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Ten Myths About Volunteering!

1. Volunteering is something that only other people do 

No. Volunteering is about matching the right person to the right role, so whoever you are, whatever your skills, there is something out there for you.

Did you know? 

  • In 2007, 73% of all adults in England and Wales volunteered (formally or informally). Almost half the population (48%) did so at least once a month.
  • In 2007, 63% of adults in England volunteered informally, while 45% of adults volunteered formally.
    2007, DCLG Citizenship Survey

2. I'm not sure I'll be available everyday so I suppose I won’t be needed

Bureau often ask for a commitment of 6 hours per week - this could be on one full day or two half days...but each bureau's needs are different.  You should discuss with your local bureau manager the time you have available, your interests, and skills, and how they fit with the bureau's needs.

3. I work full time, so I don’t have the time to volunteer in the day

There are opportunities in some bureaux for evening and weekend work but this differs between bureaux. Trustee boards members tend to meet in the evenings so some roles can be suitable for people who work full time.

Did you know?

Volunteering is good for you.

  • 63% of 25-34 year olds and 62% of over 65's say volunteering helps them feel less stressed.
  • 71% of volunteers who offer their professional skills and experience say volunteering helps combat depression.
  • Nearly half of all volunteers say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness.
    2004, ICM Research findings commissioned for CSV (Community Service Volunteers) and Barclays

4. Volunteering is only done by retired people who have more time 

Volunteering is done by all ages. At Citizens Advice 90 per cent of volunteers are 65 or under with 14 per cent of these under 34.

Did you know?

Volunteering is popular with young and old.

  • 53% of young people aged 16-19 have volunteered with a club or organisation at least once in the last 12 months
  • 78% have given unpaid help on an informal basis.
  • 28%  of over 75's have volunteered with a club or organisation at least once in the last 12 months
  • 46%  have given unpaid help on an informal basis.
    2005 DCLG Citizenship Survey

5. Volunteering is predominately done by women

Whilst the higher percentage of volunteers nationally is female, it is also popular among males. At Citizens Advice 35 per cent of volunteers are male, across all age groups, which is above the national average.

6. Only particular types of people volunteer and so is not for me

Citizens Advice volunteers are about as disparate a group of people as it is possible to imagine. They come from the judicial bench, the park bench and anywhere in between. They may be long term unemployed, disabled or ex-captains of industry. Their chief commonality (beyond being CA volunteers) is a desire to help their fellow citizens and a willingness to work in their community.

7. I am claiming benefits and so will be unable to volunteer

You can still volunteer if claiming benefits. However If you are receiving certain state benefits you might have a responsibility to inform the relevant agency before you start volunteering. Please check with them first.

8. I will need specific skills to become a volunteer

It will depend on which role you are interested in. All advisers receive comprehensive free training so do not need any previous qualifications, skills (besides reading and writing) or experience. However, you will need to be open-minded, non-judgmental, be able to listen, learn, and work in a team. Bureaux are learning environments and volunteering in any role will give you the chance to learn new skills and build on existing ones.

9. I don’t see any benefits in volunteering

Volunteers make a significant contribution on many levels. They make a positive difference to their communities and to people’s lives, whilst developing new skills that help to increase their self-confidence and general well being.

Did you know?

Annually volunteering was worth over £48 billion in England and Wales. This is the equivalent contribution to the economy made by people involved in their local community based on the national average wage.
Figures from 2005, Home Office Citizenship Survey used in Manifest for change, report from the Commission on Future of Volunteering

10. I don’t know where to start

You can start today by clicking on the 'Volunteer' button where you'll receive more information about available roles.

Did you know?

Over 16,000 people volunteer for the Citizens Advice service with 4,000 trustees who are also volunteers.

Citizens Advice Bureau Information Survey 2006/07

Thanks 100 million!

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