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Volunteering at Citizens Advice? “I’m really inspired by the people.”

Jane Shiels (right) and Louise Curd
Jane Sheils (right) with Louise Curd

When a national newspaper asked Jane Sheils about Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell they featured a special phrase in her reply. She was “really inspired by the people I work with”.

A communications volunteer with us for two years, Jane was an ideal interviewee.

We’re proud to post in full her contribution to The Observer on Sunday 8 January about the paper’s successful Christmas 2022 Charity Appeal…..

“We are seeing clients in quite bad debt with rent and energy bills. We try to explain to people that this could be you – just because you are fine now doesn’t mean you [always] will be. We’ve set up a money literacy project, talking to students about how to not get into debt and how to avoid scams. Since Covid there’s been a lot more scams online.

“I started volunteering two years ago. I had been made redundant from my role in communications before Covid. I wanted to do something in the local community, and Citizens Advice needed a comms person. There’s really good training and I’m really inspired by the people I work with. It’s a place to build confidence and skills.

“We want to build a stronger local community and give people the tools to deal with the things life throws at them. It’s really rewarding to see the thank-you notes that come to us. [Clients] come into our offices feeling anxious and very stressed and go out thinking they’re not alone and on a route to manage their troubles.” Community, coping and connecting: why we became volunteers, The Observer 08/01/23

Louise Curd, CAEE Publicity and Fundraising Manager, said:

“It’s great to see this recognition for volunteers in the Citizens Advice movement. Jane’s skills and experience are so valuable in our different challenges, whether it’s the pandemic, cost of living crisis, fundraising or keeping in touch with supporters.

“I hope hearing about the contribution Jane and people like her are making will inspire others to find out how they could get involved. At CAEE right now we have a range of opportunities. It is indeed “a place to build confidence and skills!”

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