Volunteer With Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice Eastleigh is run by a team of paid and volunteer staff. We are often in need of new volunteers to help us meet the demand for our services
How to get involved as a volunteer
Our frontline volunteers first train to become a gateway assessor. Once volunteers have gained experience as an assessor they may then be able to train to become an adviser. From time to time we also recruit trustees and volunteer administrators. With so many different roles available you should be able to find a way to get involved. You’ll make new friends and gain the satisfaction of contributing to your community.
Assessors, advisers and administration volunteers must be able to volunteer for a minimum of one day a week. There is much to gain in return. If you want to get back into the workforce or improve your prospects, our training is highly respected by employers. You’ll also make new friends and gain the satisfaction of contributing to your community.
What do volunteers do?
Gateway assessors help clients get the right help in the fastest time possible. They assess people’s needs, either face-to-face or over the phone, and identify the most appropriate course of action. That might be self-help information, referral to a specialist organisation or an appointment with one of our advisers. Assessors also help to cover reception duties on a rota. As a gateway assessor you would:
- greet clients and explain the gateway assessment process
- interview clients at drop-in sessions and over the phone
- explore the client’s problem(s) and situation
- assess the risk/urgency of the client’s issue and their ability to deal with the problem themselves
- identify the next step that needs to be taken
- summarise the content of the interview for the client and explain what happens next
- ensure clients know they can return if necessary
- update the database, completing the gateway assessment screens
- cover on the receptionist rota.
Specific qualifications or experience are not required to train for the role. You need to:
- be good at listening
- have a good manner when talking to people
- have basic computing skills
- be open minded and non-judgmental
- enjoy helping people.
Being an adviser is a very varied role. As an adviser you will:
- interview clients at drop-in sessions and appointments in the bureau, over the phone and at outreach sessions
- give information from the CAB electronic information system and other sources
- give advice in explaining the choices and consequences the client faces
- give practical help by writing letters, making phone calls, completing forms, and doing calculations
- refer clients to other agencies if they are better placed to help
- keep records of all clients’ cases
- prevent future problems by identifying issues that affect a lot of clients.
- cover on the receptionist and gateway assessor rotas.
You do not need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser. All sorts of people are CAB advisers. You need to:
- be good at listening
- be able to work in a team
- be able to read and write English, and do basic maths
- be open-minded and non-judgmental
- enjoy helping people.
- Support every step of the way
Advisers do not need to know it all! We provide all trainee advisers with a comprehensive accredited training programme that will give you the skills you need to deliver a high quality service to clients. Our up-to-the-minute electronic information system contains most of the information you will need when advising clients.
You will not be left alone after you are trained. There will always be a session supervisor, who will give you support, advice and guidance.
All advisers are insured by CAB in case mistakes are made.
Trustee board members
All Citizens Advice Bureaux 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 Executive but Trustees:
- set the overall direction and support the development of the bureau
- ensure the bureau meets the needs of the local community and the Citizens Advice membership standards
- employ CAB staff and control bureau finances
- ensure the bureau complies with relevant laws.
The Trustee Board needs people from all sections of the community with a wide range of different skills, experience and perspectives. The Citizens Advice Eastleigh Trustee Board meets mainly in the evenings, and a full induction into the Trustee Board’s role and responsibilities will be provided.
If you feel that you have the skills and qualities we are looking for, and you wish to volunteer, please complete the form below and we will get in touch to discuss your application.