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Make volunteering a New Year resolution


Citizens Advice Halton is calling on local people who have yet to decide on a New Year’s resolution, and who have some spare time, to consider joining their volunteer team.

Citizens Advice Halton is an independent charity run by local people for the benefit of local people, providing information, advice and advocacy support to people who need help to resolve a problem.

Last year the charity’s team of 30 volunteers dealt with over 12,000 queries giving advice on a range of different problems; but mostly relating to money, benefits, housing and employment rights. Sometimes queries can be as simple as “where do I go to find some information” or form filling to more complex queries which require researching the law and negotiating. This year, the charity is appealing for Adviceline telephone assessors in particular – people who are the first point of access for clients when they ring the charity’s Adviceline number.

Hitesh Patel, Chief Executive of Halton Citizens Advice said:
“Anyone can volunteer with us but this year we’re particularly appealing for more people who are either retired or not currently looking for work to come and join our team. We have a variety of different roles to suit people’s interest, for example; admin and receptionist, telephone ‘triage’ assessors, face-to-face general advisers, specialist advice caseworkers. We provide all the training to help you develop the skills needed to deliver an excellent level of service to clients.”

Specific qualifications or experience is not required for the role, but volunteers need to be good at listening, have a good telephone manner, have basic computing skills, be open-minded and non-judgemental and enjoy helping people. Problems they may have to deal with range from debt and benefit issues, through to consumer and relationship queries.

Volunteers able to commit at least six hours a week will also receive regular training, information and support to maintain their skills and knowledge.

Former volunteer and now Volunteer Training and Development Officer, Neil Jones added:
“Volunteering at the CAB is a great way to get out and make new friends, learn new skills, and help the community. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation and everybody’s contribution makes a real difference to people who have encountered problems in their lives across a range of issues.”

For more information, phone 0151 257 2449 or email advice@haltoncab.org.uk