Volunteer Cost of Living Information Assistant

Citizens Advice Bristol
Closing Date: 
Tuesday, 9 July, 2024 - 14:15
Contract Type: 
Part Time
3 - 5 hours per week
Details of Role: 

Are you concerned about the impact of the cost of living crisis on people in your community?

Do you want to support people to access information and services that will help improve their quality of life?

If so you might want to become a Cost of Living Volunteer

Citizens Advice Bristol is urgently looking to recruit volunteers to work in the community to support people who are facing difficulties due to the cost of living crisis. As a volunteer you will be given full training so that you can help people to manage their money better by:

  • Providing practical guidance 
  • Identifying and signposting to appropriate support

You won’t be advising people but will be using internet research to help to maximise people’s income and to signpost or refer them to additional advice or resources if necessary.


Role Profile

What will you do?

  • Complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and bespoke training for your role
  • Be based in the community, particularly in Welcoming Spaces, supporting people who are affected by the cost of living crisis 
  • Undertake initial exploratory interviews to understand a client's situation and priorities
  • Develop the skills to identify emergencies, including debt emergencies, and know how to respond to offer the client the best support
  • Use the Citizen’s Advice external website and other associated websites  to research the best options for each individual
  • Help clients better understand their finances and get appropriate support for their situation 
  • Write a summary of the clients’ problems and what action you’ve taken and record it on the Citizens’s Advice recording system
  • You will not give specialist advice and will not work without the support of a supervisor

Some examples of what you could do:

  • Help a client to identify possible entitlement to Welfare Benefits and support them to check their entitlement online.
  • Identify a debt emergency that requires immediate action, and support the clients to access regulated debt advice 
  • Discuss income and spending with a client and together draw up a personal budget
  • Help a client understand their utility bills and discuss possible cost reductions, such as grants, support schemes or energy saving methods


Valuing inclusion

Citizens Advice Bristol believes that the skills, experience and satisfaction that come from volunteering should be available to everyone. 

We have a diverse workforce and we actively encourage applications for volunteer roles from all parts of the community, including minoritised ethnic  volunteers, disabled volunteers, volunteers with physical and mental health conditions and LGBTQIA+ volunteers. 


What’s in it for you?

  • Be part of the city’s response to the cost of living crisis
  • Make a positive impact on peoples’ lives
  • Gain new skills/knowledge through training and build experience for employment and have the opportunity to progress into advice roles
  • Skills and knowledge developed could include:
  • Interview skills
  • Knowledge of welfare benefits, housing, immigration and employment
  • Advocacy skills
  • Greater knowledge of local services 
  • Research skills
  • Opportunities for group and peer supervision during period of volunteering, and to feel part of a team
  • Use and develop existing skills in varied and rewarding roles
  • You will have a supervisor available at all times when you are volunteering
  • Improve health, wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem
  • Meet new people from a range of backgrounds and ages, and make friends
  • Get to know the local community and give something back
  • And we’ll reimburse expenses

What do you need to have?

You don’t need specific qualifications or skills but you’ll need to:

  • Be friendly and approachable
  • Be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
  • Have good listening skills and show empathy 
  • Have good verbal and written communication skills
  • Feel confident carrying out internet research
  • Have good IT skills including use of email and Citizens Advice recording platform (training will be provided)
  • Be able to understand information and explain it to others
  • Be able to use your written skills to provide accurate, concise and clear notes of your contact with clients 
  • Feel confident to ask for help when necessary
  • Enjoy working within a team and collaboration
  • Be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
  • Be willing to undertake training in your role


How much time do you need to give?

For this role we need volunteers who can commit to a minimum of 1 information session per week (approximately 2-3 hours) during business hours (9.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Friday) plus the time to record all contacts and do follow up work, this is likely to be approximately 1 day per week (until March 2024). After March 2024 there may be the opportunity to build on your skills and become a Citizens Advice Adviser or the information project may continue and be developed. 


What are the training requirements?

There is a requirement to undertake a training program which is spread across 4 weeks. The training is designed to fully equip you to support people who are affected by the Cost of Living Crisis. The training will include:

  • An induction with Citizens Advice
  • Approximately 28 hours of tutor led training online (we will provide technology so don’t worry if you don’t have a tablet or laptop)
  • You may be required to carry out some self study each week


What checks are carried out?

Cost of Living volunteers will be required to be screened by the DBS. However, a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to your being able to take up the volunteering role. We can accept a disclosure certificate gained via another organisation if it is no more than 6 months old.

How to Apply: 

Ready to apply?

We are so pleased you are considering becoming a volunteer!  If you are ready to apply please fill in our application form and email it back to us. If you have any difficulties with the form or require it in a different format please contact us on the email below.  Please return your completed application to: admin@citizensadvicebristol.org.uk

If you are interested in becoming a Cost of Living Information Assistant and would like to discuss any aspect of the role and how we can support you please contact naomi.deutsch@citizensadvice bristol.org.uk.

Contact Person: 
Naomi Deutsch Community Trainer
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
07467 992806