Being a volunteer at Citizens Advice Bromsgrove and Redditch is a stimulating and rewarding experience. It’s so varied because you never know who’s going to walk through the door or what problem they might have.
I used to work in investment banking, but having two children at home gave me the opportunity and perspective to make a big change in my life. I wanted to come back to the workplace but in a very different environment and have found the skills from my banking very useful here. I now volunteer two days a week at times that suit me and the kids.
I now feel like I’m really making a difference for people at times when they need support. Often they have multiple problems such as mental health, housing or debt issues or want to appeal a benefits decision that’s been made about them. Having someone to talk to and who can signpost specialist help if needed is all part of my role as Generalist Advisor.
Citizens Advice are really supportive of volunteers as they do depend on us to run their vital service. To be a volunteer you have to be interviewed and go through a thorough training programme over four months, but it’s really worth it. Just the fact that some people we’ve helped come back to say thank you gives me a real sense of the value of volunteering.