WEALDEN Citizens Advice is calling on local people from all backgrounds to get in touch and find out how they can volunteer at their local bureau. There are bureaux at Crowborough, Hailsham and Uckfield and CAB runs weekly advice sessions in Heathfield, Mayfield, Polegate, Wadhurst and Willingdon
While no two Bureaux are the same, many are looking for volunteers with different skills to help them with a wide variety of roles.
At a time of high unemployment, increasing economic pressure and cuts to public services, the invaluable contribution made by volunteers is needed more now than ever.
While CAB already comprises 21,500 volunteers (making up 75 per cent of the entire service’s workforce), more are needed. Last year the service saw a huge increase in demand: as 2.1 million people were helped with 7.1 million enquiries. Last Year Wealden Citizens Advice saw over 4,500 clients, helped with 5,200 enquires and raised £1.5 million additional income for clients.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles. These include training as advisers, campaigning on social policy issues, working as bureaux receptionists, helping out with marketing, campaigning, finance, IT, administration, media relations, publicity, or even sitting on the trustee board. Wealden CAB are particularly interested in volunteers with specialist fundraising experience to support their efforts to raise additional funding in these challenging economic times.
Opportunities are flexible – some volunteers choose to help out for a short period, while others have supported Citizens Advice for many years.
Volunteering is an excellent way to develop your skills. Of the volunteer advisers who left the service in 2010/11, 27 per cent left for paid employment and nine per cent went into further education.
Many volunteers say they get as much out of volunteering as the people they are helping. Visit your local CAB, ring: 01825 762807 or fill in an online form at: http//www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/join-us/volunteer_bureau_search.htm