Volunteers Week 2018

June 1st-7th 2018 is Volunteers Week!

We helped 31,709 local people last year – helping people to stay in their homes, to tackle debts, to apply for benefits and grants they were eligible for, and much more. We can’t provide this invaluable support without the incredible commitment and hard work of our volunteers.

Almost 270 volunteers give up their time for us every week – thousands of hours between them – to work in our centres, as advisers, receptionists, administrators, working in our Research and Campaigns team and in our Communications team, as Trustees, and more. They come from a huge range of backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience and skills.

These amazing people helped us to gain more than £3.3 million for our clients last year, and help them to write off nearly £140,000 in debts. Our volunteers change people’s lives.

You can read more about one of our volunteers below!

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for us yourself, please click here to read about the roles available, and to apply.

Mary is one of our longest serving volunteers, who provides vital assistance helping people to fill in forms for benefit applications. These forms can often be lengthy, complex documents which can cause a lot of stress. Completing these application forms can make a big improvement to people’s lives as they are able to claim benefits they are entitled to, increasing their income which can help with both well-being and reduced stress levels.

We talked to Mary about her crucial volunteer role at CaSSCA

What is your volunteer role at Central and South Sussex Citizens Advice, and how long have you been volunteering for the organisation?

I joined Citizens Advice over 12 years ago as a generalist advisor. For the last four years my role has involved form filling for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), pension credit, other forms relating to these areas.

 

What led you to choose to volunteer for Citizens Advice, e.g. previous work experience?

After retiring I needed structure in my week and to exercise my brain

 

What is your role at Citizens Advice, and could you describe your typical responsibilities?

Filling in forms – following up the results of PIP assessments

Buying biscuits and milk (I am reimbursed!)

 

What have we achieved locally that you’re most proud of?

Making people aware of what they are entitled to. Examples would include benefits, rights, grants and assessments. Especially older people who aren’t aware of how the system works and how it has changed in their lifetime.

 

What do you personally get out of volunteering for Citizens Advice, and would you recommend it to a friend?

Yes I would recommend. What I have got out of it is a knowledge of how things work, how the world works e.g. renting, higher purchase, general knowledge of debt.

 

Finally… what top three words would you use to describe volunteering for Citizens Advice?

Satisfying, fun and frustrating. Frustrating because there is only so much that can be done, not everyone can be helped and not every situation can be changed.

Click here to view Volunteers Week 2017

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