Aaron joined Citizens Advice in West Sussex as a volunteer whilst he was studying his law degree at Sussex University. After two and a half years’ service, he used his knowledge and skills to transition into Helpline Advisor, a paid position within the charity. 

What made you decide to volunteer for the CAWS?

Volunteering was an excellent opportunity for me to practice my interview and research skills towards my ambition of becoming a solicitor. Not only this, but having lived in West Sussex my whole life, it was great to give something back to the community.

Tell us about your volunteering role at the charity?

I started volunteering at the beginning of my second year of studying Law. As a Level 2 Advisor, I was able to provide clients with tailored advice in resolution of their queries. I was also and continue to be supported by our amazing supervisors.

What did you enjoy the most about your role?

Helping people! Seeing clients come in who may have no hope but showing them in many cases there is a resolution. Not only this, but getting to know the volunteers who are all so friendly.

What was the most valuable part of your volunteering experience?

The friendships I have made with other paid staff and volunteers. Furthermore, the practicing of my interviewing, research and advisory skills. This will aid me tremendously when going onto practice. Building that confidence and building a good relationship with clients is also of great value.

How did your volunteering role help you in becoming a member of staff? Did you learn any specific skills?

Volunteering gave me grounding once I transitioned into paid employment. Interviewing skills and looking beyond what is presented by the client is another factor. Not only this, understanding law which affects people during their day-to-day lives. In particular, employment, benefits and housing law.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering for CAWS?

It’s an organisation where anybody can volunteer, regardless of your background. For younger people in particular, it provides a chance to train in different civil areas which is beneficial to future employers. It gives young people purpose and the smile on client’s faces is the proof that they are doing a good job. It’s also a chance to give back to their local community.

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here

Aaron, Helpline Advisor