Volunteers are needed to help Citizens Advice carry out its work in helping people.
The organisation is the UK’s largest free and impartial advice-giving network, with an office in Grantham which forms part of Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire, covering a wide area from Grantham down to Stamford, and across to Spalding.
It is looking for new volunteers of all ages to join the teams in Grantham and Spalding.
Successful applicants will join a team of over 100 staff and volunteers that help an increasing number of clients by exploring their problems, prioritising actions, identifying next steps, and directing them to the most relevant service. Problems can range from debt and benefit issues, through to consumer and relationship queries.
Both offices, plus outreach services in Holbeach, Long Sutton, and Sutton Bridge, are extremely busy, and the roles that currently require extra capacity range from reception and administration, through Gateway assessors, to advisors. The Gateway process is a structured set of questions aimed at summarising a client’s issues as quickly as possible, and pointing to the next required step for each.
Full training will be given to applicants able to commit to six hours per week, for all assessor and advisor roles, starting in May 2016. Before that all volunteers will get a chance to sample the Citizens Advice experience, to train as a receptionist, or to shadow or observe roles. Training will take place on one of two chosen days each week, for a period of up to six months.
To provide potential volunteers with more details of the various vacancies, and introduce them to the services offered by Citizens Advice, open days will be held in Grantham at the Guildhall Arts Centre between 10am and noon on Wednesday, January 27, and again on March 6. Existing staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout this informal event to share their experiences and give insights into training for these highly rewarding roles.
“The close network of volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation” said chief officer Lisa Barwell. “Everybody’s contribution, if only for the minimum of six hours per week, makes a real difference to people who have encountered problems in their lives across a wide range of issues.”
As a first step, all interested applicants should email training officer Megan Millar on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 01476 570786 giving brief details of their experience to date, availability for the open days, and reasons for applying.