We are recruiting for volunteers to be Generalist Advisers, Receptionists, and Trustees – see below.
What do volunteer advice workers do ?
- Interviewing – You will learn interviewing techniques, how to listen and respond to clients, and how to ask questions to get clarification on issues.
- Giving information – Training will enable you to access information from our computer systems and reference books.
- Giving advice – Your job is to give the client all the courses of action available to them so they can decide what to do.
- Giving practical help – Completing forms; making telephone calls; writing letters. You will also be trained in calculating benefits, tax and debts.
- Case recording – You will be shown how to record your interviews to enable other advisers to carry on work for a client should they return for further help.
- Research and Campaigns – Identify issues where clients have been unfairly treated.
What we can offer you:
- TRAINING – Full training in Citizens Advice interviewing skills, use of the Citizens Advice information system, and social policy work – in context of the aims, principles and equal opportunities policies of Citizens Advice.
- SUPPORT – From the Chief Officer, Session Supervisor and Training Coordinator, as well as from a team of friendly and professional colleagues.
- FULFILLMENT – In helping members of the community who may need advice or advocacy, information or representation, guidance or support. Enhancing and updating your knowledge and skills through use of a constantly updated information system. Furthering your career.
- MAKING A DIFFERENCE – Identify local issues of concern and help to give them a national voice.
- OPPORTUNITY – To develop specialist skills, eg money advice, publicity, outreach advising, tutoring; to increase knowledge, personal awareness and sensitivity towards the needs of others.
- SATISFACTION – From being part of a friendly team working towards helping others in your local community.
- TRAVEL EXPENSES – Bus fares or a modest car mileage rate will be paid for travel: to and from the Bureau; to training days; to staff meetings.
We do not require experience or qualifications, but if you can answer ‘YES’ to most of the following star qualities, you may be one of the individuals we are looking for:
- Are you a good listener ?
- Are you looking for a challenge ?
- Can you be patient when people seem confused or unable to express themselves clearly ?
- Are you able to be understanding without being critical ?
- Are you able to be open minded about other people’s lifestyles, values and beliefs ?
- Do you like helping people manage their problems ?
- Are you willing to learn ?
- Would you like to work as a member of a small friendly team?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please call 01582 670003 or click to send email
What is involved in volunteering with Citizens Advice Dunstable?
Our volunteers are ordinary people from all walks of life and cover a number of different volunteer roles.
The majority or our volunteers are enquiry and generalist advisers who help us to deliver free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects to Central Bedfordshire residents.
Other volunteers come to us because they have a particular skill they would like to put to good use. For example IT, research, fundraising, web design or social media marketing. Some volunteers prefer the social side of volunteering and support us at events where we meet the public and raise awareness of our services and relevant issues.
Whoever you are, and whatever your passion, we might have a role for you so please do get in touch by emailing our Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01582 670003.
What roles are available?
We generally recruit volunteers to help us deliver our advice service, helping the most vulnerable residence of Central Bedfordshire get the advice and help they need. This means you would be acting as the first point of contact for clients. In this role you would give initial advice to clients around benefits, debt, housing, employment or consumer issues. We do also cover other areas but those are our top 5.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, but you think your time and skills would be of value to the service, then please do get in touch as there may be other opportunities to get involved.
Do I need experience?
Not at all. We are looking for ordinary, approachable and friendly people who are non-judgemental and are empathetic to the needs and issues of our clients. If you can do that and dedicate some time- we would love to hear from you.
Do I have enough time?
Our volunteers undertake a minimum of 6 hours per week. However, during the initial training for advice roles we require at least 12 hours for the first 4 months – in combination of group training, observations in the office and self-study.
This is different for other roles so if you are interested in supporting us with admin or something else please do get in touch so we can talk about time requirements a bit more with you.
All shifts are carried out between the hours of 9.30am – 3 pm, Monday to Wednesday and 9.30am – 12.30pm Thursday to Friday, however we are more than willing to be flexible around start and finish times where people have caring/childcare responsibilities. We can also work with school holidays.
We don’t currently operate any services during evenings or weekends. We ask that volunteers commit to a minimum period of six (6) months.
How do I apply?
When we have volunteer vacancies, we will post them on our website along with a link to our (basic) expression of interest form. If we are not currently recruiting, we will have a link to our mailing list which you can sign up to in order to be notified of any vacancies.
What happens when I apply?
You will be sent our application and diversity form to fill in. Please call 01582 670003 or email email@example.com to find out more about our roles and the training process. After your application form is received, our training team will get in touch with you to let you know about the next stage.
Will there be an interview?
Yes, but the interview itself will be relatively informal and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.
What is the training like?
Our training is pretty extensive but also interesting and geared towards helping you be as successful as possible in your role. With a mix of group online and face to face training, shadowing experienced advisers and E-learning/self-study.
Throughout your training, you will be supported by our Supervisor and our Training Coordinator.
I have a disability; can I still apply?
Of course! Citizens Advice Dunstable practices and promotes equality of opportunity in volunteering. That means we make sure that all potential volunteers will be welcomed.
We strive to meet any additional needs of disabled staff. If you have a disability that might prevent you from fully participating in our recruitment process, please let us know in your application and we will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to ensure your comfort.
How do I apply?
If you are confident that you can meet the time commitment, are non-judgemental and reliable and you would like to be considered for a role, please complete our online expression of interest form. We aim to acknowledge all enquiries within 48 (working) hours but please note that this may take longer during busy periods.