Here are 3 articles telling you about 3 volunteer experiences during their time volunteering for Citizens Advice Knowsley.
Emma – Research and Campaigns Volunteer
Emma is one of our volunteers, who has recently joined us and is part of the research and campaign team. She aims to improve both the Citizens Advice service as well as the services that affect the people in the community.
Emma is currently researching the recent changes made to benefits as the Department for Work and Pensions continues the transition over to Universal Credit. Universal Credit has begun to replace certain other benefit payments and so it is important for Citizens Advice to keep up to date with changes in policy and how benefits are received. Emma will be flagging up issues that may arise within the community with regards to this change and will be looking to see what changes can be made to help the people in the Knowsley area.
Emma is also helping with Citizens Advice website by keeping the information on the website up to date and making sure it is relevant. In addition to this, she is updating the information and posters in the branches to ensure the material is useful to anyone coming into the bureau.
As part of her role within the research and campaigns team, Emma is researching how the Citizens Advice carries out its campaigns and how helpful they are to people, as well as how aware people are of the issues presented within these events. Emma aims to improve these campaigns going forward by highlighting the things that worked and didn’t work so that future promotions reach a wider audience and help a greater amount of people.
Catherine – Volunteering As A Gateway Assessor
One of our volunteers, Catherine had been out of the workplace for eight years to look after her children and decided to volunteer for a number of charities including Citizens Advice Knowsley once her youngest child began reception. She wanted to use her time wisely and help matters in her own community whilst also building on and expanding her skills and found Citizens Advice a great platform to do so.
Catherine enjoyed learning to become a gateway assessor and found she had a good foundation of support from the management and her colleagues but most of all enjoyed the environment she was working in. She found volunteering helped rebuild her confidence and gave her the opportunity to offer an invaluable service within her community, whilst learning more about the social issues that affect the Knowsley area.
Catherine believes volunteering at Citizens Advice helped her to gain paid employment due to the reputable name of the organisation and its training programmes. She has continued to volunteer with Citizens Advice Knowsley, despite having to stop volunteering with the other organisations she was previously working with, as she believes working for the Citizens Advice has benefited her greatly in her current role.
Catherine has recently started a new job which she finds extremely rewarding, with a higher salary to boot, and believes the knowledge, experience and guidance she received working at the bureau contributed to her successfully securing her new post.
Alex – Good News Story
Alex had been volunteering with us at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Halewood after graduating with her degree in Criminology and Psychology as she wanted the opportunity to positively affect people’s lives.
Volunteering as a generalist advisor helped Alex to explore her interests as well as develop her personal skills and gain some invaluable experience as she had no previous work history. She also found it to be very rewarding, helped her grow in confidence and was extremely grateful for her opportunity to help those in need to understand their rights and turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Alex has since found full time employment for an excellent organisation and believes that working with the Citizens Advice Knowsley gave her the edge in securing the role. She also recommends that anyone interested volunteer as she did as the extensive training and networking allowed her to develop her administrative, social and personal skills.