Volunteer Interview: Anthony
Anthony is retired from a career in marketing and management consulting and now a keen volunteer. He’s been volunteering with Citizens Advice Barnet for six months.
What is your role at Citizens Advice Barnet?
I am a volunteer adviser (in training).
Why do you volunteer at Citizens Advice Barnet?
I applied to Citizens Advice centrally and got an email from Gilda, the volunteer manager at Citizens Advice Barnet (CAB). I was looking for a role that brought me into contact with members of the public helping with problems and challenges. It’s something I’ve done for some time in a voluntary capacity. I work with the military charity SSAFA, dealing with a very specific type of client but advising on similar issues as CAB (albeit there is more emphasis on emotional support). We refer some of our clients at SSAFA to CAB especially for debt and immigration issues. I also worked at Victim Support for seven years until they changed their model to move away from volunteer-led advice. There was also a lot of crossover with Citizens Advice, particularly in terms of benefits and housing support.
Is there anything you’ve done while volunteering with us that you’re particularly proud of?
Being able to make a contribution to the client’s betterment –even a lengthy application form. It’s so helpful to have someone familiar with all the bureaucracy and you can see the gratitude they express afterwards.
What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering at CAB?
Definitely I recommend it. Don’t let the amount of online training put you off – I’ve found it really helpful, even though the number of hours might be daunting.
Also, all organisations I’ve worked with have case management systems, and Citizens Advice Barnet’s system is much better than others I’ve experienced.
It’s so helpful to have someone familiar with all the bureaucracy on your side and you can see the gratitude they express afterwards.