Citizens Advice is totally dependent on volunteers providing the service. Volunteers make up 81% of the people who work for us, and carry out a variety of roles, including assisting clients, back office work and Research and Campaigns.
We need new volunteers every year to help us meet the demand for service. With so many different roles available everyone should be able to find a way to get involved.
Our Training Officer, Megan Millar, has devised a detailed training programme for all new volunteers, whilst providing constant updates to the existing team on the frequent changes to the law and welfare benefits system etc which affect our service.
Volunteers do not need to know it all! We provide all trainees with a comprehensive training programme that will give them the skills they need to deliver a high quality service to the clients. Our up-to-the-minute electronic information system contains most of the information you will need when assisting clients.
You will not be left alone after you are trained. There will always be an experienced volunteer, who will give you support, advice and guidance along with the staffing team.
Once you have reached competency in your role you will have the opportunity to develop further skills and increase the depth and breadth of your knowledge.
To find out more about what’s in it for you if you are interested in joining the world's largest advice network please explore this website further and use the volunteer enquiry form button to talk to the training department. It will not commit you at this stage, you are just registering your interest.
*All information correct at time of publication but may be subject to change at short notice.*
National Volunteers Week 2020
Citizens Advice in South Lincs celebrates its volunteers during National Volunteers week, and manages to help a high number of clients with advice since lockdown, despite moving completely to working on email, web chat and telephones.
Citizens Advice in South Lincolnshire closed its offices and outreaches back on March 18th, but since March 24th, a high proportion of its volunteers has switched seamlessly to home working, and have dealt with 2064 clients, covering 5577 issues. The number is approaching the level seen prior to lockdown, when there were more volunteers available, however the team now working have upped their hours to satisfy the current demand, and are providing a much needed service at this time. The type of issue on which people are seeking advice has changed, with less people asking for debt advice and housing, due to current government policies in place, but more queries about Universal Credit, benefits other than UC, and employment, which now make up the top three enquiry categories.
There are currently 40 volunteers working at home throughout the area, and they are delivering around 86 individual sessions per week, totalling 277 hours. In order to make the change, back in March, the management team assessed which volunteers needed help with equipment, which was provided where necessary, and a great deal of IT support was given to make all the changes. Even though everyone is working from home, at every session there is support available for the volunteer advisors from two members of the supervision team.
Megan Millar, the training officer in South Lincolnshire said: “Not only have the existing volunteers been willing to work more hours, and refresh their training online, I have also been able to train up new volunteers who joined the organisation in February, by working with them online, and I’m very pleased to say these new recruits are at the point of being signed off, when they will be able to start giving advice from home.”
Anyone needing help with their problems can get advice now by:
- Following the links on the home page of the local website at www.citizensadvicesouthlincs.org.uk, where there is a direct link to email service on debt and budgeting, and also a direct link to enquire about Universal Credit.
- Alternatively they can use Webchat and Email via citizensadvice.org.uk
- The Adviceline telephone service is being manned every day, on 03444 111444 and where possible calls will be routed to a local advisor.
- The Migrant Worker Helpline is on 03448 476128.
- The local Twitter and Facebook feeds are updated daily
Simon Richards is the newly arrived Chief Officer at Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire. “Since arriving here just three weeks ago, I have been really impressed by the dedication and commitment of all our volunteers.” Simon said. “They have been so responsive in really difficult times ensuring that we continue to help people at a time of real crisis. Giving their time has made a real difference to some of our most vulnerable people when they have needed it most. Thank you”