National Volunteers Week 1 – 7 June
Citizens Advice Ipswich has continued giving advice to those in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the tireless dedication of its staff and volunteers.
The team quickly rallied to ensure as many people as possible could be helped over the phone or via email.
As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, Ipswich Citizens Advice wants to thank volunteers for their contribution not only during this exceptional time, but throughout the year.
Over the past year, 53 volunteers at Citizens Advice Ipswich have contributed around 200 hours each week. Since we have adapted to working from our homes, a small number of volunteers have taken a back seat due to other commitments, but the vast majority have been able to continue to help clients remotely, with the support of the supervisors, trainer and technical support staff.
In the last year, Citizens Advice Ipswich has helped 5,000 people with 28,000 issues such as debt, housing, benefit and employment.
Lilian, volunteer at Citizens Advice Ipswich said:
“I am really grateful to Citizens Advice Ipswich for giving me structure and purpose at this time when so much regular activity has been taken away due to Covid 19. I have been able to help clients by phone from home, with support from the supervisors who really support us. I am spending a little longer on the phone with clients than I would be when working from Tower Street, maybe because we all like to speak to someone.”
Martin C, who started volunteering in February 2019 says:
“I chose to volunteer with Citizens Advice Ipswich as I was keen to support the local community. I wanted to use my life skills and experience to help other people and to gain a better understanding of how volunteering can benefit both the individual and our clients. Since joining in February 2019 I have acquired a greater depth of knowledge regarding a wide range of issues including; housing, benefits, debts, and work related problems. The training has been comprehensive and has equipped me to, both, assist Clients seeking advice, and remain impartial whilst doing so. Colleagues have been very welcoming and keen to help me learn.”
“Continuing to volunteer with Citizens Advice Ipswich during the coronavirus outbreak has been hugely challenging but deeply rewarding. I have had to adapt to new methods of working remotely from the office and acquire new technology skills which, at times, has proved to be quite stretching. The feeling that you are continuing to support people through these unprecedented times and, for what are for many, life changing decisions has been truly humbling.”
Nicky Willshere, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:
“This year we were particularly delighted by the partnership with the Law School at the University of Suffolk, which saw 6 law students join our ranks to train into advice roles which has given them great insights into how the law impacts on people in their everyday lives.”
Bob Boxall-Hunt, Chairman at Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:
“Throughout the year our wonderful volunteers contribute their time and energy to make a huge difference to people’s lives and help keep our vital service running.
“Whether they have been able to continue in their role recently, or have paused their volunteering, their support throughout the year has been truly invaluable.”
“As well as helping people through the pandemic related issues, our clients continue to need help with a range of issues that go on in the background and our volunteers and advice workers are here to help five days a week.”
“I cannot thank them enough for their continued dedication. We really couldn’t do it without them.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering with Citizens Advice Ipswich contact us via the contact page on this website. There is also information on our volunteering page and more information about the types of roles we offer on the national Citizens Advice website.