Articles in Category: volunteers

What do volunteers do?

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Citizens Advice volunteering really does provide an opportunity to learn new skills and to develop existing ones. With so many different volunteering opportunities on offer, there's bound to be something to suit you. Citizens Advice Portsmouth provides some of the best work experience opportunities around through many of our voluntary work roles.

Meet new people - for many people, the best thing about volunteering for Citizens Advice is meeting a wide range of people and making new friends. There is a real team spirit at Citizens Advice, and we provide a supportive environment to make sure that you get the most out of your time with us. 

Volunteering is a chance to make a real difference. By volunteering with the Citizens Advice you’ll be playing an active part in improving the lives of millions of people and influencing the development of national and local policies and services. 

You won’t be out of pocket – we will cover any travel costs you incur by volunteering. 

You don’t have to know it all, we give excellent training and support in a friendly team. Isn't it time you gave yourself a new challenge?

Trustee Board Members

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All Citizens Advice are independent charities, governed by their own board of trustees, who are ultimately responsible for the quality and range of the service. Day-to-day control is delegated to the Chief Officer, but Trustees:

Main duties and responsibilities for all trustees

Each individual member of the trustee board has a responsibility to contribute to the discharging of the board's duties. They can do this by:

  • maintaining an awareness of the business of the Citizens Advice Portsmouth
  • taking responsibility for their own learning and development
  • regularly attending, preparing for and taking a full part in meetings
  • actively contributing to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance
  • monitoring whether the service complies with its governing document, whether it meets Citizens Advice standards and how well the advice needs of the local community are being met
  • monitoring the financial position and ensuring that Citizens Advice Portsmouth operates within its means and objects, and that there are clear lines of accountability for day-to-day financial management
  • supporting the development of the Citizens Advice Portsmouth through participation in agreed projects
  • actively seeking to further the strategic objectives of Citizens Advice Portsmouth, and acting in its best interests at all times
  • maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received in the course of duties as a trustee.

Personal skills and qualities for all trustees

Each individual member of the trustee board brings skills and qualities to the board. They add to the collective knowledge and experience by providing:

      • commitment and availability to attend trustee board meetings
      • effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion
      • willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources
      • commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service, including those relating to equal opportunities, independence, and research and campaigns
      • willingness and ability to act in the best interests of Citizens Advice Portsmouth
      • ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as trustees and employers
      • willingness to participate in democratic process which develops Citizens Advice policies by area and nationally
      • numeracy to the extent required to understand accounts with the support of a treasurer
      • willingness and ability to learn, and to develop and examine their own attitudes
      • ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement
      • ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

Citizens Advice Portsmouth trustee board needs people from all sections of the community with a wide range of different skills, experience and perspectives. The board tends to meet in the evenings, making this a flexible role, which trustees often fit around a full-time job. A full induction into the trustee board's role and responsibilities will be provided. Ensure the centre complies with relevant laws.

Research & Campaigns

Posted in volunteers

Could you be our megaphone

Do you have a strong sense of Justice

Do you have an understanding of current social issues and their impact on the local and wider community? 

Could you spare a few hours per week to help your Citizens Advice Portsmouth? 

We are looking to recruit a small team of volunteers to help with our research and campaigns work. 

Citizens Advice use information from the issues brought into Citizens Advice by clients, to help bring about real change by influencing local and national policy. 

Our research and campaigns team help and support our staff and volunteers recognise and record suitable cases for Research & Campaigns work.

They work with local and national groups involved with Research and Campaigns work.

They report directly to the Management Team and Trustee Board on matters of Research & Campaigns.

The role can be rewarding in many ways, making new friends, being part of a team of like minded volunteers and really making a difference to the people of Portsmouth.

Here are a couple of examples of campaign that Citizens Advice is currently running;

‘Dialing Down Debt’

Mobile phones are becoming an essential part of everyday life. Yet despite being described as the “fourth utility”, research conducted by Citizens Advice found that mobile phone debt collection practices in the UK are falling behind when compared to similar markets, such as energy and water. This must change.

Citizens Advice is campaigning for fairer debt collection practices across the mobile phone sector that work better for everyone: clients, advisers, and suppliers.

Citizens Advice is running a campaign aimed at improving the private rented sector.

  • No renter should ever have to pay excessive and inexplicable fees for the basic services a letting agent provides. We want to see the letting agent fee ban announced in the Autumn statement brought in as soon as possible.
  • No renter should be evicted simply for complaining about bad conditions.
  • No renter should ever be left out of pocket after renting a home which proves to be dangerous or uninhabitable. We want tenants to be supported when applying for rent refunds where the property they're living in is dangerous or not fit to live in. 
  • No renter should be at the mercy of rogue landlords who consistently break the rules, taking deposits unlawfully, harassing tenants or renting substandard homes. We want renters to be able to access the new rogue landlords database.

If you think you have the passion and enthusiasm to win hearts and minds, or want more information, please contact us.

Reception Worker

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Receptionists are the public face of the Citizens Advice service.  They are the main link between the public and the staff at he centre.  This role would suit people who are methodical, organised and patient.

Purpose of the role

To welcome clients, provide information and guidance and to ensure that they are dealt with according to organisational policies and procedures.

Main duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Operate the reception and provide information
  • Welcome clients coming into the reception area in a polite manner
  • Provide information about Citizens Advice Portsmouth and other advice services to clients from a diverse range of background and cultures.
  • Work collaboratively with other colleagues involved in the advice wotk process.
  • Provide a service that is based on sensitivity and respect for clients.
  • Acknowledge children and/or any special needs and take appropriate action
  • Maintain confidentiality about clients and their contact with the organisation
  • Consult the Service Manager appropriately
  • Work within agreed organisational systems and procedures.
  • Answer the telephone, refer calls and take messages
  • Process client information collected at the reception desk in accordance with the Data Protection Policy
  • Create, maintain and archive paper and electronic filing systems in accordance with the organisations's systems and procedures
  • Liaise with staff regarding support for individual clients
  • Maintain stocks of stationery, leaflets and posters in the reception and interview rooms
  • Update public information materials
  • Use specific IT systems to create and update records

Personal skills and qualities that a reception worker needs:

  • Friendliness and approachability
  • Commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service including the service's equality and diversity policies
  • An understanding of discrimination or the willingness to learn about it
  • Excellent verbal communication skills including telephone skills
  • Good numeracy and literacy skills
  • Ability to access relevant signposting information including electronic and written materials
  • Ability to implement administrative policies and procedures in a busy work environment
  • Good IT skills
  • Flexibility and willingness to work as part of a team
  • Awareness of the potential needs of, and demands placed on, vulnerable clients.

Information Assistant

Posted in volunteers

You could do this role if you are available to volunteer for 6 hours per week for at least 6 months, would suit someone on work experience or placements.

The role includes training and could be the first step towards becoming a Citizens Advice Generalist Adviser or Debt Adviser.

Purpose of the role

  • To provide information, assistance and guidance to members of the public to help them engage with the most appropriate service to solve their issue.
  • To provide information about Citizens Advice Portsmouth and other advice services to clients from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures.
  • To promote the use of kiosks/PC's and the role of information in resolving problems.

Main duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Explaining the Generalist Information Service to members of the public.
  • Supporting clients with using self-help services including kiosks, PC's and tablets.
  • Helping clients to identify the correct leaflet, self-help resource or service provider to best addess their issue.
  • Identifying when clients need to be referred to other services for more help.
  • Signposting clients appropriately to suit their needs following agreed protocols.
  • Recording client numbers and basic issues.

Personal skills and qualities that an Information Assistant need:

  • A commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service.
  • Ability to offer help appropriately and sensitively in a public environment.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Being open and approachable - demonstrating empathy with clients.
  • Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to quickly sift through information and extract what is relevant.
  • Respect for the views, values and cultures that are different to their own.
  • An understanding of why confidentiality is important.
  • Competence in using IT systems to complete forms and access information.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Ability to recognise the limits and boundaries of the role.

Administrators

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Administrators ensure that centre systems run smoothly. Good support is essential for the running of any organisation, and Citizens Advice is no different. There are many different administrative roles - we can match your skills and time available to the centre's needs.

Main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Word process letters, documents and reports as required
  • Maintain statistics and collate and produce to a prescribed format
  • Produce information from spreadsheets and databases
  • Type letters and memos for organisation workers.
  • Correspondence, reports and other documents,

Administration

  • Use photocopier, fax and other office machines as appropriate
  • Update databases and information systems.
  • Maintain filing systems in accordance with the organisation's systems and procedures
  • Open, record and distribute incoming post, and prepare outgoing mail for despatch where required.
  • Maintain stocks of leaflets and posters, and order from suppliers
  • Display leaflets and posters in the general office, waiting room and interview rooms
  • Maintain diaries and work records
  • Answer the telephone and refer calls or take messages

Archiving

  • Arrange the collection and retrieval of records;
  • Maintain information and records;
  • Respond to enquiries from staff members;
  • Maintain and enter data on user-friendly, computer-aided search systems
  • Run reports on bespoke computer system to gather data
  • Identify records for destruction and action accordingly
  • Liaise with archiving organisation where required.

Other duties and responsibilities

  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues
  • Any other relevant administrative and support duties required to ensure the smooth running of the organisation
  • Ensure that work undertaken reflects and supports the Citizens Advice service’s equality and diversity strategy

Personal skills and qualities that an office administrator needs:

  • A commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Service.
  • To be organised and systematic.
  • An understanding of the importance of Citizens Advice work.
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  • A willingness to attend training and other meetings.
  • To be able to work as part of a team.

Positions Vacant

Urgently needed

- Treasurer (Trustee)  More info...

- Debt Advisor

What customers say

“I was very low when I came to the CAB, with debts and problems everywhere. I am now a lot happier, as I pay one sum of money each month and get left alone by creditors”.