Citizens Advice South Warwickshire is celebrating the inspirational volunteers who dedicate their time to solving people’s problems and making a difference to their lives.
To mark Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) the charity is shining a spotlight on the contribution of the 135 volunteers who give up an average of 6 hours a week to help people find a way forward.
Last year Citizens Advice South Warwickshire helped more than 7,500 people with over 34,000 issues – from housing and debt to benefit and employment rights. This year the Stratford and Warwick citizens advice services merged together and now serve a population of more a quarter of a million.
Nigel Milne has been a volunteer the Leamington office with CASW for the last 5 years. After a career in banking and IT, working for companies like TSB and Greater Manchester police, he took early retirement. He has completely revamped the IT service of CASW and taken a lead role in training everyone on how to use the new system.
“I know it can sound a cliché, but I did want to give something back when I finished work. Volunteering has given me a lot of personal and professional satisfaction. I’m not on the front line helping clients directly, but the advisors couldn’t do their job without the background support that I’ve been able to give. And it’s also meant I don’t have time to be a couch potato, which could have happened! “
Henry Lu has been a volunteer at the Stratford office for the last 5 years. He spent his career in power system engineering and accountancy. Henry’s claim to fame was being the first advisor to help Megan Giglia, the gold medal Paralympic cyclist, when she was having difficult times in Stratford and she turned to Citizens Advice for help 4 years ago.
Henry (pictured with Paralympic gold medal winner Megan Giglia) said: “It’s always my hope that my clients don’t give up hope and can be helped back to a normal life. But what Megan achieved by turning her life around and winning UK’s first Paralympic gold at Rio is beyond a dream.”
“I find advising people is most worthwhile and meaningful . Experiencing other people’s far more challenging problems puts my own into perspective. It’s very rewarding”.
Charlie Adams, advice services manager for CASW said: “Thanks to our amazing volunteers we are able to help local people who are going through problems to get back on their feet. If you can spare a few hours each week, we would love to hear from you. We are particularly looking for volunteers with IT skills who could help Nigel and keep us running smoothly”.
“Volunteering brings its own rewards and is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills.”
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with Citizens Advice South Warwickshire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Warwick and Leamington or
maria. email@example.com for Stratford-upon Avon area.