“Why would anyone want to volunteer?
Let's be honest, it is as much for yourself as it is for others!
Having said that it is one of the most satisfying experiences ever to see and to help someone who has reached the point where they don't know where to turn
It's great when they leave and a huge burden has been lifted from their shoulders, whether it's a debt issue, benefit problems, indeed anything. We are often the client's last resort and it can take a great deal of courage fur them to come and see us, admitting there's a problem.
Believe me, it's not an easy job to do but I think that's why I love it so much. It makes you think, you use your brain, you develop great interpersonal skills and you learn so much about people and what life can be really like. You can literally change someone's life!
The great thing is that you're not on your own, there is great support and encouragement from the people you work with, there is superb training and learning opportunities.
I have no regret at taking this chance to volunteer, it's made me rounded, has given me a greater understanding of people and the multitude of problems they have - it keeps you young, interested and at the risk of sounding cheesy, you're doing some good!”
“Joining CARF was partly as a result of my voluntary work with Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland taking up less of my time.
I went into the CAB in Cupar to get some advice and saw a poster asking for volunteers. I hadn't realised that the organisation was a charity and largely run by volunteers.
I thought the adviser role sounded very interesting and one that I could maybe bring some of my life and career skills good to use.
Having gone through the application process, I started my training in June last year.
With more than six months completed and at the end of a rigorous training programme programme, I became fully accredited in February 2015.
I have really enjoyed the learning process and meeting people from all walks of life. It is a great feeling to get a thank you at the end of an interview, knowing that you have helped someone to deal with a problem. It has helped me become more confident and more knowledgeable about a wide range of issues affecting members of the public. For once in my life I actually look forward to going into work!"
“I returned to be a generalist volunteer with Citizens Advice in August 2012 because the role is the right fit for me and helps the wider community. By profession and personality I was an analyst. Citizens Advice gives me the enjoyable task of problem solving where each case and each client present a different enquiry. I can honestly say that I learn something new every day that I'm in the bureau and whilst I may not always find the desired solution, I have the great satisfaction of being able to help many people who ask for advice.
I rely on the two pillars of Citizens Advice: firstly, a team of supportive and experienced colleagues who are as helpful to me as they are to our clients; secondly, a great information retrieval system called AdviserNet. As a generalist I certainly can't know it all and am not expected to but with AdviserNet I have a database which taps into hundreds of subjects in a format which is client oriented. If the client enquiry is highly specialised I can refer them to our in-house specialists or can pass them on to other support agencies who know the subject in detail.
There is a great mass of information available and a great need for advice. Citizens Advice bridges the gap between the two and I'm proud to play a part in it.”