After working in HR for most of her working life, when Kate retired she was looking to find a voluntary role that utilised her skills and experience she had built over the years, as well as learn new skills in areas that weren’t familiar to her. Since joining in February 2021, Kate now enjoys meeting clients and the variety of advice she delivers, with no case being the same.
What made you decide to volunteer for the CAWS?
When I ‘retired’ I wanted a voluntary role which would enable me to utilise my skills and experience plus at the same time be able to build on my knowledge base and acquire new skills. All of my working life, as an HR professional, I have worked with people, so was looking for a voluntary role that would enable me to continue to work with, and help, other people. My mother volunteered at the Horsham branch for many years in the 1990’s and loved it and this influenced my decision to apply to Citizens Advice in West Sussex.
Tell us about your role at the charity?
I recently became a Level 2 Advisor and, after working as a trainee remote Advisor for a few months, I joined the Worthing office team in September 2021. My role requires me to meet with clients and, after ascertaining what help and support they require, to provide them with the best possible advice and support that I can.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I love meeting clients and being able to support them with whatever issues they present us with. I also enjoy the variety in that you never know on what topic clients are looking for advice and support with. Researching the best advice to give clients has also expanded my knowledge base. It is also great working alongside other volunteers and Citizens Advice in West Sussex staff.
Have you gained any skills since volunteering?
I have expanded my knowledge base considerably, for example around benefits. I am also more confident in dealing with queries and being able to advise people on subjects that are outside my area of expertise.
What has been the most valuable part of your volunteering experience?
The most valuable part of my volunteering is knowing that I have in some way been able to help clients with whatever problem they have presented us with, whether it is simply providing them with some information or actually helping them to get the support that they need, like helping to fill in forms/write letters.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering for CAWS?
If you are looking for a varied and satisfying voluntary role, and one where you can actually make a difference to people’s lives, then a role at Citizens Advice in West Sussex could be what you are looking for.
If you’re interested in volunteering, find out more.