Volunteer Interview: Ged

After a career working with politicians and journalists, Ged decided to volunteer with Citizens Advice Barnet to reconnect with his local community and help them navigate the complexities of our social welfare system.


What was your background prior to volunteering with us?

I grew up in Barnet and had a few years in Watford and Brixton and in my 20s when I was a newspaper reporter covering crime, politics, housing, inquests, exposing abuse in children’s homes and care homes for the elderly; all human life except sport! This included the second Brixton riots in 1985, and also the first set of interviews with Jamaicans who came to the UK on the Empire Windrush in 1948, published in a 1988 booklet called Forty Winters On

All of this made me to want to work more directly towards achieving social change and my next job was in media relations and election campaigns for the Labour Party, where I was head of press and broadcasting for Neil Kinnock and John Smith and then media adviser to John Prescott. 

I came back to Barnet with my wife in 1995 to start our family and we have two sons and a daughter, all grown up now and getting on with their lives. 


What is your role at Citizens Advice Barnet? 

Volunteer trainee generalist adviser.


Why do you volunteer at Citizens Advice Barnet?

After dealing with politicians and journalists for 40 years I really wanted to get back to working with ordinary people who are affected, often negatively, by decisions taken in Whitehall and town halls.  Having closed my business in 2022 I started looking for the right volunteering opportunities and decided to apply to Citizens Advice Barnet because we help people with every kind of problem and because I wanted to learn more about the rules and regulations people struggle with when they’re in desperate need. 


What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering at Citizens Advice Barnet?

If you want to help people in need and you’re interested in how people are affected by the UK’s overlapping patchwork of rules and regulations – this is the place for you. 


If you’re interested learning more about volunteering with Citizens Advice Barnet you can find out more here.