Volunteering with Citizens Advice
We can all face problems that seem complicated or intimidating and it can be difficult and stressful trying to work things out alone.
At Citizens Advice, we have 21,300 highly trained volunteers who are invaluable to delivering our service and helping people find a way forward with the problems they face, and campaigning for changes to unfair policies and practices.
We helped 2.6 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and web chat in 2017-18.
There are so many ways to get involved, from admin, fundraising, and trusteeship, to helping our clients find the information and advice they need. Our volunteers give confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, to help our clients resolve their problems.
Our volunteers help us deliver services at around 280 local Citizens Advice across England and Wales. We also have volunteers who support witnesses in court by giving information about the court process, giving support before the trial, and on the day.
What will you get out of it?
By volunteering with Citizens Advice you’ll:
make a real difference to people’s lives and have a positive impact on your community
learn about a range of issues that affect our clients including benefits and debt
build on valuable skills such as communication and problem solving
meet new people from a range of backgrounds
Apply now to find out more about volunteering opportunities in your local Citizens Advice and help us make a difference.
Hear from some of our volunteers to find out more about our roles and what it’s like to be a volunteer.
Citizens Advice volunteers come from a range of backgrounds, and volunteer with us for different reasons. Our volunteer roles are varied, challenging and rewarding and our volunteers really enjoy being able to make a valuable contribution and a positive impact on people’s lives.
We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, including Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) volunteers, disabled volunteers, volunteers with physical and mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary volunteers, to join our service. Read about the experiences of some of our disabled volunteers.
Our volunteer roles
As a volunteer at Citizens Advice you don’t need any specific qualifications or experience. You’ll need to be friendly and approachable and have a respect for views, values and cultures that are different to your own. Some roles may require you to have a basic IT skills, be a good listener, or have good written skills. You can get more information about this when you apply to your local Citizens Advice.
As a volunteer you’ll receive an introduction to the service and training for your role, as well as support and supervision throughout your time volunteering with us, and opportunities for development.
We have a range of roles, although the role titles and availability of these roles may vary in different local Citizens Advice offices, the main areas you can volunteer in are below.
Your local Citizens Advice will be able to give you more information about specific roles available when you apply.
Giving information, advice and client support
Many of our volunteers help our clients online, over the phone and face to face, to explore the issues that they need help with and find the information they need to solve their problems.
Some roles involve supporting clients to find this information themselves and to take action, for example, to use a computer to manage their money, pay their council tax bill or find a rented property.
Other roles may involve helping clients with one specific issue, such as completing a benefits form, or switching energy provider, and many of our volunteers help clients with a range of issues, supporting them to weigh up their options and to take action.
Some examples of what you could do:
helping a client with debts work out a reasonable amount to pay back, and making a phone call to an organisation they owe money to.
exploring what benefits a client is entitled to and helping them to complete a benefit application form.
helping a client who has problems with their landlord to understand their housing rights.
No prior experience is necessary in these areas as you’ll receive full training.
Some roles will involve helping clients over the phone, others will involve helping clients online, or face to face at your local Citizens Advice
Please note: If you're training to be a solicitor and you train and volunteer as a local Citizens Advice adviser, you may be able to get up to six months off your solicitor training contract. See Solicitors Regulation Authority for more information.
The qualification system for solicitors is changing. The above paragraph applies to the current system. If you are already on the path to qualifying as a solicitor, this will continue to apply up until 2031. Otherwise, it will apply until Autumn 2021. This page will be updated to reflect the new qualification system when more information becomes available.
Admin and customer service
Our admin and customer service volunteers contribute to the day to day running of the local Citizens Advice making sure that everything runs smoothly. These roles may involve welcoming clients face to face, answering the phone, filing, sorting post, and typing up information.
Each local Citizens Advice is a registered charity reliant on money from local authorities, companies, charitable trusts and individuals. Fundraising volunteers may help with organising events or other activities to raise money, create presentations or newsletters and look for other fundraising opportunities.
Some volunteers help to promote the local Citizens Advice service, raising the profile in the local community to help people know how they can use local Citizens Advice services, how they can volunteer at local Citizens Advice and promoting local and national campaigns. Our volunteers might arrange events or talks, write press releases, use social media and so on.
Researching and Campaigning
Citizens Advice research and campaigns volunteers identify trends in the problems experienced by our clients, to see where policies and practices are negatively affecting our clients. Our volunteers may do research, such as client surveys, to find out more about the issues, and then organise a campaign to bring about change. This might be writing a press release for the local paper, writing to an elected official like a local councillor, holding a public awareness raising event, or using social media. Volunteers may also get involved in campaigns with national Citizens Advice, such as Universal Credit.
Volunteer recruitment and support
Some of our volunteers are involved in recruiting and supporting other volunteers. This might involve creating leaflets and posters to promote volunteering, using social media or going to a volunteering fair. Some of our volunteers help other volunteers with using IT. We aim to be as inclusive as possible so we also have some volunteers who help other volunteers with practical support where needed, such as typing up notes or making telephone calls.
Local Citizens Advice trustees are volunteers who use their skills, knowledge and experience to help guide and govern their local Citizens Advice. They work with the Chief Executive and other staff to shape strategy and give direction to the local Citizens Advice. Find out more.
Witness Service volunteers
Witness Service volunteers provide practical information about the court process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident when giving evidence. See more information and details on how to apply.