staff

Citizens Advice County Durham

Registered address:

54 North Road
Durham
County Durham
DH1 4SF

Telephone: Adviceline: 03444 111 444; Debt Advice Line: 0300 323 2000; Reception: 0300 323 1000

A copy of this information and outreach information is available as well as access details on Citizens Advice main website. Access this information.

Citizens Advice County Durham is a new charity formed in 2014 from the merger of six CAB in County Durham.  Every year we see over 17,000 clients in more than 54 venues.  We are a community based charity who have a passion for changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis.

Our aims and principles

Citizens Advice County Durham is an independent body and registered charity, offering free, confidential, independent and impartial advice on a wide range of issues.

The Service aims to:

  • Provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • Improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives

This means as a Bureau we will provide free, independent and impartial advice to all who live, work or study in County Durham. We will campaign for change wherever we see unfairness in our County and beyond.

How to apply to become a volunteer

volunteer@cdcab.org.uk

 

Possible volunteering roles

Advisers

Without our trained volunteer advisers we could not continue to meet the demand for advice. Our generalist advice service looks at a client’s situation holistically as opposed to looking at their problems in isolation from one another. Advisers are given free training, both formal and on-the-job. As a CAB adviser you would:

  • interview clients
  • help them negotiate with people such as creditors or service providers
  • draft letters
  • make phone calls on their behalf
  • refer them to other agencies
  • represent them in court and at tribunals.

Attention all law students

If you train as a CAB adviser, you can get up to six months off your solicitor training contracts!

Receptionists

Receptionists are an integral part of the team, managing ‘front-of-house’ on the basis of information provided by the advice session supervisor. Depending on the size and resources of the bureau, the receptionist role may be undertaken by one or more people. As a receptionist you would:

  • greet clients and other visitors
  • answer the phone
  • ensure clients know what is happening and how long they have to wait
  • explain the services available
  • point out leaflets, lists and self-help materials
  • monitor client numbers and waiting times
  • maintain the reception area
  • enter information into computer systems.

Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on the role. You need to:

  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing skills
  • have an understanding of, and commitment to, confidentiality
  • be friendly and approachable.

Information assistants

Not all clients need advice – some only require help to locate the right information. Information assistants provide exactly that, and also support clients to use the different facilities that are available, such as kiosks, online PCs, benefits calculators and direct-dial phones. As an information assistant you would:

  • actively promote the use of kiosks/ PCs
  • support clients to use kiosks/ PCs
  • help identify the correct leaflet, self-help resource or service provider
  • identify where a gateway assessment may be required
  • record client numbers and issues.

Specific qualifications and experience are not required to take on the role. You need to:

  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing and good literacy skills
  • be friendly and approachable.

Gateway assessors

Gateway assessors help clients get the right help in the fastest time possible. They assess people’s needs, either face-to-face or over the phone, and identify the most appropriate course of action. That might be self-help information, referral to a specialist organisation or an appointment with a CAB adviser. As a gateway assessor you would:

  • greet clients and explain the gateway assessment process
  • explore the client’s problem(s) and situation
  • assess the risk/urgency of the client’s issue and their ability to deal with the problem themselves
  • identify the next step that needs to be taken
  • summarise the content of the interview for the client and explain what happens next
  • ensure clients know they can return if necessary
  • update the database, completing the gateway assessment screens.

Specific qualifications or experience are not required to train for the role. You need to:

  • be good at listening
  • have a good manner when talking to people
  • have basic computing skills
  • be open minded and non-judgmental
  • enjoy helping people.

Adviceline telephone assessors

Woman on phone in a bureauAn Adviceline telephone assessor is a diverse role and you will not be expected to know it all! We provide all Adviceline telephone assessors with training, which will help you develop the skills you need to deliver an excellent level of service to clients.

As an Adviceline telephone assessor you would:

  • be the first point of access for Citizen Advice clients when they ring the Adviceline number
  • deal with a wide range of clients problems and issues
  • support members of the public of all ages and backgrounds
  • give information from the CAB electronic information system and other sources to the client
  • refer clients for more specialist advice where appropriate
  • keep records of all clients cases on the database
  • help prevent future problems by identifying issues that affect a lot of clients.

Specific qualifications or experience is not required to train for the role. You need to:

  • be good at listening
  • have a good telephone manner
  • have basic computing skills
  • be open minded and non-judgemental
  • enjoy helping people.

Once fully trained we will continue to support you throughout your time as an Adviceline telephone assessor.

Administrators

As a CAB volunteer administrator you would ensure the smooth running of a bureau by:

  • word processing
  • file management
  • arranging events
  • using databases and spreadsheets
  • answering emails and phone calls
  • updating local information.

Trustees

Because every CAB is a registered charity, each has its own board of trustees. Some trustee roles require specific skills but bureaux welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and experience to their trustee boards. Because trustee boards tend to meet in the evenings, you can fit this around a full time job or study. As a trustee you would:

  • manage and plan the overall strategic direction fo the bureau
  • act as employer for paid staff
  • manage the bureau's finances
  • ensure the bureau complies with the law
  • be responsible for premises, insurance and equipment.

Financial education volunteers

More and more bureaux are working in their communities to deliver financial education sessions and help people to improve their money management skills. Financial education volunteers would:

  • run training sessions on budgeting, borrowing, saving and banking
  • assist the trainer
  • provide administrative support
  • help with marketing and publicising sessions
  • work with clients to help us evaluate the impact of our work.

More on our financial education work

Campaigners

By using evidence routinely collected from the clients, you could help bring about changes in local and national policies and services which can benefit everyone - even those who have never used a CAB. As a campaigner you would:

  • complete and collate evidence forms recording clients problems
  • identify and raise relevant issues in the bureau
  • train staff and volunteers in identifying issues and completing evidence forms
  • conduct research and write reports
  • get involved in media campaigning
  • liase with other bureaux and agencies.

More on our campaigning work

IT support co-ordinators

It co-ordinatorA wide range of our essential work depends on well-run IT systems. We use them for keeping track of cases, keeping in touch with clients, accessing e-services on their behalf, and monitoring trends. As an IT co-ordinator you would:

  • support bureau workers including staff and volunteers
  • troubleshoot
  • web design
  • train bureau workers in IT skills
  • assist with email advice.

PR and marketing

Citizens Advice Bureaux need to raise their profile in their local community to attract funding, recruit volunteers, promote local and national CAB campaigns and to ensure that potential clients know how to access their services. As a PR/marketing volunteer you would:

  • produce promotional materials to use locally
  • tailor press releases issued by the national Citizens Advice press office to use locally
  • build relationships with your local media outlets and "sell in" stories
  • seek coverage for your bureau's work in local papers and on TV and radio
  • identify case studies of clients or volunteers who would be willing to talk to the media
  • write copy for your bureau website or newsletter if it has one
  • be trained to be a local media spokesperson
  • arrange events, displays and talks to promote the bureau
  • identify opportunities for your bureau to get involved in our annual Advice Week or other national events such as Volunteers Week.

More on our media work

Fundraisers

Every Citizens Advice Bureau is a registered charity reliant on money from local authorities, companies, charitable trusts and individuals. As a fundraiser you would:

  • work with the bureau treasurer or other trustees to meet fundraising objectives
  • help with researching fundraising opportunities
  • organise fundraising events
  • help complete fundraising applications
  • put together presentations to give to potential funders.

Volunteer recruitment

Many bureaux run volunteer recruitment campaigns throughout the year either to help them expand their services or to replace volunteers who have left. Some bureaux have volunteers with a specific role to run these campaigns, others might include this in their general PR/marketing. In this role you would:

  • produce local volunteer recruitment materials – leaflets and posters
  • find case studies about current volunteers for your local newspapers
  • organise stands or displays in local community venues
  • give talks about CAB volunteering
  • run open days for potential volunteers
  • ensure the bureau website is updated with volunteering opportunities
  • deal with volunteer enquiries forwarded from this website.

Peer education worker

Peer education is based on the idea that many people make choices based not only on what they know, but also on the thoughts and behaviour of others the same age group. As a peer education worker you might:

  • promote the CAB in schools, colleges and youth organisations
  • give talks about specific problems
  • be a young person’s adviser.

We have a vacancy for a One Point Advice Worker

Contracted Hours – 34hrs per week

Salary - £20,503 to £22,040.73 p/a pro rata

Location – Based in Durham with extensive travel across the North & East of County Durham.

Duration – Permanent

Role purpose:  To provide advice to clients & their families who are referred to the service by One Point Centre staff.

Key work areas and tasks: 
This role will involve extensive travel across County Durham, visiting One Point Centres & attending meetings within One Point Centres to promote and encourage referrals from One Point Centre Staff.  Build strong working relationships with staff at One Point Centres across County Durham. Provide advice to clients and their families on referral from One Point Centre staff.
This role will be subject to an Enhanced DBS check.

For an application pack email:  Allison.McAlroy@cdcab.org.uk
Please note we do not accept CV’s
Closing date: 12noon 18th August 2017
Interviews:  31st August 2017

Citizens Advice County Durham is an equal opportunities employer and successful applicants will enjoy working in a positive working environment with good terms and conditions.

 

We currently have vacancies for a

Debt Caseworker or a Trainee Debt Caseworker

 

Role: Debt Caseworker/Trainee Debt Caseworker to work on our Debt Relief Order Unit

Number of hours : 37.5 hrs per week

Salary:  £20,503.00  (Trainee Debt Caseworker)

  £22,040.73 (Debt Caseworker without DRO Intermediary Status)

  £23,373.42 (Qualified DRO Intermediary)

Duration: Permanent (subject to continuation funding post March 2018)

Location: Citizens Advice County Durham, Armstrong House, Abbey Woods Business Park, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5GH.

Citizens Advice County Durham are delighted to have secured funding to expand the centralised Debt Relief Order (DRO) unit which supports the Citizens Advice Network across England and Wales with the processing and submission of DRO applications.  Due to the expansion of the Unit we have now have a vacancy for an experienced or trainee debt caseworker.

Context of role - To process and submit Debt Relief Order applications on behalf of clients referred into the unit by Citizens Advice Network. 

Recent or ongoing experience in delivering specialist debt casework is desirable but applications from generalist advisers wishing to specialise in Debt are welcome.  Full training will be given to achieve Debt Caseworker Accreditation up to Court Representation Level and Approved Intermediary Status for Debt Relief Orders.

To request an application pack please contact: sandra.barnes@cdcab.org.uk.

Closing date for applications: Monday 7 August 2017 – 10am

Proposed date for interview: Friday 11 August 2017

 

Previous applicants need not apply

 

Citizens Advice County Durham is an equal opportunities employer and successful applicants will enjoy working in a positive working environment with good terms and conditions.

 

 

 

 

We currently have vacancies for:

LEARNING DISABILITY ADVOCATE

Contracted Hours – 18.5hrs per week

Salary - £22,040.73 to £23,373.42

Location – Based in Spennymoor with extensive travel across County Durham.

Duration – Fixed Term until 31/3/18, subject to continuation funding after this date.

Role purpose:  The post holder will be part of the advocacy team at Citizens Advice County Durham and will contribute to the provision of advocacy support to people with a learning disability.

Key work areas and tasks:  This role will involve extensive travel across County Durham.   The advocate will work on both an instructed and non-instructed basis and support people with learning disabilities to speak up for themselves, be listened to and can exercise real choice and control in their lives. The post holder will ensure that people with learning disabilities are actively involved in their own health and social care and will empower people with learning disabilities who may lack support to express their views.

For an application pack email:  sandra.barnes@cdcab.org.uk

Please note we do not accept CV’s

Closing date: 10am 7th August 2017

Interviews:  10th August 2017

Citizens Advice County Durham is an equal opportunities employer and successful applicants will enjoy working in a positive working environment with good terms and conditions.

 

Debt Caseworker

Hours:  22.5 hours per week

Location: Consett & Stanley.

Salary - £22,040.73 to £23,373.42 p/a (pro rata) with debt casework experience

Salary - £20,503.00  to £22,040.73 p/a (pro rata) as a trainee debt caseworker

Duration – Fixed Term until 30/3/18 (Subject to continuation funding beyond this date)

 

The successful candidate will ideally need to demonstrate recent and ongoing experience in delivering specialist debt casework to a high standard.  The successful candidate will need to evidence competence in meeting the Money Advice Service Giving Good Debt Advice Accreditation up to and including Court Representation Level, or be willing to work towards achieving the accreditation.

We are willing to consider applications from advisers with no debt casework experience who would start on a trainee salary grade and work towards achieving the MAS GGDA competence and accreditation.

Role Purpose/Key work areas & tasks: Providing specialist debt advice and casework to clients both face to face and on the telephone within the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice Service and to AQS & Money Advice Service quality standards, ensuring that contract terms and targets are met at all times.

For an application pack email: sandra.barnes@cdcab.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 8 August 2017 – 10am

Interviews: 16 August 2017

 

Citizens Advice County Durham is an equal opportunities employer and successful applicants will enjoy working in a positive working environment with good terms and conditions.

 

This section is an overview of our supporters, funders and standards.

Advice Quality Standard

http://www.advicequalitystandard.org.uk/

Advice Quality Standard

The Advice Quality Standard (AQS) is the only sector-owned, independently audited standard that focuses on advice.

The AQS is awarded to organisations that give advice to members of the public on legal issues. Organisations are audited every two years and have to demonstrate that they are accessible, effectively managed, and employ staff with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of their clients.

 

Durham County Council

http://www.durham.gov.uk

Durham County Council

Reports and other media related to the Durham County Council:

None available.

 

Big Lottery Fund

http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

Big Lottery Funded

Reports and other media related to the Big Lottery Fund:

None available.

 

Reaching Out Across Durham (ROAD)

 

BBO LOGO Advice Quality Standard

Finding your potential

Reaching Out Across Durham (ROAD) brings together 12 well respected voluntary and community service organisations who want to make a real difference to the lives of 625 people who live in County Durham and are aged 25 and over. We will achieve this by providing 1 to 1 intensive support that encourages and enables participants to achieve their goals as they move towards and into job search, employment, education and training.

Participants will receive 1 to 1 support from a range of health and finance specialists as well as access to a range of training and vocational courses and guidance, support and advice on any area needed to enable participants to make positive choices.

 

ROAD is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund until July 2019, and is a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) programme.

Call us today on 01207 524 833 or email road@groundwork.org.uk to begin making a real difference to your life!

The Welfare Reform and Work Act (2016) introduces some changes to the benefit cap. These changes, which will take effect in autumn 2016, include changes to the benefit cap levels to £23,000 a year for couples with or without children and lone parents and £15,410 for single people without children in Greater London, and £20,000 and £13,400 respectively for those groups elsewhere in Great Britain. They also include additional exemptions for recipients of Guardian’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit claimants who receive payments towards carer’s costs.

 

For more information about the benefit cap changes please visit www.Gov.UK/benefit-cap