Assess problems and give advice.
Statistics show Brent has among the highest levels of deprivation in London or indeed the whole country, that we have extreme housing problems and that many people are in badly-paid and temporary work. We know it anyway, from our clients and from the queues that form every day. We can’t always see everyone in the queues and too often we can only give them a brief interview. We need more advisers; the people of Brent need more advisers. Come and join us.
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 get feedback and development opportunities throughout their time with Citizens Advice.
There are a variety of roles leading up to giving full advice. Advisers do some or all of this:
- finding out the key points of a client’s problem
- finding out what a client’s problem is and helping them understand self-help information so the client can act for themselves
- helping a client with debts to work out a reasonable rate of repayment and supporting them to negotiate this with creditors
- interviewing a homeless client to find out what their housing options are and helping the client decide their next steps
- interviewing a client that has been sacked and finding out whether they have lost their job unfairly or not.
You don’t need specific qualifications or experience to train for the role. You’d need:
- an ability to understand complex information
- be polite and good at listening
- to be familiar with using keyboard skills and searching the internet
- to be able to input data accurately
- a good level of literacy and numeracy
- to be open minded and not judge clients
- to enjoy helping people.
If you’re interested in volunteering at Citizens Advice Brent, email our Training Officer at email@example.com.