CITIZEN ADVICE GOSPORT have appealed for donations to support the training and recruitment of volunteer advisors over this summer; as the local charity continues to see a huge number of enquires from residents as the cost of living crisis worsens.
Over recent months household bills and inflation rates have outgrown most wages due to aftershocks from the Covid-19 pandemic combining with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; with two Government support packages yet to take full effect on people nationwide.
Thanks to the immense efforts of volunteers and staff, the charity has continued to give essential advice and crisis support to help people find a way forward. So far alone in 2022 Citizens Advice Gosport has helped people with 10,966 problems, such as debt, housing, benefit, and employment issues.
However the charity needs vital funds to recruit and train more volunteers, costing £970 per year on average for each advisor in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight; a small percentage of the value they add to the charity. A recent financial modelling tool shows that in 2021/22 the total value of Citizens Advice volunteers to the region was £4.8 million.
With this in mind Citizens Advice have launched a request as part of Volunteering week; running from June 1 to 7, which is asking local businesses and individuals to sponsor a volunteer by donating as much as they can. And volunteers have aided this appeal by offering their own thoughts on their work with the charity.
One of its volunteer advisers, Alan, said: “I have worked at Citizens Advice Gosport for nearly 10 years and am extremely pleased to have given something back to my community over that period following my retirement from full-time work. Being a volunteer generalist adviser at Citizens Advice is very rewarding although it can be hard work.
“You deal with many clients who have difficult problems and if at the end of the advice session you and they feel that you have either resolved their problem or at least found a way forward for them, it is extremely satisfying and also keeps your brain active. I would recommend becoming a volunteer at Citizens Advice Gosport to anybody and have done so to others who have become advisers.”
And Valerie Kelly, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Gosport, said: “We have an incredible team of volunteers who freely give their time and skills to ensure people in Gosport can get support in their time of need. In this Jubilee year, we are particularly pleased to have been supporting Gosport residents for over 80 years.”
“I’m particularly proud of the immense dedication they’ve shown during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, when demand for our help is so high. As a charity, we desperately need donations to recruit and train more volunteer advisers to help us to help more people in our local community. Please consider donating what you can to sponsor a volunteer.”
Readers can donate to the cause by visiting https://www.citizensadvicegosport.org.uk or contacting Valerie Kelly on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If anybody is interested in volunteering with Citizens Advice Gosport, they are asked to contact Georgina at email@example.com or give her a call on 02392 520112.
No previous experience is required to volunteer as full training and support is offered by the charity; whose Gosport office is located in Martin Snape House, close to the High Street. For more information about the types of roles visit the national Citizens Advice website.
PICTURED BY CONNOR STEEL: Outside Gosport office of Citizens Advice, located in the Town Centre.