Becoming a volunteer at Citizens Advice
You can make a real difference in helping your communities by volunteering with Citizens Advice.
Our teams of volunteers across England and Wales are vital to the work we do,; helping people access the information and giving the advice they need to move forward with their lives.
Citizens Advice believes everyone deserves access to independent, free advice to help them deal with life’s problems and challenges and you can help us do that.
Volunteers are at heart of how we deliver the Citizens Advice service, whether it's:
- helping people online, over the phone, or in person
- raising funds
- researching and campaigning for policy change
- helping witnesses in court in our Witness Service
- helping the service to run smoothly in our admin and customer service roles
- as a trustee
Find volunteering opportunities in your area to join us now.
How our volunteers say they feel
'I was worried that I didn’t have any experience to become an adviser but I got all the training and support I needed to fulfil my role’
'You gain skills and experience that stay with you for life. There is a great support system in place…it makes you feel like you are part of something great.'
'The most enjoyable part of volunteering is seeing the difference we make. You meet a person who might be nervous and not know what will happen to them - in some cases they will be quite distressed. At the end of the day they leave smiling and thanking you for all that you have done for them.'
'Before volunteering I struggled with public speaking, interpersonal communication and anxiety about talking to people that I don’t know. Two years later, I have found the voice that was always there, but hidden due to a lack of confidence.'
'As volunteers we serve the community to improve things for everyone, including ourselves. Citizens Advice gives us a way to change things and be there for the community.'
'As a volunteer, you’re made to feel an equal and valued member of the team. Volunteering with Citizens Advice is not only mentally stimulating but also very rewarding.'
'I volunteered to help others, but didn’t realise how much I would get back! I love the feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day and the feeling you get from being part of a brilliant, friendly, professional and happy team.'
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from racially minoritised people/people of colour, disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBTQ+ and non-binary people.
Volunteering with us
You can volunteer with a local Citizens Advice office or with our Witness Service; a service run by national Citizens Advice.
Local Citizens Advice are their own independent charities and so volunteering opportunities available might differ, but generally include:
- giving information and advice to clients; in person, over the phone or online
- supporting the service run smoothly through admin, customer service or supporting other volunteers
- fundraising, media, research and campaigns
- supporting the running of the charity through being a trustee
Volunteering generally takes place within the local Citizens Advice office, although many local Citizens Advice are able to support volunteers who want to do their role partly, or completely, from home.
Find volunteering opportunities in your area to join us now.
Not sure which role is for you? Read more about volunteer roles at local Citizens Advice and take our short quiz.
Volunteering with the Witness Service
Witness Service volunteers support witnesses in court by giving information about the court process and emotional and practical support before the trial and on the day.
Applying for local Citizens Advice volunteering opportunities
If you’re interested in volunteering for local Citizens Advice you’ll need to:
- check what opportunities are available in your area and complete a basic form with your contact details
- speak to your local Citizens Advice - they'll contact you with next steps, this usually includes a short application form and an informal interview
- start volunteering!
You don’t need specific qualifications or experience to volunteer with us. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and without experience in the role they’re applying for. You’ll get all the training and support you need to help you carry out your role.
Claiming volunteer expenses
As a service we aim to ensure that volunteers are not out-of-pocket as a result of their volunteering. The Witness Service reimburses all reasonable travel expenses and lunch if the volunteering shift is over lunchtime.
Each local Citizens Advice services will have their own expenses policy but most will reimburse travel expenses and other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. Some local Citizens Advice can also pay for carers' expenses.
Your local Citizens Advice can let you know the full details of their expenses policy and what expenses they cover during the recruitment process.
If you’re under 16
The minimum age for advice giving roles at Citizens Advice is 16 but there are many other volunteer roles that are suitable for under 16s.
The minimum age to become a trustee is 16 or 18 (your local Citizens Advice will be able to confirm which). The minimum age for volunteer roles supporting witnesses is 18.
If you’re disabled or have a health condition
We particularly welcome disabled volunteers and those with physical and mental health conditions. When you volunteer for Citizens Advice you can expect a welcoming and inclusive environment that is free from discrimination.
If your health condition might impact on your volunteering please let us know so we can discuss and provide the support or equipment you might need for when you apply, training or undertaking your role.
If you have a criminal record
Having a criminal record doesn’t mean you won’t be able to volunteer with us.
Whether we’re able to offer you an opportunity will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence and the relevance to the role you’re applying for.
The local Citizens Advice or Witness Service will be able to give you more information about this when you apply.
If you’ve used the Citizens Advice service before
Having experience of using the Citizens Advice service can give you valuable insight into what it’s like to access the Citizens Advice service and so we really value volunteers who have used the service before.
If you’ve had advice about an ongoing or complex issue very recently, the local Citizens Advice might suggest a short waiting time before you become a volunteer.
If you receive benefits
If you’re in receipt of benefits, including means-tested benefits, you are fully entitled to volunteer for as many hours as you wish, as long as you continue to keep to the rules or conditions for getting that benefit.
For some benefits you might need to inform JobCentre Plus. You can read more about volunteering and benefits on the NCVO website.
If you have any other questions around this, you could discuss this with your local Citizens Advice.
If you’re not a UK citizen
Irish citizens, EU/EEA citizens with settled or pre-settled status, and refugees and asylum seekers are fully entitled to volunteer. Other non-UK citizens might still be able to volunteer in the UK if your visa allows; please do check you’re entitled to volunteer.