We are delighted to share stories from some of our students!

We are lucky to have many wonderful students volunteering with us. They are making a huge contribution to supporting people in West Sussex during the pandemic. We’d like to thank them and say that we love having you on the team!

Here we introduce you to three of our student volunteers, Sude, Rebecca and Josie. Scroll down to read their stories!

Volunteering as a student can give people skills and experience which are invaluable during their careers. Student advisers are given the opportunity to work directly with clients, gaining skills including listening, analysing and working in a team. Our student advisers help people with issues including benefits, housing, employment, debt and much more.

We have students volunteering in other non-advice roles across the organisation too, all making an invaluable contribution to the work we do.

Many students volunteer with us as part of the University of Sussex Law School’s Clinical Legal Education programme, and they receive credits towards their course.

Take a look at our short film about volunteering with us as a young person, as advisers and in other roles too!

To find out more about volunteering with us please click here, or send an email to our Volunteering team: volunteer@westsussexcab.org.uk.

Hear from Sude, Rebecca and Josie below!
Photo left-right: Sude, Rebecca and Josie

Meet Sude:
I am a final year law student at the University of Sussex. I started volunteering with Citizens Advice in West Sussex two years ago after finishing college.
My position within Citizens Advice is closely related to my university and I generally find that the content I learn from my modules can be applied when I advise clients. However, the skills that I have acquired from advising, such as research, interviewing, problem-solving and people’s skills, is something to take away when I enter the world of employment.
Prior to Covid19, going into the office felt less like work and more like an opportunity to socialise with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and a wealth of expertise. You may say that this was the highlight of volunteering as someone of a bubbly character. I cannot emphasise how much of a valuable experience working for Citizens Advice has been. I would encourage people in a younger age group to consider this experience and gain valuable work experience whilst contributing back to your community.

Meet Rebecca:
I’m a student volunteer adviser for Citizens Advice in West Sussex. So far, I’ve been really enjoying the work as I get to apply my learning in everyday situations. The online training at the beginning of term was jam-packed so I felt like I was very prepared to give quality advice once I started. Even though the advice I’m giving is all remote and I’m not in the office talking to clients face-to-face, it is still really fulfilling at the end of the day when I clock out at 5-5.30pm knowing that I’ve helped people to the best of my abilities.
I would highly recommend this to everyone because volunteering here allows you to develop key essential skills you’ll undoubtedly need in the workplace and it’s also a good break in between the modules you’re doing at University. I’m studying Law with International Relations and sometimes when you’re in a mental block you need to step back and do something different before going back to your studies and approaching it at a different angle.
It’s also a really nice way to give back to the community and reflect on the overarching themes of access to justice – I’m looking forward to the rest of this term!

Meet Josie:
I started volunteering as a remote volunteer advisor in September 2020. I am currently in my final year of studying German and French at the University of Sheffield but hope to change direction and train as a Social Worker when I graduate.
For this reason, I thought gaining experience with Citizens Advice through advice-giving, client work and problem solving would really strengthen my employability into Social Work- I was right! Not only do I feel more confident interacting with clients and giving advice, I also have more of a passion for this line of work – it is so rewarding.
Volunteering is flexible to work around my studies, and I am able to help our clients from home or from university. It has required some time-management when I have more uni work to do, but that is just another valuable life skill I have been able to improve through volunteering!