Volunteer

VolunteerCitizens Advice is the largest advice provider in the UK and has around 20,000 volunteers nationally. By joining us you become part of highly respected advice network dedicated to working to improving the lives of people in our community.

There are many volunteer roles within Citizens Advice Surrey Heath and you’re sure to find one that fits your skills, experience and/or interests. At Citizens Advice Surrey Heath everyone works as part of a team committed to serving their community.

If you are interested in any of the volunteer roles described below, you can check on www.citizensadvice.org.uk for further information, try out our Volunteer Quiz, complete our Volunteer Registration form or contact us on 01276 417 903 for an informal chat.

Gateway Assessor

Gateway assessors help clients get the right help in the fastest time possible.

They assess people’s needs, either face-to-face or over the phone, and identify the most appropriate course of action. That might be self-help information, referral to a specialist organisation or an appointment with an adviser.

As a gateway assessor you would:

  • Greet clients and explain the gateway assessment process.
  • Offer information and advice through our new digital service via email and webchat.
  • Assess the risk/urgency of the client’s issue and their ability to deal with the problem themselves
  • Identify the next step that needs to be taken
  • Summarise the content of the interview for the client and explain what happens next
  • Ensure clients know they can return if necessary
  • Update the database, completing the gateway assessment screens.

Specific qualifications or experience are not required to train for the role. You need to:

  • Be good at listening
  • Have a good manner when talking to people
  • Have basic computing skills
  • Be open minded and non-judgemental
  • Enjoy helping people.

If you would like to apply or are just interested in finding out more, please complete our Volunteer Registration form.

Adviser

Without our teams of trained volunteer Advisers we could not continue to meet the demands for our service.

Adviser’s have a very broad and varied role and are central to the services Citizens Advice Surrey Heath provides.

The role of the an Adviser is to:

  • Interview clients in the advice centre, over the telephone and at outreach sessions.
  • Offer information and advice through our new digital service via email and webchat.
  • Research information from our electronic information system and other sources.
  • Provide advice, explanation and help with the choices and consequences that the client faces.
  • Help clients negotiate with people such as creditors and service providers.
  • Give practical help by writing letters, making telephone calls, completing forms, etc.
  • Refer clients to other agencies who are better placed to help.
  • Keep detailed records of all clients’ cases.
  • Prevent future problems for clients by identifying failing policies and poor services.

The Adviser’s Skills

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser. All sorts of people become Advisers, but you will need to:

  • Be good at listening and being patient.
  • Be able to work in a team.
  • Be able to read and write English, and do basic maths.
  • Be open-minded and non-judgemental.
  • Enjoy helping people.
  • Be supportive to clients and colleagues.
  • Be confident using Information Technology.

Our Advisers don’t need to know everything. We provide free formal and comprehensive accredited training. Our training is backed up by excellent support, supervision and guidance to help you achieve the skills you need to deliver a high quality service to our clients. If you are a law student, this can earn you up to six months towards your solicitor training contracts experience. Once you have qualified as a Generalist Adviser, you will have the opportunity to develop further skills and increase the depth and breadth of your knowledge.

Our advice service has become more reliant on Information Technology and we now have an up-to-the-minute electronic system containing most of the information you will need when advising clients.

If you would like to apply or are just interested in finding out more, please complete our Volunteer Registration form.

Fundraisers

Citizens Advice Surrey Heath is a registered charity and is totally dependent on funding from local authorities, business, charitable trusts and individuals.

We are constantly looking for fundraising volunteers to work in the following ways with our treasurer and Trustees to meet our fundraising objectives;

  • Help to research fundraising opportunities.
  • Organising fundraising events.
  • Help completing fundraising applications.
  • Putting together presentations to potential funders.
  • Providing support to fundraising groups, such as a local Friends organisation.

For the latest fundraising results visit News or for upcoming events or other ways you can help visit Fundraising.

If you would like to apply or are just interested in finding out more, please complete our Volunteer Registration form.

IT Volunteer

IT support volunteer 

What will you do?

  • complete an introduction to Citizens Advice 
  • help staff and volunteers with day to day IT issues, for example, trouble logging on to their computer, connecting to wi-fi, finding files
  • deliver one to one or group training about using particular software, such as Microsoft spreadsheets or Google docs 
  • write instructions about how to do basic IT tasks to help volunteers and staff
  • help update the local Citizens Advice website
  • advising on ICT purchases
  • setup new Windows 10 laptops, desktops and Chromebooks
  • basic Windows Server 10 administration
  • general ICT support for a small organisation

What’s in it for you?

  • build on and develop skills, in particular IT and communication
  • increase your employability
  • have a positive impact on someone else’s experience of volunteering with the local Citizens Advice
  • meet people and build relationships with other volunteers 
  • contribute to the smooth running of the advice service which makes a real difference to peoples’ lives 

And we’ll reimburse expenses too.

What do you need to have?

You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:

  • be friendly, patient and approachable
  • respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
  • have good verbal and written communication skills
  • have good IT skills and ability to work out things 
  • be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
  • have a can-do approach balanced with sound judgement
  • be willing to undertake training in your role on the work of Citizens Advice.

Highly desirable

  • experience and/ or knowledge of corporate IT technical support, e.g. Active Directory, group policies, cyber security etc.

How much time do you need to give?

We can be flexible about the time spent and how often you volunteer so come and talk to us.

Valuing inclusion

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

If you are interested in becoming an IT support volunteer and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please  complete our Volunteer Registration form.

Trustee

Citizens Advice Surrey Heath is a registered charity with a Board of Trustee Directors.

We are currently looking for Trustees with specific skills around ICT and Fundraising but we welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and experience. As the Board of Trustees tends to meet in the evenings, this role could well fit with other full time employment or responsibilities. If you would like to play a central role in a well known and respected charity, this volunteer role might be just what you’re looking for.

The Board of Trustees:

  • Manage and plan Citizens Advice Surrey Heath overall strategic direction.
  • Act as employer for the paid staff. Manage the finances of Citizens Advice Surrey Heath.
  • Ensure that Citizens Advice Surrey Heath complies with the law.
  • Are responsible for the premises and overall operation of Citizens Advice Surrey Heath.

To see who is currently on the trustee board visit Who’s Who

If you would like to apply or are just interested in finding out more, please complete our Volunteer Registration form.

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