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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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Gurjit, Information Assessor

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.

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.

Stephen, Generalist Adviser

How long have you volunteered with CAP?

I volunteered from 1st November 2019 to 21st February 2020. I am hoping to continue and make a contribution whilst working.  

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

I was made redundant from a full-time position in September 2019. I have always wanted to volunteer previously but never had the time. While I was attending a jobs fair in my local area, I saw that they had a stall so I picked up a leaflet and went on their web-site and made contact with my local branch.

One important box that volunteering with CAP ticked was it gave me a routine: something to get up for and actually physically do while I was applying for jobs. Looking back, I think it definitely kept me from feeling isolated and alone. Now that may sound a little dramatic, but I assure you the impact of losing your job - going from your day being filled by doing a job that you really enjoyed and took pride in - to scouring various web-sites looking for its “replacement”, while attending your local job centre every fortnight, is a little dispiriting to say the least.

I also knew by volunteering I would be starting a-fresh; learning something new, as well as meeting new people and if I’m honest with myself stepping out of my comfort zone. I like getting to grips with something new, trying to understand how to help people and to do work that is of value and importance. With this is mind I thought volunteering at Citizens Advice made logical sense.

How has volunteering with CAP impacted on your life?

Volunteering at CAP has been brilliant! I have probably got more out of it than I ever thought I would. I have learnt extensively about the benefits system, employment and consumer law, Discrimination, Immigration. I have learnt a lot and have also been given the opportunity to work with some fantastic staff and volunteers, all of which have been more than willing to help and assist me in my learning and progression. I will continue to volunteer as and when I can and will maintain contact with the people that I have met as I believe they have become friends – as well as colleagues! Ha! They might not say that about me but I certainly have a great deal of affection for the staff and volunteers at CAP. I only wish I had gotten around to volunteering sooner.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

I joined at a time just before fundamental changes were announced about how CAP is going to operate in the future. These changes are still in the process of being introduced and I think have been challenging for paid staff and volunteers, as their ways of working will change. Also, I think that having enough volunteers and for those volunteers to commit regularly is a challenge - but probably one that they are used to.

What new skills / experiences have you  acquired?

One skill I have learnt is how to speak directly with members of the public, listen to their issues and problems and try to help them in a very short space of time. Little overwhelming at first but you get used to it. I’ve also experienced for the first time working with vulnerable people and learning how to change your approach in order to help them. You also have to be adaptable and learn that you cannot give the best possible information and assistance to everyone. You also have to empower the people we see to make the right choices and seek out the help that from the information we provide for them. Being that little but firm with people sometimes is certainly a skill that I have developed while volunteering at CAP.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I would 100% recommend volunteering. Why? It gives you a sense of real purpose: that you are really helping people, trying to resolve their problems and assisting them at a time when I think Society is becoming increasingly polarised. I think also I really like the variety of the role, being able to speak to people either face to face in person or over the phone, not knowing what issues they would present you with, was something I really enjoyed oddly enough. Having to solve problems on a daily basis and work as a team was massively rewarding.

Any other comments

Just a massive thank you to Keith, Helen, Abi and the rest of the team for making my experience such a positive one. You haven’t seen the last of me!! 😊

Jane, Research and Campaigns Coordinator

How long have you volunteered with CAP?

Since February 2019

Why did you choose to volunteer with CAP?

I have chosen to volunteer with CAP because I desired to offer the existing skills that I had in policy and campaigning and because CAP look at a wide range of Policy and Campaign issues. Although they are challenging for the people involved, they are incredibly interesting to research. My hope is that, by working together, we will be able to find solutions for the people that we help and serve.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP?

The people are very friendly and fantastic amazing individuals.I enjoy working alongside them in order to make a difference to people’s lives. I value and enjoy being able to up skill myself, acquire new knowledge and learn from the other people that I meet too.

What are the challenges of volunteering with CAP?

Last year, I was disappointed that I couldn't spend more time at CAP due to ongoing health concerns. Sometimes, when I am doing training assessments, I don’t always understand the questions that well, however, I am thankful that there are people around to help me out. I also wished that I lived nearer to CAP.

What new skills / experiences have you acquired?

I have learnt much since I have joined CAP. I am particularly grateful in my role as Research and Campaigns Coordinator to have Kurt as my supervisor, I am getting the chance to further grow my skills as an individual.

How as volunteering with CAP impacted on your life?

Volunteering at CAP has given me a sense of purpose and continues to do so. I am proud to be part of the CAP team.

Would you recommend volunteering at CAP? If so, why?

Yes, for the reason that I have stated above, that volunteering gives me a huge sense of purpose and pride at the sense of belonging to such a wonderful and hardworking team.

Any other comments?

Thank you to everyone at CAP for bring patient with me and for changing my life for the better and for enabling me to do the same for others.

Ashika, Marketing and Communications Assistant

How long have you volunteered with CAP?

I have volunteered with CAP for 5 months

Why you chose to volunteer with CAP

I chose to volunteer with CAP because I wanted to be part of the process that would benefit and support individuals in the community. Furthermore, to spread awareness of important issues individuals face. I also desired to gain some experience within marketing as this is a career I would like to pursue.

What you enjoy most about volunteering with CAP

It was nice that everyone was so welcoming within CAP. There was a great sense of teamwork amongst individuals which made volunteering really enjoyable. Receiving positive feedback for the work I was completing was really rewarding. I was given the opportunity to gain experience in different avenues of marketing which I found very beneficial.

Challenges of volunteering with CAP

I did not feel that there were any challenges of volunteering with CAP.

New skills / experience you have acquired

I have acquired skills such as, creativity, through content writing and creating infographics. Furthermore, identifying trends whilst looking at social media analytics has refined my analytical and problem-solving skills. I have enhanced my research skills through conducting marketing research on the social media strategy.

How has volunteering with CAP impacted on your life?

I have become more aware about the issues that individuals in the community face and how important it is to spread awareness around it. Volunteering with CAP has allowed me to enhance my skillset and expand my knowledge on marketing, this has given me the experience required to go into a marketing career in the future. It has been rewarding to know that the work I have completed has made a positive impact onto CAP and the community.

Would you recommend volunteering to others and why?

I would definitely recommend volunteering with CAP to others because it is a great opportunity to obtain valuable skills/experience whilst helping others within the community.

Any other comments

I would like to thank Helen and the Marketing and Communications team for all of your support throughout my time volunteering at CAP!