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Meet our volunteers

All sorts of people volunteer with us and for many different reasons, but one thing that unites them all is that they find it challenging, rewarding and varied. Volunteering with Citizens Advice Peterborough gives you a chance to make an active difference to people’s lives in your community.

When asked about why they volunteered for their local advice centre, volunteers responded:

  • To help people of any community
  • I find the work interesting and stimulating
  • I have grown to know and like the people I work with
  • To help people of my own community
  • To give me an interest outside the home
  • To gain experience that might be useful for future employment
  • To meet new people
  • To use my skills and experience
  • To increase knowledge and learn new skills
  • To give something back and to make a contribution

Find out more about our volunteers and why they decided to volunteer with CAP by reading their stories below, or watch this short video 

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Maria, Trainee Generalist Adviser

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP ?

Personally, I chose to work with the Citizens Advice service because I wanted to do something that utilised my previous experience. I really wanted to help people who would otherwise struggle to access advice, particularly on financial matters. Alongside this, I wanted to make a real difference to people's lives. I also enjoy being part of a team.

What you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP ?

The variety of clients I meet and the different problems I'm presented with, problem solving and seeking solutions to help clients.

Challenges of volunteering with CAP ?

There a lot of training required initially which can be quite overwhelming. However, it is all beneficial as it equips you with the knowledge you need to help clients. Some of the client's personal circumstances can be quiet challenging and it's not always possible to provide the help they need.

New skills/experience you have acquired

I've learnt a lot of information about benefits, housing, debt and how valuable the advice we provide is. Moreover, I can see how it can make an impact and benefit people's lives. I also work alongside a great team of individuals which enables me to further develop my own knowledge.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why  ?

I would definitely recommend volunteering at CAP as the job is varied and interesting, each day is an   different experience with new clients. There are a number of volunteer roles, something to suit everybody, so give it a go as you won't regret. I certainly don't.

Gurjit, Digital Adviser

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP ?

I chose to volunteer with CAP as I wanted to give something back to the community in which I grew up. I wanted to use my skills and spare time help people but more to gain new skills, knowledge and meet new people.

What you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP ?

I enjoy supporting people in their time of need to help them through their crisis I also enjoy providing directions to help people across all ages and backgrounds build their own skills and confidence to empower them to find information themselves via different channels.

Challenges of volunteering with CAP

The wide range of matters the bureau receives often means that there are times the problems are emotional, this has developed on my ability to see beyond a single perception and remain unbiased and impartial in the most difficult of situations

New skills / experience you have acquired

Volunteering has changed the way I see things. I have met people from all walks of life, which have helped me to build real relationships. I have gained multiple new skills that I believe will help me in the future.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I would recommend volunteering to anyone who is looking to make a difference as volunteering gives you a real-world experience. You will gain some of the most valuable life skills that will help you outside of your comfort zone by developing teamwork, problem solving and people skills.

Shilpa, Generalist Adviser

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

In studying a degree in Sociology, I was looking to apply my existing knowledge and use it to help people on a more practical level.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at CAP?

Meeting and helping the clients by being there to listen to them and allowing them to offload their problems to someone who can help them and give the advice; overall, just being there to support people who need a listening ear.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

The most challenging thing is the learning and training process and trying to get things right. For example, when giving people advice, knowing that the advice you gave them was appropriate and useful to them.

What new skills/experience have you acquired?

I have been able to improve and reinforce some of my existing skills and experience, such as communicating with the public and various other administrative skills.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I would recommend volunteering because it is a fulfilling experience and you can gain a sense of achievement from helping and supporting others. I highly recommend it to young people as well so that they too can understand the importance of helping others and expand their perspectives on life.

Graham, Specialist Adviser (Debt)

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

There were vacancies available for volunteers and the training and development package was very good and well thought out.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP?

Every case is different and a challenge with new information to be gained. The rest of the staff and volunteers are also very nice people to work with.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

The main challenge is that you never know what can happen in a case when the client actually comes in like what type of information they’ll want or bring with them and the questions they will ask. You have to be adaptable to different clients/client cases.

What new skills/experience have you acquired?

I have learned a lot about different debt situations and how to research and pick up new information. It has allowed me to refresh my knowledge by having to research topics that I may have come across previously.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I would recommend volunteering as it provides you with a challenge that keeps you mentally active. It is also very rewarding to be able to help and give advice to the public.

Paul, Information Assessor

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

After my mother passed away I decided I wanted to help people more. I put “how to help people” into Google and a link to Citizens Advice came up. I completed the online form and then made contact with CAP. I didn’t want to help at my local Citizens Advice as I felt I spent too much time there so Peterborough was a chance to go somewhere new.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP?

The people are really keen to help and they're very friendly. No one takes themselves too seriously but everyone is serious about what they do there. I also enjoy knowing that people leave the centre with a better chance to be able to solve their problems.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

My knowledge gap; some client’s problems are complicated so it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what to do to help. There is always someone to ask for help, and that means you're learning all the time.

What new skills/experience have you acquired?

I’ve learned a lot about all aspects of the advice parameters like employment, benefits, consumer etc. I’ve also learned to think around the client's problem to help them realise various different avenues they can choose to take to help solve their problems.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I have recommended it to one person because I thought they would be interested and get a lot out of it. I don’t make a habit of recommending people volunteer as I think people need to find things for themselves.

Aliyu, Research and Campaigns Assistant

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

I chose to volunteer with CAP because I wanted to gain experience of an office/administrative setting; expand my knowledge and skills and acquire new ones. I also wanted to meet new people and work in a rewarding environment where I would feel productive.

What you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP?

Everyone in the team is approachable, helping each other and sharing ideas. There’s a good sense of teamwork and the role is flexible around me and my paid work.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

I really can’t think of any challenges, I really enjoy my volunteer role.

What new skills / experiences have you  acquired?

I have learnt to adapt to a busy office setting, meeting and seeing new faces and getting to know people. I have also learnt how to work with little supervision which helps to make me more confident.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

Yes, I would recommend it to interested people because it is very flexible and rewarding to volunteer at CAP.