Citizens 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.
If you are interested in joining us at Citizens Advice East Berkshire as a volunteer, please see the sections below for an overview of some of the roles we often recruit for. Our current vacancies are listed at the very bottom of this page.
Context of the role
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 receive feedback and development opportunities throughout their time with Citizens Advice. There are a variety of roles and tasks up to giving full advice.
Purpose of the role
- To help provide an effective and efficient advice service to members of the public.
- To help influence government and other organisations by informing them of the effect of their actions on the lives of clients.
- Interviewing clients, both face-to-face and on the telephone, letting the client explain their enquiry and helping the client to set priorities.
- Finding, interpreting and communicating the relevant information and exploring options and implications in order that the client can come to a decision.
- Acting, where necessary, on behalf of the client, negotiating, drafting or writing letters or making appropriate referrals.
- Completing clear and accurate case records.
- Recognising the root causes of problems and participating in taking appropriate action.
- Keeping up to date on important issues by attending the appropriate training and by essential reading.
- A commitment to continuous professional development.
- Attending internal meetings as appropriate.
- A commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service.
- Being open, approachable and non-judgmental.
- Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing.
- Ability to sift through information and extract what is relevant.
- A good level of literacy and numeracy.
- An understanding of why confidentiality is important.
- A good level of IT literacy.
- Be able to input data accurately.
- A positive attitude to self-development and assessment.
- Ability and willingness to work as part of a team.
- Ability to recognise their own limits and boundaries in the role.
- Enjoy helping people.
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.
Main duties and responsibilities include:
- Greet clients and explain the gateway assessment process. Assess the risk/urgency of the client’s issue and their ability to deal with the problem themselves Identify the next steps 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, face to face and on the phone
- Be a confident computer user
- Be open minded and non-judgmental
- Enjoy helping people.
Purpose of the role
- To promote and be involved in all research and campaigns activities.
Main duties and responsibilities include:
- Provide support to advisers on research and campaigns work
- Keep up to date with research and campaigns issues
- Maintain the profile of research and campaigns within the office
- Contribute to learning about research and campaigns
- Contribute to effective research and campaigns work within the office
- review the effectiveness of existing research and campaigns work
- review the priorities for research and campaigns work within the office
- evaluate research and campaigns initiatives
- make proposals for new research and campaigns initiatives
- produce written reports on any of the above, as required
- attend relevant internal and external meetings, as required
- develop and maintain systems for recording and monitoring research and campaigns work in the bureau
- maintain detailed records for the purposes of information retrieval, statistical monitoring and reporting
- work within wider systems and procedures
Citizens Advice East Berkshire 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.
PR & Marketing
Citizens Advice East Berkshire must maintain a high profile in the local community in order to attract funding, to promote local and national campaigns and to ensure that potential clients know how to access our services.
We need PR & Marketing people to:
- Produce locally-based promotional material.
- Edit national Citizens Advice press office releases for local use.
- Build good relationships with local media.
- Promote active coverage of East Berkshire Citizens Advice in the local press, television and radio.
- Identify case studies of clients or volunteers who would be willing to talk to the media.
- Produce copy for local publication.
- Be trained as a local media spokesperson.
- Arrange events, displays and talks to promote East Berkshire Citizens Advice.
For more information visit You Tube.
Receptionist / Admin Support Worker
Our Receptionists/Admin Support Workers are the public face of every local Citizens Advice, managing ‘front-of-house’.
- answer the phone/door
- greet clients and other visitors
- ensure clients know what is happening and how long they have to wait
- explain the services on offer
- ensure clients have completed questionnaires and consent forms
- enter/update client information on database
- deal with any enquiries and explain the process
- let advisers know when their clients have arrived
- contact clients to confirm appointments
- scan/copy documents
- deal with incoming post/deliveries
- keep the reception area tidy
- general office duties
You don’t need specific qualifications and experience but you’d need to:
- be polite when talking to people
- have good computing skills
- have an understanding of, and commitment to, confidentiality
- be friendly and approachable
- be flexible
- be patient
- have a good telephone manner
- have an ability to cope in a very busy office environment
- be organised
Citizens Advice East Berkshire relies on its volunteers and is constantly looking for new ways to bring volunteers into the service.
We constantly need new volunteers to expand our services. This role is vital to our continued success and can be combined with the PR & Marketing Co-ordinators role.
Recruitment Volunteer’s duties might include;
- Production of local volunteer recruitment materials, including leaflets and posters.
- Preparing case studies about current volunteers for the local press.
- Organising stands and displays in local community venues.
- Giving talks about Citizens Advice volunteering.
- Running open days for volunteer recruitment.
- Ensuring that East Berkshire Citizens Advice publications are kept up-to-date with volunteering opportunities.
Citizens Advice East Berkshire is a registered charity with a Board of Trustee Directors.
Some of the Trustee roles require specific skills 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 East Berkshire Citizens Advice overall strategic direction.
- Act as employer for the paid staff. Manage the finances of East Berkshire Citizens Advice.
- Ensure that East Berkshire Citizens Advice complies with the law.
- Are responsible for the premises and overall operation of East Berkshire Citizens Advice.
To see who is currently on the trustee board visit Our Team.
Current Volunteering Roles
Volunteer Assessor – Volunteer Assessor Role Description
Volunteer Adviser – Volunteer Adviser Role Description
Customer Service – Customer Service Volunteer Role Description
Information Pack – Volunteer Information Pack (May 2022)
Application Form – Volunteer Application Form (May 2022)
Volunteer Agreement – CAEB Volunteer Agreement (May 2022)
Diversity Monitoring Form – Volunteer Diversity Monitoring Form (May 2022)