Norrie graduated from SOAS last summer after completing an undergrad degree in History and Economics. Feeling lost after graduating, Norrie said, “I have never known what I wanted to do and was overwhelmed not knowing where to focus my efforts. I thought starting to volunteer somewhere might help me to figure [it out].”
With an interest in law, Norrie’s friend encouraged her to look into volunteering with Citizens Advice, which is where Norrie came across the Volunteer Receptionist role. She applied and was accepted onto our training programme.
Norrie said, “When I started volunteering at Citizens Advice Lewisham (CAL), I worked on the reception in the Drop In Hub. This involved welcoming clients and recording some of their basic information on our case management system.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Norrie has upskilled to become a Volunteer Telephone Assessor. She completed additional training and has progressed to taking calls on the Lewisham Advice Line. In the role she explores the client’s query and provides assisted information; if if the query is complex she will signpost the client to another organisation that can help, or book the client an appointment with an in-house Adviser.
She has found volunteering a valuable experience: “I had been struggling with a lack of confidence in myself after uni because all job adverts seem to want you to have years of experience to get an entry level position. I had started to believe I was unable to do anything and this was making it harder to try and sell myself in applications and interviews. But the support that I received during training was so much more than I’d imagined! [Since upskilling to become a Volunteer Telephone Assessor] I have felt more confident in my abilities again.”
Norrie continues to volunteer on the Lewisham Advice Line as a Telephone Assessor for two days per week. She would recommend volunteering at CAL to others. “It’s easy to see the positive results which is really rewarding.”
We are recruiting for Volunteer Telephone Assessors throughout June 2020. Find out more about the role and how to apply here.