Volunteers donate £131k time to Ashfield Citizens Advice

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Volunteers have donated donate £131k worth of time to Citizens Advice Ashfield, it has been estimated.

Kathryn Stacey, chief executive of Citizens Advice Ashfield, said the district’s 65 volunteers donated £131k worth of their time in the year up to 2017.

Citizens Advice volunteers support people face-to-face, over the phone and online through email and webchat. Over the last 12 months they helped local people with 32,402 issues, such as debt, employment, housing, consumer and benefits issues.

The past weeek June 1-7 has been designated Volunteers Week and the organisation is hoping more people will offer to step up and help

Kathryn said: “Our volunteers change lives.

“It is thanks to the generosity of our volunteers that we are able to help people take control of their finances, claim entitlements and protect their rights.

“There are many opportunities to volunteer at Citizens Advice and new volunteers are always welcome.”

She gave th eexample of John Wilkinson, a volunteer adviser for the last 9 years.

“He recently helped Eric, a 63 year old pensioner, struggling to cope when his benefit stopped.

“After exploring his circumstances John noticed that Eric qualified for Pension Credit. Thanks to John, not only was Eric’s benefit re-instated but he was also awarded £500 in backdated pension credit.

Another volunteeer, Andy Bingham said: “At Citizens Advice, if you give your time you get a lot back.

“It is really satisfying being able to help people solve their problems and see that a weight has been lifted off their mind. Being a volunteer at Citizens Advice has also given me an opportunity to learn valuable skills and work with great people.”

Volunteers also give their time in areas like IT, fundraising and administration. For information call 01623 784350 or visit www.ashfieldca.org.uk.