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Citizens Advice Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent

Citizens Advice Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent logo

We are one of over 300 Local Citizens Advice Offices based in local communities around the country. Together with our...

Volunteer Initial Adviser (telephone)

This opportunity is ongoing, with no end date.

As an Initial Adviser you will likely be the first person a client speaks to when they call the Citizens Advice helpline or use the Citizens Advice Email or Web chat service. Most of our Initial Advisers are volunteers and we could not run the service without them. What will you do? ? complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role. ? talk to clients over the phone to explore what problems they’ve come for help with. If you are unable to speak or hear over the phone you can train to give advice by email or webchat. ? find information about the clients’ problems and help them to understand their options. ? support clients to take action to resolve their problems. This might include drafting or writing letters, making phone calls, or referring the client to another organisation. ? write a summary of the clients’ problems and what action you’ve taken. ? look out for problems’ that are common, or are unfair, and write a short report about the problem or a letter to an elected official like an MP, AM or local councillor.

What’s in it for you?

  • make a real difference to people’s lives.
  • learn about a range of issues such as benefits, debt, employment, and housing.
  • build on valuable skills such as communication, listening and problem solving, and increase your employability.
  • work with a range of different people, independently and in a team.
  • have a positive impact in your community.

And we’ll reimburse expenses too.

No prior experience is necessary in these areas as you’ll receive full training.

For individuals who are doing advice giving roles, and who are also training to be a solicitor, if you started training to be a solicitor before 1st September 2021, you may be able to get up to six months reduction in your training contract.

If you started training to be a solicitor after 1st September 2021, you may be able to include time spent volunteering (or working) in advice giving roles as part of (or all of) your qualifying work experience. See Solicitors Regulation Authority for more information.

What do you need to have?

You don’t need specific qualifications or skills, but you’ll need to:

  • be friendly and approachable.
  • be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own.
  • have good listening skills.
  • have good verbal and written communication skills.
  • have good maths and IT skills.
  • be able to understand information and explain it to others.
  • be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection.
  • be willing to undertake training in your role.

How much time do you need to give?

We ask for a minimum of 3 hours per week, for at least 12 months.

Many of our volunteers give one full day or two half days per week.

Valuing inclusion

Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds, and we particularly welcome applications from racially minoritised people/people of colour,

disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBTQ+ and non-binary people.

If you are interested in becoming an adviser and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.

Benefits to self

learn about issues such as benefits, debt, employment, & housing. build on skills such as communication, listening and problem solving increase your employability. work with a range of different people, independently and in a team. get travel expenses.

Benefits to others

By advising people on their issues you can make a real difference to people' lives and have a positive impact in your community. Help identify local and national policies that affect people unfairly.


Hanley, Newcastle or Biddulph office.

Training available

You'll complete a programme of e-learning and two days of classroom based training with a certificate of competence at the end. You'll have access to the national Citizens Advice online learning resources and can undertake further training if desired out of interest or for other roles.

DBS required?


Transport details

Classroom training is at our Hanley office, 13-15 Cheapside, ST1 1HL. After that you can volunteer at a location of your choice: Newcastle under Lyme, Biddulph, Hanley, or Leek.

Contact Name

Margaret Collin

Contact email address


Contact phone number

  • ProfessionsAdministration, Health, Legal
  • Crisis & PovertyCrisis Support, Foodbanks, Homeless / Housing, Poverty, Refugees
  • LocationOff Campus
  • What are your reasons for volunteering?Build my confidence, Do something positive with my spare time, Gain work experience/ improve my CV, Give something back to the community, Help others, Learn or try new things, Meet new people, Not sure, Use my skills

Employability skills

  • Communication Skills: Verbal 0
  • Communications Skills: Non- Verbal 0
  • Research & Planning 0
  • Interpersonal Skills 0
  • Organisation 0
  • Leadership 0