• Mark

Welcome to Citizens Advice Bedford Volunteer Portal!

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

I am Mark Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Bedford (CAB) and on behalf of everyone at CAB I want to welcome you to our new volunteer portal.

Our portal was generated in-house, a first for CAB. We believe that as a potential volunteer your time is precious and you have an abundance of different volunteering choices. We want to sell the opportunity at CAB, make the process of becoming a volunteer easy; no complicated applications forms and all the information you will need in both visual and text media.

I thought it would be fitting on our portal launch to offer an overview of what volunteering means, both in terms of service to people in need and the often forgotten ‘soft’ benefits.

We are the largest advice agency in Bedford Borough; we also operate within Central Bedfordshire. Since 1940 CAB has relied on volunteers to help the public with their problems. Our 1st line advice services – that is first contact with the public via face to face, email or phone, for a large part is delivered by volunteers. These are the amazing people who deal with everything from a consumer issue, imminent eviction to a report of hate crime.

Whilst there may be differences in the volunteer roles, that work, directly or in-directly, that each person carries out has meant something, to someone who came through our doors looking for help.

The value of volunteering (if we paid volunteers a wage for the hours they donate) at CAB is in the region of £550,000 a year and last year over 20,000 hours were donated. This has a secondary effect by contributing to the local economy through upskilling, increased employability, benefit generation and money management.

Just a few hours a week of service can make a significant difference to the lives of those we help, and of course your own! If you decide to volunteer, you're making a commitment to share that most precious of resources – your time – to make life better for those who are in need. The fact that you are reading this shows you are at least considering that. We have a structure in place for help & supervision, to train you how to give advice and also where to get it from.

Quite honestly, we could not do most of the work we do without volunteer support. It is our intention to continue building our volunteer network therefore I hope you will find the portal informative and turn that consideration into action, being part of an amazing group of people that assists in turning people’s lives around.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Sutcliffe.

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