I was asked to write about the reason why I started volunteering for Citizens Advice. My first reaction was: “Easy!”, “Simple!”
So, I sat with a pen and paper to put down key points down and …. the “Easy” suddenly became extremely difficult.
First of all, I realised that there is certainly not just one reason, there is a whole complex of motivations and reasons that brings you to the CA office for the first time. You do not think about a particular one, you just want to do it.
And this helps us to understand where actually it all starts – it is YOU, your personality, your urge to pass on your knowledge and your passion to learn new things, your desire to gain new skills, actively use your current skills and to add a higher value to them, your hope to become a valuable member of the team. You also know that you possess great passion and respect for people, without limits, without prejudice.
Well, this was your first step. This is the beginning of the long journey, possibly one of the most rewarding in your life.
I started volunteering in May 2016. I work as a freelance interpreter working for DWP and HMRC. I just wanted to utilise the knowledge I gained about benefits, UK justice system & law. I still keep my job while volunteering and it seems to work quite well, both my jobs nicely complement each other.
Volunteering for Citizens Advice is for me, based on my short experience, a never ending process of learning new things and skills from the highly qualified team of professionals, who help you with your first steps, support you whenever you ask, happily pass their knowledge and lead you on your way. Carefully prepared training helps you to gain confidence for all tasks laying in front of you on that long journey of worries, hesitation, joy and satisfaction.
The long journey at the end of which it is again YOU, trying your best to help people who have found themselves at difficult point of their life.