Cambridge & District Citizens Advice provides information, advice and support to help local people overcome their problems. We help people with a wide range of issues, including benefits, debts, housing, relationships, employment and other questions. We are a registered charity and the service we provide is free, impartial and confidential. We are a local organisation, helping people who live or work in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, and we are members of the national Citizens Advice network.
Volunteer Advisers provide information and advice to members of the public both face to face and on the phone or by email, exploring options and implications to empower clients and help them to make decisions; act for the client where necessary; make sure accurate case records are kept.
The work can be challenging but also hugely rewarding. Problems faced by our clients which affect their lives cover a wide range of issues and can be complex. Citizens Advice empowers people by giving them impartial, confidential, relevant and factual information.
What will you do?
As a volunteer Adviser your main responsibilities and duties will be to:
- Talk to clients over the phone, face to face or respond to emails to explore what problems they’ve come for help with
- Find information about the clients’ problems (such as debt, housing, benefits) and help them understand their options
- Support clients to take action to resolve their problems. This might include drafting or writing letters, making phone calls or referring the client to another organisation
- Write a summary of the clients’ problems and what action you’ve taken
- Look out for problems that are common, or are unfair and write a short report which can be sent to your local MP, or local councillor
Here are some examples of issues you might be asked to help with:
- Help clients with debts to work out a reasonable amount to pay back, and make a phone call to an organisation they owe money to.
- Explore what benefits a client is entitled to and help them to complete a benefit application form.
- Help a client who has problems with their landlord to understand their housing rights.
Weekly time commitment beyond the training period:
We ask for 7 hours per week for at least twelve months and it is possible to divide this into more than one session if you prefer. Citizens Advice Cambridge is open Monday - Friday 9.00 -4.00.
The following roles require less training and time commitment than the Generalist Adviser role.
You will undertake online induction and further training specific for your role. As there is no advice giving with these roles, they may be more suitable for those who need more flexibility and have a shorter time commitment.
Adviser/Caseworker assistant: Working with Citizens Advice caseworkers who help clients with specific problems over a period of time, helping them phone clients for appointments and writing up case notes.
Benefits form filler: Completing paper and online forms with clients, for example to apply for a benefit, or to complete an application for money or equipment from a charity.
Money/Energy?assistant; Helping clients switch to the best energy tariffs and make a budget plan.
Social Media Assisant- To promote the local Citizens Advice service so that the people understand what Citizens Advice does and how they can get advice, and how they could become a volunteer, create leaflets and posters to promote the service, or use existing materials, use social media, for example, Facebook and Twitter to raise the profile of the local Citizens Advice.
For information and how to apply, click 'send me application details' button.