Research and Campaigns volunteer
We are expanding our Research & Campaigns (R&C) team to increase our ability to fight for change for local people.
Our R&C team works with our advisers to understand the issues that are most important and challenging for local people. We work with other local Citizens Advice, local MPs, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Surrey County Council, the NHS and others to make changes. Our R&C team also supports national initiatives to help make change on a national level. Citizens Advice was instrumental in making many improvements to people’s lives – for example changes to the Universal Credit system.
We want to improve things for local people and want you to help us do that.
What will you do?
Working with our Research & Campaigns coordinator, you will:
- complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role
- identify common, or unfair, problems that clients come for help about
- help volunteers and staff in the Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell understand the cause of the problem, how it affects clients, and what change would solve the problem (by talking to them, or writing a summary)
- help to organise a campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the problem. This might involve creating materials, such as newsletters, or presentations, or writing something for social media or newspaper, which could be used to explain the problems to others (such as local councillors, or members of the public)
- help to organise a campaign with the aim of getting the organisation that is causing the problem, to change the way they do things. This could be a person or elected body such as MP, or local councillor and could mean meeting with them, writing to them or holding an event
- help national Citizens Advice carry out research about how certain issues affect clients in your local area. This might involve doing a survey with clients to find out how a change in a benefit is affecting them
What’s in it for you?
- make a real difference to people’s lives
- learn about a range of areas such as benefits, debt and housing, and how problems in these areas can affect clients
- build on valuable skills such as communication, research, campaigns, how to engage with a range of audiences and working with clients
- increase your employability
- have a positive impact in your community and on broader society
And we’ll reimburse expenses too.
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 excellent verbal and written communication skills
- be able to understand complex information and explain it (verbally and writing) so that others understand it
- have good IT skills
- 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
We would be particularly keen to hear from people with experience in research and/or political campaigning.
How much time do you need to give?
We are looking for volunteers who can commit a few hours every week. But we can be flexible about the time spent and how often you volunteer so please come and talk to us.
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
If you are interested in becoming a research and campaigns volunteer and would like to discuss flexibility around location, time, ‘what you will do’ and how we can support you please contact us.
How to apply
If you are interested in volunteering you can Apply Online, or you can Download the Application Form, fill it in, and send a printed copy to Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, KT18 5AG.
If you would like to have a chat about things before applying, you can express your interest online and we will get back to you by phone or email.