Volunteering

Citizens Advice North East Suffolk  is part of the largest advice-giving charity network across the United Kingdom and we’re always keen to recruit people who care about the work we do and can support us in a variety of practical ways.

If you’d like to help people from your community, volunteering with us can be hugely rewarding. It’s a great way to do something interesting, meet new people and even improve your own job prospects – having volunteering on your CV demonstrates someone with initiative and commitment to a local cause. We provide training and continuing support for all our volunteers so don’t be daunted!

We’d like to meet you if you:

  • Are good at listening and communicating
  • Like a challenge and enjoy helping people
  • Have a friendly, welcoming and non-judgmental manner
  • Are committed to equality for everyone
  • Understand the importance of confidentiality
  • Can commit to a minimum of 6 hours volunteering a week for at least 6 months

If you are interested in any of the opportunities below, please refer to our How to Apply section.

Volunteer Roles

Receptionist

Our Reception volunteers are the front-line face of our service. They welcome clients and visitors.

The role includes:

  • Explaining the service to clients in a clear and confident manner
  • Helping clients fill out simple forms
  • Answering telephone calls and taking accurate messages
  • Organising paperwork and photocopying
  • Maintaining our service Aims and Principles

Gateway Assessor

Gateway Assessors provide a vital service by carrying out the first step to advice for clients. When we are contacted for assistance, Assessors establish the initial facts and decide on the most appropriate way we can help.

Gateway Assessors can give out basic information such as fact sheets and self-help information, and if necessary may make a further appointment with a Generalist Adviser.

The role includes:

  • Greeting clients in a friendly, professional manner
  • Carrying out short interviews
  • Assessing the clients’ immediate needs, including the degree of risk or urgency
  • Making appointments or referrals
  • Communicating clearly and confidently, and explaining what happens next
  • Carrying out administration tasks
  • Maintaining our service Aims and Principles at all times

Generalist Adviser

We provide full training, leading to a Certificate in Generalist Advice, to anyone who wants to be an Adviser.  We also offer the opportunity for Advisers to specialise in particular areas such as welfare benefits, consumer and employment once they have completed the generalist training program.

All sorts of people can be Generalist Advisers but they must share the aims and principles of the organisation, so that we offer the same high levels of advice to all our clients in an impartial and non-judgmental way.

The role includes:

  • Interviewing clients to explore the problem and their situation
  • Assess the risk and urgency of the issue and the client’s ability to deal with it themselves
  • Explaining the options available for clients
  • Helping clients negotiate with other people such as creditors
  • Drafting letters or making phone calls on clients’ behalf
  • Referring clients to other helpful agencies if appropriate
  • Maintaining our service Aims and Principles at all times

Trustees

We are an independent charity and a company limited by guarantee. It is a member of the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (Citizens Advice). The charity is  governed by a Management Board of Trustees who are ultimately responsible for employing the staff, compliance with all statutory and Citizens Advice membership requirements, the strategic direction of this charity and the quality of the service. The day-to-day management of the charity is delegated to the Chief Executive.

The volunteer Trustee role includes:

  • Setting the overall direction of the charity and supporting its development
  • Ensuring the charity meets the needs of the community
  • Employing staff and controlling finances
  • Ensuring the charity complies with relevant laws

Our clients and our volunteers come from all walks of life. This is true for our volunteer Trustees too who bring a wide range of skills, experience and perspectives to the role. Citizens Advice Trustees meet in the evenings, usually a Monday, once a month. Lots of support and a full induction into the tasks and responsibilities will be provided.

September 2017 – We are currently looking for new Trustees to join the charity’s management team. Please see this page for more information and a separate application form.

 

Volunteer Profiles

All sorts of people volunteer for many different reasons. Whether you’re at college or retired, working or job hunting, there’s a rewarding role for you with us.

Here are some comments from a few of our volunteers:

“Having retired from public service, I wanted to continue using my experience and skills to assist people. I find the role of a volunteer extremely satisfying, particularly enabling people to resolve their own issues. I would recommend becoming a volunteer to anyone who has ‘people skills’.” 

John, Beccles office

“Volunteering as an Adviser has been a fantastic way of using experience gained over the years to give something back to the local community. It has enabled me to rebuild my confidence after a career break in a super, supportive environment, meeting some absolutely amazing people along the way.” 

Amber, Lowestoft office

“I volunteered because I wanted to get more involved in my local community. I find it extremely rewarding and stimulating – no day is ever the same, and you get a real sense of making a difference to people’s lives.”

Julie, Lowestoft office

After retirement I wanted to get involved with the local community and, hopefully, make a difference and help people overcome problems. Working at Citizens Advice is very rewarding and at times it takes me out of my comfort zone. Nothing is run of the mill because the same problem can affect people in so many ways. There is no routine to my role and always something new to learn.”

Beryl,  Bungay office

How to Apply

We hope that what you’ve read so far has answered some of your questions. More information on what a volunteer role would entail can be found at the Citizens Advice website where you can also find lots of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and an on-line application form that will be forwarded to us.

Alternatively, read our Volunteering for your local Citizens Advice document and complete this application form and return it to your local office.

‘If you want to know more about us before you complete an application form please call into one of our offices, write to us at our training office in Beccles, use our ‘Volunteering enquiry form’ below, or simply send an email to

bureau@nescab.cabnet.org.uk

We will be happy to arrange an informal visit when you can ask more questions, meet other volunteers and find out if a role here is right for you.

We are committed to equal opportunities for everyone and we actively welcome volunteers of all ages from a wide range of different backgrounds.

We hope to hear from you soon!


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I find volunteering extremely rewarding and stimulating - no day is ever the same!

I find volunteering extremely rewarding and stimulating - no day is ever the same!


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