"The buzz I get when I am able to resolve a client issue is priceless"

"I have really enjoyed volunteering for the bureau, it has allowed me to meet new people and I have learned new skills such as computing, answering telephones and talking to clients. All of this has built up my confidence and I hope to continue to learn more in the future"

"Being a volunteer brings new challenges every day and allows you to learn a wide range of topics and skills, it gives you a feeling of self worth and a huge sense of achievement when you help individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. You feel as if you are helping and being part of the community, it is a very satisfying experience being a volunteer

"Working as an adviser at CAB has taught me a lot in areas where I knew nothing at all. I like to help people but sometimes I think I get more out of it that what I give".

Margaret
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I am in my 10th year as a Generalist Adviser with Airdrie Citizens Advice Bureau.

I cannot think of anything more satisfying than helping a fellow human being reach a happy conclusion in whatever crisis in their life has made them turn to us for help

Employment, housing, debt, benefits, parking tickets, it all comes through the door and we have to be ready with answers. Training is going on all the time as we have to stay up to date with current trends and legislation.

Airdrie without a CAB would be the death knell to the town. The people depend on us for impartial and confidential advice. We have served the town in our present premises since 1971.

There will always be a need for us, no matter your colour, creed or nationality, we are happy to help.

Alan
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My first experience at/of my local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Airdrie came after talking with friends who recommended the service to me. This was around nine years ago, at a point in time when I really needed help with some personal issues that I was going through. They say ‘first impressions are lasting impressions’ and that most certainly was the one I experienced that day. From the moment I tentatively and nervously ‘rang the bell’ I found the staff (who I learned years later were mostly volunteers) most Approachable and the advice given by the lady was very Informative and Relevant to my situation. I vowed to myself that day should I be given the opportunity I would like to become as Dedicated to helping others as ‘my Adviser’ had been too/for me.

It took almost eight years for the opportunity to arise and present itself to me, when a Medical Professional I was attending suggested Volunteering Work would be beneficial to me as a way of fulfilling my desire to help others. With my intention being to give something back to the community in which I grew up and lived in, she suggested a mutual benefit could be experienced by both the folks who come to CAB for advice and by me on a personal level. She looked up Voluntary Services in my area and it so happened that CAB Airdrie had a recruitment drive on asking for volunteers, and I was instantly reminded of the great help I had received from that very place years earlier. I contacted Vanessa and submitted a couple of letters of Reference and the rest as they say is ‘history’.

I began coming in one morning a week as that suited me best, and this is another big advantage of volunteering with CAB as you can give as little or as much of your time as is possible and practical. I spent three months observing, listening, learning and soon realised that the bureau is Regulated and structured in the way it is operated as an Organisation and Charity, and that like all CABs is governed by Twelve Principals. My mentor Margaret encouraged me to take notes, to ascertain by listening while shadowing the topics to search for on AdviserNet and most importantly emphasised to me the Individuality of each client’s case. This period of time was invaluable to me when after these three months in September 2015 the New Trainee Adviser Programme started and lasted for thirteen weeks giving an indication and overview of all the subject matters that CAB are actively involved in for the welfare and benefit of everyone.

Client’s who come for help and advice can be assured of complete Confidentiality and this is in my opinion the one factor that is of most importance and is most appreciated above all others by CAB visitors on a daily basis. For them to know that what they come and discuss with Advisers, who are complete strangers yet who are there for the Benefit of the client’s, is treated with impartiality and covered by/under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is both a critical and crucial factor.

Hopefully in reading this article you can appreciate and feel the immense satisfaction, great enjoyment, heartfelt benefit and blessing that is mine when by helping others, in so doing is ultimately helping me on a personal level and journey.