What will you do?
- complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role
- talk to clients over the phone, face to face, or online to explore what problems they’ve come for help with
- find information about the clients’ problems and help them to understand their options
- support clients to take action to resolve their problems. This might include drafting or writing letters, making phonecalls, or referring the client to another organisation
- write a summary of the clients’ problems and what action you’ve taken
- look out for problems’ that are common, or are unfair, and write a short report about the problem or a letter to an elected official like an MP, AM or local councillor
Some examples of what you could do:
- help client with debts work out a reasonable amount to pay back, and make a phonecall to an organisation they owe money to.
- explore what benefits a client is entitled to and help them to complete a benefit application form.
- help a client who has problems with their landlord to understand their housing rights.
What’s in it for you?
- make a real difference to people’s lives
- learn about a range of issues such as benefits, debt, employment and housing.
- build on valuable skills such as communication, listening and problem solving, and increase your employability
- work with a range of different people, independently and in a team.
- have a positive impact in your community.
And we’ll reimburse travel expenses too.
If you’re training to be a solicitor and you train and volunteer as a local Citizens Advice adviser, you may be able to get up to six months off your solicitor training contract. See Solicitors Regulation Authority for more information.
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 good listening skills
- have excellent verbal and written communication skills
- have good maths and IT skills
- be able to understand information and explain it to others
- 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
How much time do you need to give?
Ideally we ask for 8 hours per week, which can be over one day or spread over two days, for at least 12 months.
We can be flexible so come and talk to us.
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
If you are interested in becoming an adviser and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.
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About Citizens Advice Barking & Dagenham
Charity Registration No: 1123253
Company Registration No: 01821310
VAT No: 105430461
A member of the National Citizens Advice Association
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN no: 617809
Regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) for the provision of immigration advice and services
Registered Office 339 Heathway, Essex RM9 5AF
Citizens Advice Barking & Dagenham is the trading name of Barking & Dagenham Citizens Advice Bureau
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