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Volunteering roles

Advisers

Without our trained volunteer Advisers at Citizens Advice Darlington, we could not continue to meet the demand for advice. Our Generalist Advice Service looks at a client’s situation holistically as opposed to looking at their problems in isolation from one another. Advisers are given free training, both formal and on-the-job. As a CAB Adviser you would:

  • interview clients
  • help them negotiate with people such as creditors or service providers
  • draft letters
  • make phone calls on their behalf
  • refer them to other agencies
  • represent them in court and at tribunals.

Attention all law students
If you train as a CAB adviser, you can get up to six months off your solicitor training contracts!


Receptionists

Receptionists are an integral part of the team, managing ‘front-of-house’ on the basis of information provided by the advice session supervisor. Depending on the size and resources of the bureau, the receptionist role may be undertaken by one or more people. As a receptionist you would:

  • greet clients and other visitors
  • answer the phone
  • ensure clients know what is happening and how long they have to wait
  • explain the services available
  • point out leaflets, lists and self-help materials
  • monitor client numbers and waiting times
  • maintain the reception area
  • enter information into computer systems.

Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on the role. You need to:

  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing skills
  • have an understanding of, and commitment to, confidentiality
  • be friendly and approachable.

Gateway assessors

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 a CAB adviser. As a gateway assessor you would:

  • greet clients and explain the gateway assessment process
  • explore the client’s problem(s) and situation
  • 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-judgmental
  • enjoy helping people.

Adviceline telephone assessors

An Adviceline telephone assessor is a diverse role and you will not be expected to know it all! We provide all Adviceline telephone assessors with training, which will help you develop the skills you need to deliver an excellent level of service to clients.

As an Adviceline telephone assessor you would:

  • be the first point of access for Citizen Advice clients when they ring the Adviceline number
  • deal with a wide range of clients problems and issues
  • support members of the public of all ages and backgrounds
  • give information from the CAB electronic information system and other sources to the client
  • refer clients for more specialist advice where appropriate
  • keep records of all clients cases on the database
  • help prevent future problems by identifying issues that affect a lot of clients.

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

  • be good at listening
  • have a good telephone manner
  • have basic computing skills
  • be open minded and non-judgemental
  • enjoy helping people.

Once fully trained we will continue to support you throughout your time as an Adviceline telephone assessor.


Administrators

As a CAB volunteer administrator you would ensure the smooth running of a bureau by:

  • word processing
  • file management
  • arranging events
  • using databases and spreadsheets
  • answering emails and phone calls
  • updating local information.

Trustees

Because every CAB is a registered charity, each has its own board of trustees. Some trustee roles require specific skills but bureaux welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and experience to their trustee boards. Because trustee boards tend to meet in the evenings, you can fit this around a full time job or study. As a trustee you would:

  • manage and plan the overall strategic direction fo the bureau
  • act as employer for paid staff
  • manage the bureau's finances
  • ensure the bureau complies with the law
  • be responsible for premises, insurance and equipment.

Personal skills and qualities for all Trustees

Each individual member of the Trustee Board brings skills and qualities to the Board. They add to the collective knowledge and experience by providing:

 


IT support co-ordinators

A wide range of our essential work depends on well-run IT systems. We use them for keeping track of cases, keeping in touch with clients, accessing e-services on their behalf, and monitoring trends. As an IT co-ordinator you would:

  • support local Citizens Advice staff and volunteers.
  • get to the root of any technical problems and solve these.
  • train local Citizens Advice staff and volunteers in IT skills.

Marketing & Communications

Citizens Advice Darlington would like to raise its profile in the local community to attract funding, recruit volunteers, promote local and national CA campaigns and to ensure that potential clients know how to access our services. This volunteer role will involve:

More details


Fundraiser

Citizens Advice Darlington is a local independent registered charity reliant on income from local authorities, companies, charitable trusts and individuals. As a fundraiser you would:

More details

  • commitment and availability to attend Bureau Trustee Board meetings
  • effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion
  • willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources
  • commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the CAB service, including those relating to equal opportunities, independence and social policy
  • willingness and ability to act in the best interests of the Bureau
  • ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as Trustees and employers
  • willingness to participate in democratic process which develops CAAB policies by area and national
  • numeracy to the extent required to understand CAB accounts with the support of a Treasurer
  • willingness and ability to learn, and to develop and examine their own attitudes
  • ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement
  • ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Trustee Board Members are responsible for setting policy and agreeing strategies. You will need to commit to a number of board meetings throughout the year, and those of any committee of which you are a member.
    • support bureau workers including staff and volunteers
    • troubleshoot
    • web design
    • train bureau workers in IT skills
    • assist with email advice.
    • supporting Citizens Advice Darlington marketing & communications activity
    • writing & posting content on Social Media channels including Facebook and Twitter
    • monitoring digital activity across web, email and social media
    • assisting in the production of promotional materials to use locally
    • tailor press releases issued by the National Citizens Advice press office for local use
    • build relationships with local media outlets & pursue coverage for the Bureau in local press, TV & radio
    • assisting in planning an achievable approach to raise funds to meet fundraising objectives
    • supporting the organising & co-ordinating of fundraising activities
    • researching sources of funds from various places, including grant giving trusts
    • ensuring all fundraising activities are ethical and meet all legal and local council requirements

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