Volunteers helping to change lives

Citizens Advice, London Road, St Leonards.'Tracy Dighton, chief executive. SUS-170321-123638001
Citizens Advice, London Road, St Leonards.'Tracy Dighton, chief executive. SUS-170321-123638001

Volunteers at Citizens Advice 1066 donated an incredible £144,700 worth of their time in the last year.

Tracy Dighton, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice 1066, is using Volunteers Week (1 - 12 June 2016) to thank the 51 volunteers who gave their time at the local charity over the last 12 months.

Citizens Advice volunteers support people client through face-to-face, over the phone and online through email and webchat. Over the last 12 months they helped local people with 22,881 issues, by:

*Dealing with debt, designing payment plans and negotiating with lenders.

*Improving people’s financial skills, for example by finding ways to cut fuel bills.

*Standing up for people’s rights at work if they believe they have been bullied or unfairly dismissed.

*Helping people claim their entitlements to benefits.

Citizens Advice volunteers also give their time in areas such as IT, fundraising and administration.

Tracy Dighton is encouraging local people in Hastings to get in touch about volunteering opportunities.

She said: “Citizens Advice volunteers help to change lives.

“It is thanks to the generosity of our volunteers that Citizens Advice 1066 is able to help people take control of their finances, claim entitlements like sick pay and protect their rights at work.

“There are many opportunities to volunteer at Citizens Advice and new volunteers are always welcome.”

Wendy currently volunteers one day a week and other days works in education. She said: “I volunteer one day a week and work the other days in education.

“My day with Citizens Advice offers the opportunity to get to work with my community with people of all ages and backgrounds.

“I’ve learnt so much with my time at Citizens Advice, practical workshops in housing, benefits and money issues etc; I’ve learnt valuable skills such as really listening or negotiating on behalf of someone.

“We’ve all had times when we need support and there is nothing more rewarding than working with a client to solve an issue they’re having.

“I think all volunteers benefit from their time with Citizens Advice 1066, it’s sometimes demanding but it’s always varied and working in a great team like this add an extra whizz.

“You can guarantee it won’t be dull when you volunteer here, you’re either listening to a client, talking to the team for advice, writing a report or finding relevant information.

“You have to like people, be able to really listen and enjoy learning. If you do, plus a great team atmosphere, I reckon volunteering here at Citizen’s Advice could be great for you”.

“At Citizens Advice if you give your time you get a lot back.

“It is really satisfying being able to help people solve their problems and see that a weight has been lifted off their mind.

“Being a volunteer at Citizens Advice has also given me an opportunity to learn valuable skills and work with great people.

“I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about volunteering at Citizens Advice 1066.”

Twenty one thousand volunteers gave up their time across the Citizens Advice network last year.

The national charity estimates its volunteers donate over £100 million worth of time each year across England and Wales.

By working out how much it would cost for paid employees to do their work Citizens Advice is able to estimate the value of hours donated by volunteers.

People interested in volunteering at their local Citizens Advice get in touch on 01424 721386 or by email at recruitment@citizensadvice1066.co.uk.

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