Citizens Advice says farewell to one of Bridlington’s longest serving volunteers

As Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding gradually reopen its services in Bridlington, a familiar face will be missing from the team. After 22 years of voluntary service Gillian Allen has decided to retire. She has been a hard working and dedicated member of the service for over two decades, working with many staff and volunteers over the years.

Diana Deighton, Generalist Advice Services Manager for Bridlington Office has worked with Gillian for many of those 22 years. She said “Gillian has been an amazing volunteer over the past 22 years. The wealth of knowledge she has brought to the role, from her previous career and her training as an adviser, has been invaluable. She has helped so many people in the community over the years, including many new trainee volunteers. We will miss her.”

Gillian describes her volunteering experience in her own words:

“Looking back over my time at the Citizens Advice Bureau I am glad that I made the decision to apply to join the army of volunteers that help to keep the place running!

I had very little knowledge of what to do when I first started but was sure that time would remedy that.

Initial classes were held each Wednesday at the York Bureau, during which I met two more prospective volunteers.  I did wonder at times if I would be able to remember all we had been told or if I had bitten off more than I could chew!

Fortunately when we started at our Bureaux everybody was very helpful and information that we needed to help clients was available to look up when necessary.  At first we sat in with experienced interviewers to get used to approaching clients and/or helping them access the information they needed.  We were then “let loose” on our own!

Some time later, due to the amount of time needed to fill in official forms, it was suggested by the Manager that a session should be set up to help clients complete forms, in some cases, starting from the beginning!  This was right up my street as I had filled many forms in during my previous employment.

My last move happened when a vacancy arose in the general office for somebody to do filing, photocopying and dealing with post (step forward Gillian).

22 years later I would still be there if it wasn’t for Covid 19!

Overall, a very enjoyable and hopefully useful way to spend two sessions a week.”

Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding wish Gillian all the best for her retirement and thank her for her hard work and dedication over the past 22 years.

Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding will be celebrating all our volunteers during  Volunteers Week, 1 – 7 June. Saying thank you to the tireless dedication of its staff and volunteers during a time when the services saw unprecedented demand during the pandemic. They have a week of activities planed on social media to celebrate volunteering and promote volunteering to a wider audience.

120 volunteers at Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding contribute 8 hours each per week, totalling almost 50,000 hours each year.

In the last year, Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding has helped over 23,000 people with over 102,000 problems, such as debt, housing, benefit and employment issues. 

Stacey Provan, Head of General Advice Services at Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding said: “Our wonderful team of volunteers dedicate their time and skills to ensure that people across Hull and East Yorkshire can get support in their time of need. I’m particularly proud of the immense dedication they’ve shown during this pandemic – with many working from living rooms and kitchens to keep the service running. Their dedication and commitment knows no bounds. We simply couldn’t do it without them and we are always looking to recruit new volunteers to join our team.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering with Citizens Advice Hull and East Riding contact 01482 324655 or email Volunteering@hull-eastridingcab.org.uk.  For more information about the types of roles we offer visit the www.hullandeastridingcab.org.uk/volunteering