Help & Advice
All sorts of people volunteer at Citizens Advice Blackpool for many different reasons, but one thing that unites them all is that they find it challenging, rewarding and varied.
Volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new skills and to develop existing ones
It’s also a chance to put the skills and experience you have to good use by helping others. We need people of all ages and backgrounds.
For many people, the best thing about volunteering for Citizens Advice Blackpool is getting to meet a wide range of people and make new friends. There is a real team spirit at Citizens Advice Blackpool, and we provide a supportive environment to make sure that you get the most out of your time with us.
Above all, it’s a change to make a real difference. By volunteering for Citizens Advice Blackpool you’ll be playing an active part in improving the lives of millions of people and influencing the development of national and local policies and services.
And you won’t be out of pocket – Citizens Advice Blackpool will cover any travel costs incurred by volunteering.
What do Citizens Advice do?
The Citizens Advice service is independent and provides free, confidential and impartial advice to everybody regardless of race, sex, disability, sexuality or nationality. It is the largest advice-giving network in the UK, with over 2,000 outlets and 22,000 volunteers. We help people deal with nearly six million problems every year, in bureaux, by phone and email, at outreach sessions in places like GP surgeries and courts – even in people’s homes.
Our clients and volunteers come from all walks of life. We are committed to providing an independent advice service, and volunteering opportunities, to the whole community.
Citizens Advice Blackpool acts as a one-stop-shop for clients. Advisers provide up to date advice and information using our unique electronic information system, link clients with other services and agencies, help write letters and complete forms, negotiate with creditors, make phone calls on clients’ behalf and represent them at tribunals.
The problems we are most often asked about concern employment, debt, housing or benefits, but we will help people who come to us with any enquiry including consumer rights, legal matters, and immigration.
Advisers don’t tell clients what to do, but explain their options and the possible outcomes of different courses of action. Clients are encouraged to make their own decisions and act on their own behalf. We enable clients to manage their own problems by focusing on their needs as individuals.
The Citizens Advice service is based on four principles. It is:
What do our volunteers do?
Information Assistants play a key role in enabling clients to find the information they need by providing standardised information using leaflets and websites.
Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on this role but you do need to have a good manner when talking to people, have basic computing skills, good literacy skills and be friendly and approachable.
You may want to consider this role if you wish to work with people but do not want to undergo the formal and lengthy training necessary to become an adviser.
Being an adviser is a very varied role. As an adviser you will:
You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser. All sorts of people are Citizens Advice advisers. You need to:
Support every step of the way
Advisers don’t 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 system contains most of the information you will need when advising clients.
You won’t be left alone after you are trained. There will always be a more experienced adviser who will give you support, advice and guidance. All advisers are insured by Citizens Advice in case mistakes are made.
Once you have qualified as an adviser, you will have the opportunity to develop further skills and increase the depth and breadth of your knowledge.
What do our volunteers say?
What do you particularly like about volunteering at Citizens Advice Blackpool?
“Everyone involved in the service goes about their business in a friendly and co-operative manner and it is a pleasure to be part of it”
Keith – Adviser
What has surprised you about volunteering here?
“The professionalism coupled with a high degree of informality without compromising responsibility”
Ken – Adviser
What would you say to someone who is thinking about being a volunteer here?
“It’s a very good idea as you can develop many different skills whilst working as a volunteer – admin skills, dealing with people face to face and on the telephone, improving knowledge”
Andrew – Adviser
If you are interested to see which roles would suit you, click here.
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