The Ludlow branch of Citizens Advice Shropshire is looking for new volunteers to boost its invaluable public service in the town and surrounding areas.
The south Shropshire team is inviting potential recruits from all backgrounds and experience to sign up for an open day on February 11th at the Ludlow office in Lower Galdeford to find out more about the volunteer role.
The day, which starts at 10.30am and finishes at 3pm, will include an outline of the nationally recognised Citizens Advice training, the roles available for volunteers and the chance to meet existing volunteers and staff.
Current volunteer Lynn Osborne joined the Ludlow office three years ago and works as an adviser and assessor as part of the team of 14 volunteers. She will be at the open day to share her experience with potential new volunteers.
Lynn is a self-employed complementary therapist and counsellor and wanted a volunteer role to give her a different perspective on the challenges people faced.
“It’s given me an awareness and understanding of what goes on in other people’s lives – things I had no experience of. That helps to keep me grounded as well as making the most of my personal skills in a different way,” she said.
She added that she particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and the chance to tackle a new challenge.
“It’s all about giving something back by using your skills as part of a team,” she said.
She explained that she had also had the chance to take up a temporary paid job with Citizens Advice on the launch of Universal Credit as a result of her volunteer role.
“There are opportunities to move on to paid roles either with Citizens Advice or in other areas as a result of the training and experience you get as a volunteer,” she said.
Cris Willis, Citizens Advice Shropshire training supervisor, said the open day would give potential volunteers the chance to learn about the nationally recognised training and the commitment involved.
She said that there was no need for volunteers to have existing experience as full training and support would be given.
“We welcome volunteers from all walks of life and the open day gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about the Citizens Advice service and the roles available for volunteers. There will be lots of advice at the open day on what is involved.
“The initial volunteer training sessions involve two days per week for the first four weeks. After that we ask that volunteers give a minimum of six hours a week to complete their training and take on their new roles,” she said.
Last year the Ludlow branch of Citizens Advice Shropshire talked to over 1,300 clients. It was originally set up as a charity 30 years ago building on the work of an existing advice service and became the Ludlow office of Citizens Advice Shropshire in 2004.
The team includes 14 volunteers made up of receptionists, assessors and advisers and paid staff including administrators and session supervisors.
If you would like to book a place at the open day on Tuesday, February 11th contact Cris Willis at email@example.com or take a look at the website at www.cabshropshire.org.uk for more information on volunteering.