VOLUNTEERS representing a broad range of ages and backgrounds at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Harlow have expressed their joy at working for the centre.
Kathryn Claydon, 55, said: “You gain a really good insight about your local community, you gain some fabulous skills, and you meet a great team of people. I’d recommend it to anybody.”
The CAB is a registered charity largely staffed by volunteers with the aim of providing advice to people with problems they face in their everyday lives, including debt, benefits, and housing.
Longest serving volunteer Pam Watson, 74, said: “It’s good to be able to help somebody, but you never know when you’re going to need help yourself.”
The volunteers explained that there is quite a variety of different people that come in seeking advice, and that this is one aspect which makes the job enjoyable.
Reg Golder, 75, said: “The people that come in for advice come from a very wide range of backgrounds and problems that they’re looking for help with.”
Kathryn said: “That’s the bit I enjoy, you just don’t know what’s coming through the door.”
The advisers also have very good things to say about each other.
Reg said: “The group of people that work in this office are very friendly and helpful.”
There is also a broad age-range of volunteer advisers, including 23-year-old Mollie Symmons, who was on her first day. She was extremely positive about her experience so far.
She said: “Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly.”
The overall feeling that one gets from speaking to the advisers is that they volunteer to help give something back to the community.
Jade Onakunle, 33, said: “I’m volunteering because I want to help people. I feel a bit better when I sleep at night knowing that I may have helped someone overcome a difficult situation.”