Welcoming disabled volunteers
Citizens Advice and Witness Service welcome disabled volunteers and volunteers with physical and mental health conditions.
Read about the experiences of some local Citizens Advice volunteers below:
“I really love this role as I get to interact with the staff and the clients who are all really nice”.
David is an admin assistant at Citizens Advice County Durham, Consett office. He was previously a volunteer with the Blind Society and has been volunteering with Citizens Advice for two years.
"Since volunteering with Citizens Advice I have gained more administrative skills and interpersonal skills.“I currently work as an administrative assistant working on reception. My day to day work consists of giving forms to clients, making copies of documents, speaking with clients who are waiting and generally being a helpful person.
Before becoming a volunteer at Citizens Advice I had to do a test and an induction. I am visually impaired so find it difficult to read. To support me someone sat with me to read the questions which really helped. I have not needed any adjustments at work so far but am sure should I need any they would be put on place.”
“I have been with Citizen's Advice for one year now and enjoyed every minute!”
Claire is an adviser at Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice and has been volunteering for one year.
“I had been tempted to apply for a volunteer role at Citizens Advice for a long time then I decided to go for it. I was a bit worried if I would be accepted because I have Cerebral Palsy. I was delighted to find out that this was no problem at all.
I was surprised at the different ways that clients can access advice. I originally thought it was just telephone advice. I was so happy that I could be an adviser and give advice via email.
As an adviser, I work remotely and give clients advice on their issues on the email channel.
I have been with Citizen's Advice for one year now and enjoyed every minute! The thing I enjoy most about my role is knowing that I am helping someone when I give advice.
Volunteering has made a huge difference to me. I really enjoy the routine of volunteering and I am more happy, confident and it has really helped me with my reading abilities.
To anyone thinking of volunteering at Citizens Advice Claire says:
I would say go for it and give it a go! The training was enjoyable, and I learnt a lot about many interesting topics like employment, housing, benefits and loads more. The support you get here is great too. There is always someone to go to if you have any questions or need help with the advice you are giving.
“Volunteering is really enjoyable for me, I’ve gained lots of understanding about issues that affect clients, I’ve become more sociable and I feel like I am doing something truly worthwhile helping to fill a role that’s really needed.”
"I’ve been a volunteer at Newcastle Citizens Advice for 12 years and provide advice to clients via email two afternoons a week.
I’ve never been in paid work due to my disability. I have cerebral palsy so I’m unable to walk, talk clearly and use my hands properly. I also have possible Multiple Sclerosis so I get tired very quickly.
For me my disability hasn't hindered me becoming a volunteer. I love the fact that I am able to do much more than just inputting [that I’ve done in previous volunteer roles]. Because of how the service is set up I am able to give advice via email which is really interesting. Email advice is good for me as it’s not live advice so I do not have to be a speed typer. I can take a bit more time sending over the advice to clients.
I have only needed a small adjustment to help me work, which was a keyboard. I have not found any difficulties volunteering. The staff are really supportive and kind which makes working with them so nice.
If you are considering volunteering, I would say find something you’re interested in go to you local Citizens Advice to see how you can get involved.”
What you can expect from Citizens Advice
- You can expect a welcoming and inclusive environment that is free from discrimination.
- You can expect Citizens Advice to strive to provide the support and equipment you may need to enable you to use the application process, undertake your voluntary role, and undertake any relevant training.
- Supervisors and managers in local Citizens Advice and Witness Service work with volunteers to ensure that their individual needs are met, and with support from national Citizens Advice teams where appropriate.
- The computer systems we use have high levels of access, such as compatibility with screen readers. They can be used, as they are, by many disabled volunteers.
- If further support or equipment is needed to enable disabled volunteers or volunteers with mental or physical health conditions to undertake their role, the Citizens Advice ICT Service Desk has specially trained Technical Support Analysts who can provide support and advice.
Your next step?
To find out more about volunteering with us and to apply search for volunteering opportunities near you!