Volunteer with us
If you have time to volunteer we will help you to change lives!
The Citizens Advice service relies on a team of dedicated volunteers to run the service. Full training is provided and you don't need to be an expert in any subject.
To express an interest in volunteering in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Brandon or Mildenhall please go to the Citizens Advice page to enquire. Also check out the Citizens Advice video (why volunteer with us?) to understand why people find giving their time so rewarding.
There are a variety of volunteering opportunities within the bureau. Volunteers offer their time from a few hours a month to one to two days per week, depending on their availability and the requirements of the particular role. Whatever your role as a volunteer you will receive full training and support as well as the camaraderie of other volunteers.
Being an Adviser is a very varied role. Advisers:
- Interview clients at drop-in sessions in the and over the phone
- Give information from the Citizens Advice on-line information system and other quality assured sources
- Refer clients to other agencies if they are better placed to help
- Keep records of all clients' cases
- Prevent future problems by identifying issues and campaigning for change
You don't need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser. All sorts of people are Citizen Advice 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 computer literate
- Be open-minded and non-judgemental
- Enjoy helping people
There will always be an Advice Session Supervisor, who can provide support, advice and guidance available whenever you deal with client queries.
Receptionists are the main link between the public and Citizens Advice and they are not required to give advice. This role would suit people who are organised and good with people. Receptionists:
- Greet clients and make them feel comfortable
- Answer phone calls and give details of opening hours
- Provide information on Citizen Advice services to clients
- Manage the waiting room and liaise with the staff on numbers of clients queuing
- Keep some statistical records
- During quieter times they may carry out clerical tasks
Whilst Digital Information Assistants do not give advice they play a key role in helping clients to find the information that they need including using on-line resources:
- Help identify the correct leaflet, self-help resource or service provider.
- Support clients to use the Citizens Advice public website.
- Identify where further support may be required.
Clerical volunteers ensure that the Citizens Advice systems run smoothly. Good support is essential for the running of any organisation, and Citizen Advice is no different. There are many different clerical roles and we can match your skills and time available to the bureau's needs. Tasks may include:
- Use MS Office applications to maintain spreadsheets, draft documents and send e-mails
- Responding to correspondence and scanning documents
- Loading up client information onto our database
- Assisting with research and campaigns
- Maintaining and developing administrative systems
- Stock control of leaflets and materials and updating information
- Taking notes and minutes at meetings
If you are literate and good at listening, it is very helpful to Citizens Advice to have dedicated volunteers who can complete the variety of forms that clients bring to Citizens Advice for help, including benefit claim forms, job application forms, housing applications and many others. You will need to be computer literate so that you can keep a record of the work that you have done.
Helping people to understand how to manage their money and take back control of their household finances can have a really positive long term impact on individuals and families. Money advice is the single biggest issue for Citizen Advice and our financial capability trainers deliver sessions out to community groups make a big difference. You will receive training in understanding money management, different methods of saving and obtaining credit, plus managing bank accounts and how to deal with a household budget. Our team need trainers, training assistants and administrative support.
As part of our service to help clients manage their household finances and debts we offer budgeting appointments. Volunteers need to enjoy working with figures and dealing with people.
Many people do not realise we are a charity dependant on grants and donations to be able to provide a free information and advice service across Suffolk West. Led by our Community Fundraiser volunteering opportunities are available to get involved with running activities and events – hopefully learning new skills and having fun along the way! This is a particularly good opportunity for those who would really like to get involved but may have little time to commit to another role.