Citizens Advice Exeter marks national Student Volunteering Week

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, is using Student Volunteering Week (20 – 26 February) to thank their student volunteers who gave their time to the local charity over the last 12 months.

 

Citizens Advice student volunteers support people at the charity’s reception, in face-to-face interviews and over the phone. In 2016, the charity helped over 8000 local people by:

 

  • Dealing with debt, designing payment plans and negotiating with lenders
  • Improving people’s financial skills, for example by finding ways to cut fuel bills
  • Standing up for people’s rights at work if they believe they have been bullied or unfairly dismissed
  • Helping people claim their entitlements like sick pay and maternity pay

 

Dominic Mbanu, a second year law student, said: “This has been an excellent opportunity to bring my degree to life, help clients and learn about myself. The best bit is helping clients discover a suitable outcome and see the difference this makes. I have been surprised by the variety of clients from different backgrounds and life experiences that Citizens Advice is able to attract. If anyone is thinking about volunteering, I would tell them to absolutely do it. It’s a great way to develop your interpersonal skills and to gain satisfaction from helping others”

 

Harriet Newman, studying an International Relations BA, said: “It’s a great thing to have on your CV at an early age and has allowed me to experience life outside the student bubble. The best bit is working in a positive environment with such wonderful people who all care so much. Not only has my confidence grown, it has opened up so many more opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought of or wouldn’t have been available without this invaluable experience. You learn far more about life and social issues than you could in any classroom.”

 

Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive, Steve Barriball, said: “Our volunteers change lives. It is thanks to their generosity that we are able to help people take control of their finances, claim entitlements like sick pay and protect their rights at work. Marking the contribution that our student volunteers make during national Student Volunteering Week is an important part of celebrating the contribution that our volunteers make each and every day.”

Harriet Newman                                                 Dominic Mbanu