Citizens Advice Merton and Lambeth (CAML) is the leading advice charity supporting individuals and families across the London boroughs of Lambeth and Merton. We provide a range of information, support and advice services. We also work to raise awareness and understanding of the challenging issues affecting our clients and communities. CAML is a friendly and professional charity with a fantastic team of staff and volunteers.
We were one of the first Citizens Advice services to open our doors in 1939. More than 80 years on, our support and services are as important as ever. We support people to resolve their advice problems and change their lives for the better. We do this on a free, confidential and impartial basis by:
- Providing advice and information services to support people in resolving the problems they face
- Supporting the improvement of policies and practices that affect people’s lives both locally and nationally
For more information about CAML, please visit our website: https://www.caml.org.uk/
CAML supports clients over the phone, face-to-face and online, providing both information and advice, as well as signposting where required.
Volunteer Assessors conduct short face-to-face interviews with our clients, where they explore the concerns that clients have come to us for help with. This involves:
- Identifying important details about the clients’ enquiry
- Exploring the case with one of our Advice Supervisors before helping the client to understand their options
- Talk through next steps, which could include helping the client to access the information they need, scheduling an appointment with one of the charity’s advisers or specialists, or signposting to another organisation
- Writing a summary of the clients’ enquiries on our database and what action has been taken
- Looking out for problems’ that are common, or are unfair, and completing an evidence form that is shared with our Research and Campaigns team
What is in it for you?
- Making a real difference to people’s lives
- Learning about a range of enquiry areas such as benefits, debt, employment and housing
- Build on valuable skills such as communication, listening and analysing
- Increase your employability
- Engaging with a range of people across different roles and organisations
- Contributing to a wider team
- Have a positive impact in your community
This role will be based in our CAML Offices (Mitcham and/or Morden), with the possibility of becoming involved at one of our Lambeth outreach sites.
What we are looking for
We are looking for great communicators, who enjoy meeting people and wish to support CAML’s vital work in local communities.
You will be friendly and approachable, and have good listening skills. Importantly, you will need to be non-judgmental and able to respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own, whilst observing and upholding CAML’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential, as are good maths and IT skills. The ability to understand, research and share information with others is desirable.
This role requires undertaking a tailored training programme, alongside observations. You will be paired with a ‘buddy’, who is an experienced member of the team and will offer shadowing opportunities.
All members of the team are required to follow CAML’s aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection.
Volunteer Training and Support
On joining us, you will receive a half-day general induction session. This will provide an introduction to the charity, our services and the volunteering role applied for.
This role requires committing to an initial intensive training programme (observing client appointments, group training sessions as well as independent learning), over a minimum three half days per week (two fixed days and one flexible day) covering a four to eight week time period. Further information will be discussed at interview.
After this initial training programme, you will receive ongoing support and training / development opportunities from your nominated CAML supervisor and from our Volunteering & Training Officer.
We are looking for volunteers who are able to join the Charity for a minimum of 6 -8hrs per week providing face-to-face support to clients in our offices. Our volunteering hours are typically 9.30am-4pm, Monday to Friday (different venues however are not open all days). This can be spread over one or two days a week, for at least 12 months.
How to apply
If this volunteering role is of interest, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to meet with us at interview and find out more about the role and the charity.
Satisfactory references are required before joining the charity