For 42 years volunteers have been the beating heart of everything we do at Citizens Advice Wokingham.
Starting with just 11 volunteers in 1977 — our team provided advice and information to people across the area on the issues affecting them.
Now in 2019, we have over 70 volunteers supporting us with a variety of roles including:
- Admin support (bookkeeping, communications, IT)
- Assessors (first level of advice, assessment, triage)
- Advisers (supporting our clients with more indepth cases, appointments and specialisms)
- Other support (including our Research & Campaigns team)
We rely on them for providing the high quality advice we give to our clients, along with our campaigns which drive change and raise awareness of what we do and the causes we champion.
Our Training Manager, Nicky Phull is the first port of call for people interested in volunteering. We advertise in shops, community spaces, our weekly newspaper column, social media and on our website. Nicky then invites people in to have a behind-the-scenes tour of what we do.
As part of our communications on volunteering, we share stories of the people who support us week-in week-out. The achievements that make in their roles, a typical day in what they do and what brought them to volunteering. They feature as case studies in our newspaper columns and on our website here.
Nicky will take them around to meet our other volunteers and staff, give a presentation on the work we do and answer any questions. They then discuss any roles they may be interested in.
We then have a short application process before we can get started.
We want to make sure that all of our colleagues have an opportunity to see the role in action — so we arrange observation days to sit with someone doing the role. This gives a great opportunity to get to understand the role a lot better and meet the people they will be spending time with.
From expression of interest to joining us as a volunteer making a difference can take just a few short weeks.
We love welcoming new people to the team and particularly seeing the relationships build with our more experienced volunteers.
We do a lot to support our volunteers once they join, and to meet people helping us on different days — particularly through our monthly development days which you can see more about here.
If you are interested in volunteering at your local Citizens Advice please visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering/.
If you live in or around Wokingham and are interested in joining us, please click here.