Vital service says thanks to volunteers

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Volunteer adviser Claire Lomas. Photo submitted

WITH Volunteers’ Week set to run from Monday, 1st to Sunday, 7th June, Citizens Advice South Warwickshire is thanking all those who have helped keep its services running throughout the year.

The charity has continued giving advice to those in need throughout the coronavirus crisis thanks to the dedication of its staff and volunteers. Everyone quickly rallied round to ensure as many people as possible could be helped over the phone, email or a webchat.

More than 130 volunteers contribute more than 800 hours of their time each week. In the last year they have helped over 6,000 people with more than 32,000 problems; including debt, housing, benefits and employment issues.

Claire Lomas, a volunteer adviser, said: “I joined CASW over a year ago and am working towards becoming a full generalist adviser.

“My motivation to volunteer is to give back to the community where I was born and have raised my family.”

“Queries and client profile have changed dramatically; people who never thought they would need employment advice or state benefits are reaching out.

“Since lockdown friends and family have taken an active interest in my role with CASW in a way that they haven’t before. I feel that I am actually contributing to help those in crisis. While things feel out of control, I am making a difference.

“When I am not looking after my family or volunteering, I work for our family company and also teach cello. Music is a great way to relax after a difficult day!”

Yvonne Hunter, chair and a volunteer herself, said: “Our unique service in south Warwickshire involves almost five times the number of volunteers to paid staff.

“Throughout the year our wonderful volunteers contribute their time, energy and expertise to make a huge difference to people’s lives and help keep our vital service running.

“Whether they have been able to continue in their role recently, or have paused their volunteering, their support throughout the year has been truly invaluable.

“I cannot thank them enough for their continued dedication. We really couldn’t do it without them.”

To find out more about volunteering at the Stratford office, email: joanne.adams@casouthwarwickshire.org.uk or for the Warwick office, email: natalie.lavin@casouthwarwickshire.org.uk