Citizens Advice receives recognition for volunteers

VOLUNTEERS at Citizens Advice Ceredigion have been delighted by the news that they have been given the ‘Achieving Investors in Volunteers’ award this month, recognising the hard work and commitment put in by all the volunteers and staff and emphasising the importance of volunteers. 

The organisation will be celebrating their five year anniversary this year, marking the date of the merger between Cardigan CAB and Aberystwyth CAB – established in the early 80s and 90s respectively.

Citizens Advice Ceredigion provides free, confidential and independent advice to anyone, on a range of subjects from problems at work, to money issues, housing, energy bills or mobile phone contracts, and host of other issues. The volunteer receptionists and advisers offer a non-judgemental and practical support service face-to-face and over the phone.

Aberystywth Advice Manager, Sandra Arnold, has commented on the award stating: “Volunteers have always been at the head of everything that we do, and this award is a welcome recognition of the effort that goes into recruitment, induction, training, support and development of volunteers and their roles.”

Cardigan Advice Manager, Sophie Francis, added: “Our clients are always amazed to hear that the high-quality service we deliver is underpinned by those that are unpaid and our volunteers help us to have a real stake in the communities we serve.”

Quality and Training Manager, Glynis Llewelyn, then continued: “The process of applying for this award has been really useful for us. We’ve been able to take a fresh look at how we do things and make sure our procedures and the roles we offer are fit for 2016 and beyond. We hope it will give others the confidence to get in touch and find out more about volunteering with us, knowing that we put time and resources into supporting volunteers and that we view this as a genuine investment.”

Over 80% of Citizens Advice Ceredigion’s paid staff have previously been volunteers with the company and it’s clear that they value the progression of their volunteers. Of those that go on to paid work outside the organisation, many say that the training and experience they gained were invaluable in finding a job.

Chairman Paul Hinge concluded, stating: “We are very fortunate to have a large proportion of volunteers that stay with us for many years – with two of our volunteers celebrating 15 years, three 10 years and one even 35 years of involvement with our Citizens Advice this year. Achieving Investors in Volunteers in 2016 is the icing on the cake!”

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Dayne Stone

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