and raise relevant issues in the local Citizens Advice
  • train other staff and volunteers in finding out about issues and completing evidence forms
  • carry out research and write reports
  • get involved in media campaigning
  • work with other local Citizens Advice centres and organisations.

More on our campaigning work


IT Support Co-ordinators

A wide range of our essential work depends on well-run IT systems. We use them for keeping track of cases, keeping in touch with clients, accessing e-services on their behalf, and monitoring trends. As an IT co-ordinator you would:

  • support  staff and volunteers
  • troubleshoot
  • web design
  • train Citizens Advice workers in IT skills
  • assist with email advice.

PR and Marketing

Local Citizens Advice need to raise their profile in their local community to attract funding, recruit volunteers, promote local and national Citizens Advice campaigns and to ensure that potential clients know how to access their services. As a PR/marketing volunteer you would:

  • produce promotional materials to use locally
  • tailor press releases issued by the national Citizens Advice press office to use locally
  • build relationships with your local media outlets and “sell in” stories
  • seek coverage for your bureau’s work in local papers and on TV and radio
  • identify case studies of clients or volunteers who would be willing to talk to the media
  • write copy for your local Citizens Advice website or newsletter if it has one
  • be trained to be a local media spokesperson
  • arrange events, displays and talks to promote the charity
  • identify opportunities for your local Citizens Advice to get involved in our annual Advice Week or other national events such as Volunteers Week.

Fundraisers

Every Citizens Advice is a registered charity reliant on money from local authorities, companies, charitable trusts and individuals. As a fundraiser you would:

  • work with the organisation’s treasurer or other trustees to meet fundraising objectives
  • help with researching fundraising opportunities
  • organise fundraising events
  • help complete fundraising applications
  • put together presentations to give to potential funders.

Volunteer Recruitment

Many local Citizens Advice run volunteer recruitment campaigns throughout the year either to help them expand their services or to replace volunteers who have left. Some local Citizens Advice have volunteers with a specific role to run these campaigns, others might include this in their general PR/marketing. In this role you would:

  • produce local volunteer recruitment materials – leaflets and posters
  • find case studies about current volunteers for your local newspapers
  • organise stands or displays in local community venues
  • give talks about volunteering with Citizens Advice
  • run open days for potential volunteers
  • ensure the organisation’s website is updated with volunteering opportunities
  • deal with volunteer enquiries forwarded from this website.