Busy CAB needs to recruit more advisers

The Princess Royal at Buckingham's Citizens Advice offices
The Princess Royal at Buckingham's Citizens Advice offices

Buckingham’s award-winning Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) needs more volunteer advisers, due to ever increasing demands on its service.

Citizens Advice Buckingham, Winslow & District provides information, advice and guidance for people facing problems.

It provides a free, independent, confidential and impartial advice service, thanks largely to its highly trained and skilled volunteer advisers.

Buckingham’s CAB was recognised as being of the highest quality when it was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by the Princess Royal in 2012.

To keep up with increasing demand on its services, more volunteers are needed for the Buckingham office.

Volunteer advisers receive full training in the skills needed to help people deal with their problems and how to find the information a client needs.

Once trained, volunteers are supported and supervised as they begin to give advice and will get feedback and development opportunities throughout their time with CAB.

Tasks may include finding out what a client’s problem is and helping them understand self-help information so they 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 interviewing a client to find out if they have lost their job unfairly.

While volunteers don’t need any specific qualifications or experience to train for the role, they do need an ability to understand complex information and a good level of literacy and numeracy.

They also need to be open minded and not judge clients; be polite and good at listening; be familiar with using keyboard skills and searching the internet; be able to input data accurately; and enjoy helping people.

Law students who train as Citizens Advice advisers can get up to six months off their solicitor training contract.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer, contact Buckingham CAB at admin@buckinghamcab.org.uk or call 01280 816787.