I live in Hitchin, I’m married and have three adult children with six grand-children. I retired from my main career in 2014 but have done various part-time jobs since, some for Citizens Advice. I qualified as a Social Worker in 1980 and worked at different times on child protection, adult community care, and mental health services. I then had management roles in Social Services and, prior to retirement, in the NHS.
When I retired I was looking for a volunteer role to keep me occupied and to continue contributing to the community. Citizens Advice was the perfect opportunity to use my social work skills in a positive way. It also appealed to me as a way to get back to helping people directly after having been a manager for many years.
I do three days a week from about 9.30 to 4.00 partly from home and partly from the Letchworth office. I have new clients booked into appointment slots to either see me in the office or speak to me on the phone. I also have a group of ongoing clients who need more detailed help. On any particular day I can be involved in helping complete benefit applications, doing benefit checks, trying to sort out benefit problems, helping to appeal adverse benefit decisions, or
representing clients at appeal hearings.
It is really interesting work that keeps me occupied and makes me feel that I am doing something worthwhile. I am able to work with a group of dedicated and friendly volunteers and staff. I also meet lots of clients who share very personal details of their often very troubled lives and who are very grateful for the help we can give.
To relax and unwind I do some gardening, go to cricket and rugby matches, go on holiday, play with the grandchildren, go out for meals etc with family and friends, and watch too much TV.
To anyone who is thinking about volunteering, I would say go for it. Whatever your background and skills you will have something to offer. We need you!
Citizens Advice North Herts offers opportunities to volunteer in a range of different roles and with flexible time commitments. If you are interested, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01462 688000.