Volunteers who give advice to our clients are at the heart of our service and we could not manage without them. Volunteer advisers receive full training in the skills needed to help people deal with their problems and learn how to find the information the client needs from our extensive database.
Volunteers advisers are supported and supervised as they begin to give advice and will get feedback and development opportunities throughout their time with us. There are a variety of roles and tasks up to giving full advice. Advisers do some or all of this:
- finding out the key points of a client’s problem
- finding out what a client’s problem is and helping them understand self-help information so the client can act for themselves
- helping a client with debts to work out a reasonable rate of repayment and supporting them to negotiate this with creditors
- interviewing a homeless client to find out what their housing options are and helping the client decide their next steps
- interviewing a client that has been sacked and finding out whether they have lost their job unfairly or not.
We train people to give advice on the phone and face to face. A supervisor is always on hand to help out with difficult problems.
What support and training do I get?
All our advisers complete a comprehensive but flexible training programme. We aim to have most volunteers advising under supervision with 5 – 6 weeks. The training programme includes:
- training in and observation of the advice process (interviewing)
- training in the main enquiry areas (debt, employment, benefits etc.)
- a training course to explore and practise aspects of advising clients
- interviewing clients with close support and supervision and attending further courses as needed
You don’t need specific qualifications or experience to train for the role but see the skills below that you will need.
- Be able to work in a team
- Be able to research enquiries using online information systems
- Be able to read and write English, and do basic maths
- Be open–minded and non-judgemental
- Enjoy helping people