Advice Bureau in call for volunteers

Lisa Barwell
Lisa Barwell

The newly-formed Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire is looking for new volunteers of all ages to join the teams in Spalding and Grantham.

Successful applicants will join a team of over 100 staff and volunteers at the free and impartial advice-giving network.

The new bureau was created from the merger of the South Kesteven and South Holland organisations, and covers a wide region from Grantham down to Stamford, and across to Spalding.

It helps an increasing number of clients by exploring their problems, prioritising actions, identifying next steps, and directing them to the most relevant service.

Problems can range from debt and benefit issues, through to consumer and relationship queries.

Both offices, plus outreach services in Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge, are extremely busy, and the roles that currently require extra capacity range from reception and administration, through Gateway assessors, to advisors.

The Gateway process is a structured set of questions aimed at summarising a client’s issues as quickly as possible, and pointing to the next required step for each.

Full training will be given to applicants able to commit to six hours per week, for all assessor and advisor roles, starting in May 2016. Before that all volunteers will get a chance to sample the Citizens Advice experience, to train as a receptionist, or to shadow or observe roles.

Training will take place on one of two chosen days each week, for a period of up to six months. To provide potential volunteers with more details of the various vacancies, and introduce them to the services offered by Citizens Advice, open days will be held between 10am and noon on January 28 and March 7 in the Citizens Advice offices in Priory Road, Spalding.

Existing staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout these informal events to share their experiences and give insights into training for these highly rewarding roles.

“The close network of volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation” said chief officer Lisa Barwell.

“Everyone’s contribution, if only for the minimum of six hours per week, makes a real difference to people who have encountered problems in their lives across a wide range of issues.”

As a first step, all interested applicants should email training officer Megan Millar on training@shcab.cabnet.org.uk or phone her on 01775 766668 giving brief details of their experience to date, availability for the open days and reasons for applying.

For further information call Gail Arnott on 01780 720130 or gail.arnott@btinternet.com