Start something new at CAB

MP Richard Fuller visits Bedford's Citizens Advice Bureau
MP Richard Fuller visits Bedford's Citizens Advice Bureau

If you’re in a rut and seeking something challenging and rewarding where you can develop new skills or put existing ones to good use, look no further.

Citizens Advice Bedford is recruiting volunteers to play a key role in helping people with their problems, including advice on debts, benefits, employment and housing.

Although information can be accessed via the Bureau website, lots of people prefer to talk through problems face-to-face with an organisation that’s known and respected for its free, independent, impartial and confidential advice.

Training supervisor Diana Stone said there were a number of opportunities available but the biggest ongoing need was for gateway assessors.

She explained: “Assessors conduct short 15 to 20 minutes interviews with a client to find out what they want and to gather relevant details.”
She added: “The role comes with full training and support, a combination of theory and practical to develop interview skills and gain knowledge.

“The first part – which has to be completed before a volunteer can become active – can take a matter of weeks, depending on an individual’s commitment.

“The reward is seeing, first hand, how your help can be part of a life-changing process for people in the local community.”

Another critical area of CAB’s brief is influencing policymakers. The Bedford office - one of 3,500 country-wide – has a lively and active research and campaign team working at both local and national level.

It is looking for volunteers who are open-minded and non-judgemental, who are IT literate as well as being sympathetic listeners with good written and spoken English and who want to be part of a team making a difference. Applicants will need to commit to between six and eight hours a week on an ongoing basis.

> Interested? Then either email or call in at 7a St Paul’s Square and ask for a volunteer information pack.