Articles in Category: volunteers

What do volunteers do?

Posted in volunteers

Volunteering with the Citizens Advice Network

We have over 23,000 highly trained volunteers supporting the delivery of our work.

We welcome volunteers from a range of backgrounds and with a range of experiences.

Could you join them?

We welcome disabled volunteers and volunteers with long term health conditions, including mental health conditions. Scroll further down this page to read about the volunteering experiences of some of our disabled volunteers.

Volunteer  locally wih us

Take our QUIZ to find out which of our many volunteer roles would be best for you!

This quiz is a fun tool to give you an idea of the types of roles you might be interested in, but why not contact your local Citizens Advice or Witness Service court directly to have a chat about what other roles might be available?

Search for local opportunities, including trustee roles, fill out a quick online form and your local Citizens Advice will get in touch with you to discuss options.  Search here

Interested in supporting witnesses in courts?
Explore the roles and apply to become a volunteer with the Citizens Advice Witness Service.

About volunteering with Citizens Advice Network
Find out about:
Why not have a look at the frequently asked questions about volunteering with us?
This gives answers to questions about training, time commitment, volunteering if you receive state benefits and so on.
To find out more about the value of volunteering to individuals, communities and society have a look at our short report.
 

Disabled volunteers
Citizens Advice has a diverse and inclusive workforce and actively welcomes disabled volunteers and volunteers with physical and mental health conditions within local Citizens Advice and the Witness Service.

Read about the experiences of some of our local Citizens Advice volunteers.

 

Trustee Board Members

Posted in volunteers

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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 Volunteer

Posted in volunteers

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What will you do?

● complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role
● identify common, or unfair, problems that clients come for help about
● help volunteers and staff in the local Citizens Advice understand the cause of the problem, how it affects clients, and what change would solve the problem (by talking to them, or writing a summary)
● help to organise a campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the problem. This might involve creating materials, such as newsletters, or presentations, or writing something for social media or newspaper, which could be used to explain the problems to others (such as local councillors, or members of the public)
● help to organise a campaign with the aim of getting the organisation (person or elected body such as MP, AM or local councillor) that is causing the problem, to change the way they do things. This could mean meeting with the organisation, person or elected body, writing to them or holding an event
● help national Citizens Advice carry out research about how certain issues affect clients in your local area. This might involve doing a survey with clients to find out how a change in a benefit is affecting them

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What’s in it for you?

● make a real difference to people’s lives
● learn about a range of areas such as benefits, debt and housing, and how problems in these areas can affect clients
● build on valuable skills such as communication, research, campaigns, how to engage with a range of audiences and working with clients
● increase your employability
● have a positive impact in your community and on broader society

And we’ll reimburse expenses too.

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What do you need to have?

You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:
● be friendly and approachable
● be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
● have excellent verbal and written communication skills
● be able to understand complex information and explain it (verbally and writing) so that others understand it
● have good IT skills
● be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
● be willing to undertake training in your role

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How much time do you need to give?

We can be flexible about the time spent and how often you volunteer so come and talk to us.

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Valuing inclusion

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from people with physical or mental health conditions, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

If you are interested in becoming a research and campaigns volunteer and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.

 

Information Assistant

Posted in Current Vacancies, volunteers

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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 Money 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.

Admin Volunteer

Posted in volunteers

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What
will you do?

● complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role
● help with the day to day running of the Citizens Advice service
● answer the telephone, reply to emails and post
● order stationery
● type up letters and read through documents checking for mistakes
● print and scan documents using a printer
● update spreadsheets and databases

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What’s in it for you?

● gain and build on valuable skills and experience such as communication, admin, IT skills and working in a team
● increase your employability
● contribute to the smooth running of the advice service which makes a real difference to peoples’ lives
● work with a range of different people, independently and in a team.

And we’ll reimburse expenses too.

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What do you need to have

You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:

● be friendly and approachable
● respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
● have good IT skills
● be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
● be willing to undertake training in your role

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How much time do you need to give?

We can be flexible about the time spent and how often you volunteer so come and talk to us.

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Valuing inclusion

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from people with physical or mental health conditions, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

If you are interested in becoming an admin volunteer and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.

 

 

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”.