Become a Volunteer
The work of Chesterfield CAB would not be possible without our volunteers. Nationally, ninety per cent of CAB workers are volunteers. There are many ways to get involved. You could train to be an adviser, help streamline the office admin systems, or sit on the management committee and help with fundraising, publicity or our social policy work.
All our volunteer advisers are fully trained. You do not need to have any particular qualification or experience, but the following abilities:
- a good listener and open minded
- able to work with clients to achieve results
- read complex information and explain it
- do basic maths
- can work as a team member
- can commit yourself to a certain number of hours each week
- support equal opportunities
Voluntary work for the CAB gives good experience for paid employment. You'll get 100% support, full training and your expenses paid. We are committed to equal opportunities for our workers and clients, and welcome volunteers regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disabilities.
See what it's really like to be a CAB volunteer and join us.
"As a volunteer, you feel that you are helping provide a worthwhile service that is highly valued in the community. You would also be joining a team who soon become good friends."
The article below has been written by a volunteer. Please take the time to read it, you never know it could be the inspiration you've been looking for.
"I became a volunteer for CAB in March 2001. Prior to that I had not worked for a number of years as I had caring responsibilities. From previous employment I knew I could talk to people easily, but in today's technology driven workplace, I had a fear of computers and was worried that this would go against me.
I spoke to the deputy manager of the bureau and was assured that not being computer literate was not a problem. I also expressed concerns about my ability to remember all the facts and information required to be an advisor. My worries were unfounded. Complete training is given and the information needed to advise is held on an easily accessed system.
I began the training, which took place in the bureau, along with a new group of volunteers. We were all from different backgrounds, and as individuals all our input was valued. There was no pressure completing training packs, everyone learns at their own speed. During the training period I shadowed experienced advisors and began to feel that I could do this work. By the time the training was complete I was itching to get into unsupervised interviews, safe in the knowledge that everyone's work is checked daily.
Throughout my training I had complete support from other workers in the bureau, and as a result have always felt valued as part of the team. I can say, becoming a volunteer at the bureau is the best move I could have made as I lacked confidence, having been out of the workforce for some time. The work is varied, challenging and frustrating at times but without a shadow of a doubt, most rewarding."
I have been unemployed for several months. I regularly look for jobs and have had one or two interviews, however I have not been successful. I am beginning to become quite depressed about this. What practical things could I do to improve my employment chances?
Your local job centre will offer you advice and help in your efforts to get a job but you could also consider becoming a volunteer for an organisation that interests you.
Chesterfield Citizens Advice Bureau welcomes volunteers from all walks of life and offers comprehensive training and support. Many trainees find that the confidence boost they receive from interacting with a team of commited workers and undergoing the self-learning training programme gives them the skills to enter the job market.
I would like to train as a CAB volunteer. Do I need special qualifications?
The training we provide is designed to give you the skills and information you need to be an effective adviser. We ask you to come and talk to us and an informal interview takes place. Although you do not need specific qualifications, we are looking for caring people who enjoy working as part of a team. The work is challenging and rewarding as well as fulfilling.
I have recently taken early retirement. I still feel I can be of use to people. How much time is required of a volunteer each week?
Because we invest a lot of time and money in training our volunteers to provide a professional service, there is a minimum number of hours we would like you to work for us. When you are trained, this is 6 hours per week - although many volunteers give a lot more than this.
However if you cannot spare any time on a regular weekly basis, how about joining our management committee to set the goals for the bureau. Membership offers a challenge to those who want to be involved but do not feel they can be an adviser.
Getting in touch
Contact us to find out more about being a CAB volunteer.
It is recommended that you read through these pages before applying to be a volunteer. They are available from the Citizens Advice Website.