King’s Lynn Citizen’s Advice needs more volunteers - could you be one?
PUBLISHED: 15:44 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:44 18 March 2019
People with debt, housing and relationship problems are being turned away because a charity doesn’t have enough volunteers.
Norfolk Citizen Advice’s King’s Lynn branch has 15 volunteers and is currently open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am - 2pm.
But volunteer Jo Jones, who has launched a recruitment drive, said: “We are having to turn away several hundred people a year because we don’t have enough volunteers. We either tell them to come back another day or check our website, because they may be able to find the information there.”
Mrs Jones, a 74-year-old retired social services manager, added: “The issues have become more and more complicated, the ones coming up most often are benefits and debts, employment issues and seasonal working.” She said people were also turning to the CAB for “clarity” regarding the impact of Brexit on them or applying for settled residential status.
Rebecca Elliott is a debt advisor working three days a week at Lynn CAB. She said many of her clients’ problems related to Universal Credit.
They included managing the sums of money involved when benefits were all paid direct to claimants monthly, along with changes to the system.
“Before if you got sanctioned on your Jobseeker’s Allowance, your council tax and housing benefit continued but now the whole lot goes,” she said.
Mrs Jones said Lynn CAB was looking for volunteer advisors, receptionists and admin support, able to commit to one day a week.
“You don’t need any particular qualifications to work at Citizens Advice,” she said. “Full training is given, which is partly shadowing experienced workers, partly an online course and partly group training.
“You need to be able to listen non-judgementally, assess sometimes complex situations and explore options with clients to help them find solutions, carry out internet searches to find information and finally write up clear and concise case notes.”
The CAB is in the Hanse House, opposite Lynn Minster. To apply to become a volunteer, e-mail email@example.com.
To make an appointment, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03444 111444.
To contact Ms Elliott regarding debt advice, call 07715 653586 or e-mail email@example.com.
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