It’s great that you're considering volunteering with Citizens Advice. If you've come to this page you're probably wondering what we can offer you and what you'd like to do.
Citizens Advice Southampton are on the hunt for individuals who like a challenge and who would like to dedicate their time to those who are struggling and looking to make a difference to their local community. Don't worry, no prior experience is necessary and we will provide you with all the training that you need.
We are an independent charity that provides free, confidential and impartial advice and we campaign on issues that largely affect people's lives.
Our goal is to help everyone find a way forward, no matter what problem they face. Volunteers are the bloodline of our organisation and without them, none of this would be possible.
We continuously provide our volunteers with new opportunities to learn, to progress and to develop. Each day is a new experience, a new prospect and a chance to evolve. So, give it a go, who knows where this road might take you?
If you would like to join our five-star team, please come along to our open day on Wednesday 8th March, where our recruitment co-ordinators, Annie and Paulina, along with our staff and volunteers will be waiting to meet you, and tell you more about who we are and what we have in store for you. We are an organisation that promotes equality, values diversity, and we are open and welcome to new recruits whatever their background, ethnicity or gender.
All sorts of people volunteer with us for many different reasons, but one thing that our volunteers tell us is that volunteering with their local Citizens Advice is enjoyable, rewarding, challenging and varied.
What our volunteers do
We are indebted to over 18,000 highly trained volunteers who support the delivery of our work. Our volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and help with everything we do: through providing administrative support, completing research and campaign work, as trustees – and, of course, by giving advice via our AdviceLine and face to face.
Our recruitment process for volunteers rolls throughout the year in line with our training programme, so you can begin your application whenever is best for you.
Our volunteer roles
Gateway Assessors and Advisers
Many of our volunteers help our clients online, over the phone and face to face, to explore the issues that they need help with and find the information they need to solve their problems.
This can involve supporting clients to find this information themselves and to take action, for example, to use a computer to manage their money, pay their council tax bill or find a rented property. It can also involve helping clients with one specific issue, such as completing a benefits form, or switching energy provider, and many of our volunteers help clients with a range of issues, supporting them to weigh up their options and to take action.
Gateway Assessor is the entry-level position if you want to become an adviser. After a year or so of volunteering as a Gateway Assessor, you can take further training to become a full adviser.
Not all clients need advice – some just need help to find the right information. Our Information assistants provide exactly that, as well as contributing to the day to day running of the local Citizens Advice making sure that everything runs smoothly. This role involves welcoming clients face to face, answering the phone, filing, sorting post, and typing up information. They will be trained to provide, where appropriate, information such as details of other agencies, and to point out leaflets / fact sheets from the Citizens Advice website.
Local Citizens Advice trustees are volunteers who use their skills, knowledge and experience to help guide and govern their local Citizens Advice. They work with the Chief Executive and other staff to shape strategy and give direction to the local Citizens Advice.
Research and Campaign Workers
Citizens Advice research and campaigns volunteers identify trends in the problems experienced by our clients, to see where policies and practices are negatively affecting our clients. Our volunteers may do research, such as client surveys, to find out more about the issues, and then organise a campaign to bring about change. This might be writing a press release for the local paper, writing to an elected official like a local councillor, holding a public awareness raising event, or using social media. Volunteers may also get involved in campaigns with national Citizens Advice, such as Universal Credit.
If you’re not sure what role would be best for you but know that you want to lend a hand, send us an application anyway. The first step after applying is to attend a virtual information session where we discuss Citizens Advice Southampton and volunteering with us in more depth, before asking you to complete an application form. We may be able to find other roles that may suit your interests and needs, such as around fundraising, one-off projects, or for work experience.
No prior experience is necessary for any of our roles as you’ll receive full training.
Some of our volunteer stars
“I saw volunteering with Citizens Advice as a great way of getting more involved in my local community. It’s a two-way street; Citizens Advice provides great experience in developing your understanding of prominent political issues at both local and national levels”. Mel - Citizens Advice Hackney
“I’ve been able to do so many new things; I’ve even had a report published. I’ve been able to gain valuable workplace skills and learn about an evolving office environment. I didn’t realise the range of issues that Citizens Advice help the general public, the extensive amount of advice on offer is really quite remarkable and whatever you are doing at Citizens Advice is making a positive impact on someone’s life”. Grant - Citizens Advice, Coventry
“I have plenty of memorable moments of helping people. Often people just appreciate being able to tell their story and to be listened to.” Seb – Citizens Advice Southampton
“Having arrived in the UK 30 years ago, I constantly referred to Citizens Advice information and am now proud to be a trainee volunteer. The service deals with people from all walks of life, with volunteers from all ethnic backgrounds, giving us a unique and collective cultural understanding that enables us to explain the options clearly and effectively to our diverse clients.” Claudia – Citizens Advice Southampton
“Bringing out the best in yourself by helping someone through what may be the most difficult day in their life: the reward is greater than any payment”. Peter Smith - Caernarfon
“When I retired, I needed to do something to keep my mind active and help people at the same time so I volunteered for Citizens Advice. Some ten years later, I am still volunteering. It’s great to be part of a team which supports folks in their hour of need.” Glyn – Citizens Advice Southampton
“It’s rewarding to help clients find the information they need to address the problem they are experiencing. By the end of the call or drop-in session with a client, we are always able to identify some options together.” Emily – Citizens Advice Southampton
“Being part of a diverse team of trustees who work hard to guarantee the future of the charity for the benefit of our clients is an honour.” Charles – Citizens Advice Southampton
“I love the fact that Citizens Advice encourages us, not only to develop our own abilities, but also to review what we do, how we do it, and how we can improve it. This creates an environment that encourages and supports change, which can only enhance the skills of our volunteers and the service our clients receive”. Michele - Citizens Advice, Merton and Lambeth
“Volunteering at Citizens Advice gives you the opportunity to gain wider social knowledge and valuable people skills. I volunteered to give, but realised I actually gained”. Lauren - Citizens Advice, Melton Mowbray
“Being part of a process that provides help in this way really does give me a sense of achievement because I feel I have made a difference to someone’s life. It really is an uplifting and moving time because it always reminds me of how alone I felt trying to sort my own problems out, with no help from anyone and, at times, wanting to give up. I really am proud to be a volunteer here and proud of my achievements. No one should ever feel alone and with the volunteers here at Citizens Advice providing assistance in so many ways, it demonstrates our commitment to helping as many people as we can”. Tessa - Citizens Advice, Merton and Lambeth
Your next step?
Could you join us? Search for volunteering opportunities with us.