Become a Volunteer
The work of Citizens Advice North East Derbyshire would not be possible without our volunteers. Nationally, ninety per cent of CA workers are volunteers. There are many ways to get involved. You could train to be an adviser, help with social media, become a trustee or help with our social policy work, and we will cover your travel expenses!
All our volunteer advisers are fully trained. You do not need to have any particular qualification or experience, but the following abilities are essential:
a good listener and open minded
able to work with clients to achieve results
read complex information and explain it
do basic maths
can work as a team member
can commit yourself to a certain number of hours each week
support equity, diversity and inclusion
Voluntary work for Citizens Advice gives good experience for paid employment. You'll get 100% support, full training and your expenses paid. We value inclusion and 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.
See what it's really like to be a Citizens Advice volunteer and join us.
"As a volunteer, you feel that you are helping provide a worthwhile service that is highly valued in the community. You would also be joining a team who soon become good friends."
The article below has been written by a volunteer. Please take the time to read it, you never know it could be the inspiration you've been looking for.
My Experience as a Trainee Adviser
The week after I retired in 2013 we moved from Northamptonshire to Derbyshire. I spent the first few months enjoying the wonderful countryside and walking my dogs and then spent a few years volunteering for my local Village Hall, but it was always in the back of my mind that I would like to volunteer for the Citizens Advice. This was because we were helped by CA twenty years ago. At the time my husband was being threatened with unfair dismissal but as a result of the excellent advice we were given he was able to keep his job. I felt that I would like to give something back if I could. I joined NEDCAB and started my training as a volunteer adviser in September 2019.
I spent my first few weeks observing experienced advisers helping clients. The client is always asked if it was ok if I sat in. I learnt that clients are encouraged to talk about their situation and how it has come about. They often came in with one problem such as council tax arrears, but this could be caused by other things such as, employment problems or delays/problems with benefits. They then would be advised on the different options available on all these issues so they can decide the best way forward to achieve their aims and resolve their problems.
I found this very interesting as no situation was ever the same, clients were helped with debt, benefits, employment, housing, consumer and family problems. I was impressed by the depth of advice given.
I was given a training program to do. This core training was not only to learn about all the different problems that clients face and the options available to them but also about the principles and aims of CA, how to treat clients with respect, not to discriminate and make assumptions and how to negotiate on a client’s behalf.
I found that It made me question myself and my own attitudes.
After completing each module in the training program assessments are done. This is to make sure that I have a good understanding of all the different elements.
I found this a little daunting at first, but gradually am getting more confident and finding it easier.
When my training assessor feels that I am ready to start advising on my own I will be ‘let loose on the public’ but with a supervisor in place at first There is so much to learn, especially the complex benefits system as these are continually changing, but I learnt that advisers are not expected to know it all but to be able to look it up on the CA website which is easily accessed and updated regularly so that the correct advice is given. I really enjoy volunteering with Citizens Advice and being part of the team. We all have the same aims to give the best advice possible to help all the clients. The other volunteers are fun and have given me help and advice, my supervisor has given me so much support and nothing is too much trouble if I need help with my training from my assessors. This makes it a brilliant place to work I only wish I had started it earlier.
At Citizens Advice our highly trained volunteers are invaluable to delivering our service and helping people find a way forward with the problems they face.
Take our two minute quiz to find out which area of volunteering you might be interested in!
I have been unemployed for several months. I regularly look for jobs and have had one or two interviews, however I have not been successful. I am beginning to become quite depressed about this. What practical things could I do to improve my employment chances?
Your local job centre will offer you advice and help in your efforts to get a job but you could also consider becoming a volunteer for an organisation that interests you.
Citizens Advice North East Derbyshire welcomes volunteers from all walks of life and offers comprehensive training and support. Many trainees find that the confidence boost they receive from interacting with a team of committed workers and undergoing the self-learning training programme gives them the skills to enter the job market.
I would like to train as a Citizens Advice volunteer. Do I need special qualifications?
The training we provide is designed to give you the skills and information you need to be an effective adviser. We ask you to come and talk to us and an informal interview takes place. Although you do not need specific qualifications, we are looking for caring people who enjoy working as part of a team. The work is challenging and rewarding as well as fulfilling.
I have recently taken early retirement. I still feel I can be of use to people. How much time is required of a volunteer each week?
Because we invest a lot of time and money in training our volunteers to provide a professional service, there is a minimum number of hours we would like you to work for us. When you are trained, this is 6 hours per week - although many volunteers give a lot more than this.
However if you cannot spare any time on a regular weekly basis, how about joining our management committee to set the goals for the bureau. Membership offers a challenge to those who want to be involved but do not feel they can be an adviser.
Getting in touch
Please email us to find out more about being a Citizens Advice volunteer.
Or contact us in person, by letter or phone to find out more about being a volunteer for Citizens Advice.
It is recommended that you read through these pages before applying to be a volunteer. You can apply through the Citizens Advice Website.
The application form is available in a PDF. Simply print the form, fill it in and post it to us.