Volunteers who give advice to our clients are at the heart of our service and we could not manage without them. Volunteer advisers receive full training in the skills needed to help people deal with their problems and learn how to find the information the client needs from our extensive database. Volunteers are supported and supervised as they begin to give advice and will get feedback and development opportunities throughout their time with Citizens Advice. There are a variety of roles and tasks up to giving full advice. Advisers do some or all of this:
- finding out the key points of a clients problem
- finding out what a client's problem is and helping them understand self-help information so the client can act for themselves
- helping a client with debts to work out a reasonable rate of repayment and supporting them to negotiate this with creditors
- interviewing a homeless client to find out what their housing options are and helping the client decide their next steps
- interviewing a client that has been sacked and finding out whether they have lost their job unfairly or not.
You don’t need specific qualifications or experience to train for the role. You’d need:
- an ability to understand complex information
- be polite and good at listening
- to be familiar with using keyboard skills and searching the internet
- to be able to input data accurately
- a good level of literacy and numeracy
- to be open minded and not judge clients
- to enjoy helping people.Please note: If you're a law student and you train as a Citizens Advice adviser, you can get up to six months off your solicitor training contract!