Volunteering Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend you read through our frequently asked questions. It covers many of the questions we are regularly asked by potential volunteers about training, time commitment, volunteering if you receive state benefits and so on.

If you have a specific question that isn’t covered here then we’ll be more than happy to chat to you. Email us at volunteering@hull-eastridingcab.org.uk or give us a call at 01482 324655

All our volunteers get something different from their volunteering experience. Some of the most common benefits reported are:

  • making a positive difference to peoples' lives
  • receiving high quality training
  • getting invaluable work experience
  • developing new skills such as communication, problem solving, analytical skills, IT etc.
  • using existing skills and knowledge in a new environment
  • improving self esteem, confidence and wellbeing
  • getting to know the community better
  • meeting new people from a range of backgrounds
  • making friends
  • feeling valued and part of a team
  • making a positive contribution to the community
  • changing the way things work for the better

Read our volunteer stories to hear from our volunteers and what they get out of it.

Below are some videos to help you apply to volunteer and manage your account. Once you have created a MyImpact account. You can download the My Impact app onto an mobile phone and manage your account using the app. My Impact app is available from your app store.

Create a new account on My Impact and complete an application form

How to book an interview using the desk top version of My Impact (when requested to by the volunteer team)

How to book an Interview using the My Impact mobile app (when requested to by the volunteer team)

If you have a specific problem, please contact our Volunteer Team by email Volunteering@hull-eastridingcab.org.uk or phone 01482 324655. They will be happy to help you

Our learning platforms are digital and you will be accessing these throughout your training.

As a volunteer helping clients, you will write notes and then type them up. You will use the internet to source and interpret information, send emails and use our computerised telephone systems when required. You may need to help a client with their budgeting – this will need you to utilise your maths skills.

Our clients come to us with a diverse range of issues. We listen carefully to their problem, and offer clear and impartial advice while maintaining confidentiality at all times.

Our volunteers enjoy meeting new people and empowering them to resolve the problems they face. They work in a busy environment and genuinely care about people.

If you feel that you have the right aptitude and people skills – we would love to hear from you.

All volunteers receive comprehensive, free, high-quality training. Most of our core training is via online portals and can be accessed at home or in an office. This makes our training both accessible and flexible to fit around work and other commitments. As you can imagine, our training is varied and covers a whole host of subjects – from debt and employment to benefits and consumer issues. A lot of our training is in a written format and there is a lot to get through, however the training will give you a sound overview of the types of enquiries we deal with. There are no exams – each module assesses your competence and then you can move to the next section.

We will invite you to meet fellow volunteers and to undertake interview observations while doing your training. There will be additional training delivered face to face or on Teams before you begin your solo interviews.

This depends on how regularly you access your training and how quickly you absorb information. We know you will be keen to complete the training requirements and begin helping clients so we suggest dedicating 6-8 hours a week to training. In doing so, you may complete the training within a 6 - 12-month timeframe (of course, you may wish to dedicate more time to your training so you can begin advising clients sooner).

Establishing a regular routine can be really helpful when working through the training modules. We provide guidance to help you make progress and have found that it can be useful to aim to complete a module at a time before moving on to the next section.

You will be assigned a volunteer coordinator who will support you through your training and once you are helping clients. Your coordinator will be on hand to answer any concerns, and to cheerlead you through the training. They have been through the training themselves and will be a great source of support throughout your volunteering. They will work with you to help ensure that you find volunteering a rewarding experience.

You will be working alongside other volunteers, some who have been with Citizens Advice for many years. Our Advice Session Supervisors and experienced colleagues are always available when you begin your interviews to support you and answer those difficult questions.

We will reimburse reasonable travel to and from training sessions and travel to and from the office should you be an office based volunteer. We will chat to you further during the recruitment process about what expenses we can reimburse.

Around 30% of our volunteers who leave go on to paid employment. Local Citizens Advice volunteering provides skills and experience that is valued by many employers.

Many of our staff, for example managers, case workers and administrators, started out as volunteers.

If you are in receipt of benefits, including means-tested benefits, you are fully entitled to volunteer for as many hours as you wish, as long as you continue to keep to the rules or conditions for getting that benefit.

Please talk to us about your individual circumstances, we can discuss this with you when you apply and provide you with support if required.

We can help you by providing a standard letter confirming that the role is a volunteer one, the number of hours you are volunteering, that these hours are unpaid and that you're only receiving actual out-of-pocket expenses.

For more information about things to consider when taking up volunteering see this helpful NCVO guidance.

Former clients can, and do, make excellent volunteers in a range of roles. Having lived experience can give you really valuable insight into what it’s like to access the Citizens Advice service. Depending on when you last accessed the service, we might suggest a break before you become a volunteer, but we can discuss this with you when you apply.

Many students find local Citizens Advice volunteering complements their course and provides them with valuable work skills for the future, particularly, but not limited to policy, law and social work. Speak to us to see what roles and time availability may be suitable for you. It is possible to move to another local Citizens Advice elsewhere after you leave college or university. We are able to share your training records with other local Citizens Advice Offices, so you can pick up at the same place.

The minimum age for Citizens Advice volunteer advisers is 16. There is no upper age limit for volunteers. If you are under 18 years old we will discuss with you how you may be able to meet the regular volunteering commitment requirements when you apply. If you are in full-time education, we recommend that you discuss your volunteer application with your personal tutor, before you apply.

We understand volunteers have many interests and demands on their times.  You may work shifts, have caring responsibilities, have a changing university timetable or have regular commitments. We offer a flexible approach to volunteering, ideally we would like volunteers to commit to 8 hours per week, particularly during their initial training to help you progress and complete your training. We however recognise that this may not always be possible every week. We will talk to you about the volunteering commitment during the application process and any flexible arrangements.

Our offices and adviceline telephone service is open during office hours (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm). Roles that involve giving information, advice and support to clients will usually require you to be available for a certain amount of hours during these times.

If you work full time and are never available during the day it is unlikely you will be able to train as an adviser. You should contact us to discuss your availability and explore what roles may be available to you.

Try to give clear honest examples of how you meet the requirements of the role, and think broadly; examples could be from a range of things you might have done and don't need to be related to employment experience. Relating the questions to concrete examples of what you've done in the past or how you might approach something in the future is much better than simply saying you can do something.

You don't need previous qualifications or specific experience and will receive training and support to help you be able to carry out the role.

Remember that the application and interview is is a two-way process. It enables the local Citizens Advice to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the role and the local Citizens Advice. It enables the local Citizens Advice to ensure that you are suitable for the role, and it enables you to ensure that the volunteering opportunity meets your needs and interests.

Occasionally, volunteers may have interests which conflict with the advice service such as a private landlord, current or recent work as a debt collector or a large employer. These do not necessarily prevent you from becoming a volunteer.  Please let us know if you think a conflict may apply during the application process.

Please note that you are only allowed to volunteer if your immigration status permits it. Many will, but please do check that you are entitled to volunteer, to avoid breaching the terms of your status. You can find further information about different visa rules on this government webpage.

Irish citizens, EU/EEA citizens with settled or pre-settled status, and refugees and asylum seekers are fully entitled to volunteer.

Citizens Advice Hull & East Riding have a policy in place to ensure that people with criminal records are treated fairly. Having a criminal record is not, in itself, a barrier to volunteering. We consider each offence individually, looking at issues like risk to the client, how long ago it took place, the circumstances and whether they are relevant to the volunteer role. Anyone with an unspent offence for a sexual offence against a child or vulnerable adult is considered unsuitable to volunteer with Citizens Advice.