Citizen’s Advice’s Lambeth office is open to the public in Streatham Hill. Volunteers also support the charity’s busy AdviceLine telephone service and outreach services across Lambeth.
- Verena has been a volunteer for 8 years: ‘A friend said I’d find it fascinating and fulfilling – and I do. I’m thrilled every time something I do helps make even a little positive difference to someone’s life’.
- Cathy said: ‘I’m always proud when we can help someone achieve something they thought impossible’.
- Laura, part of the AdviceLine team for the last 8 months, is about to start her career as a solicitor: ‘I’m particularly interested in ways the law can support those more vulnerable in society. I thought CAML could provide an insight and enable me to help people. It’s done both!’
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers support services across the charity, helping to support clients, or other areas, like fundraising or being a trustee. The face-to-face advice service offers 10 to 15-minute assessment interviews – asking what help they want, identifying the best next step – sometimes making appointments with one of our trained advisers, sometimes giving them information so they can help themselves, or signposting them to another organisation or specialist.
How much time does it take up?
Volunteering is flexible and can fit most schedules. Rotas are agreed during training, and can change as needed. Some volunteers are retired. Some are looking to get into employment. Students can develop skills and gather experience, while still having time for lectures, exams and coursework.
What do volunteers get back?
Volunteering helps people to develop skills, experience and confidence. CAML volunteers are trained and supported in their role by dedicated staff. Verena says: ‘The thing I most enjoy is the people – other CA volunteers, staff and our clients. It’s a real melting pot of personalities and life experiences that teach me something new every day”.
For more information
If you have half a day or more to spare on weekdays, CAML would love to hear from you. You don’t need specific experience, but CAML are looking for people who are enthusiastic about helping others, and have some basic IT skills. Visit their news and information pages to volunteer or for more details.