Celebrating 25 years of volunteering in Dunstable

Two volunteers are celebrating 25 years of service at Citizens Advice Dunstable.

Maureen Hill and Gill Hayward, both local, have been volunteering their free time to support members of the public who seek guidance and advice.

Maureen and Gill are celebrating 25 years with Citizens Advice Dunstable

Maureen and Gill are celebrating 25 years with Citizens Advice Dunstable

Gill, who is an advisor, said: “I see people when they first come in and I do an initial assessment of the query and then decide what the next course of action should be and how best to move them forward.

“In 1995, I attended a talk at my local WI meeting and I thought it would keep me busy and keep my brain working and also it would give me the chance to help others, I wanted structure to my week.”

Maureen started volunteering after attending an open day for Citizens Advice Dunstable, again back in 1995.

She said: “I work on reception and load client details on to our system, I also do administrative jobs to support the Chief Officer.

“I had just retired from running my own business and was looking for volunteering opportunities.

“This was the first event I went to and I really liked what I heard, volunteering helps me give something back to the community and I can help others.”

Both the ladies have seen a lot of changes over the years, the biggest change for them has been technology.

Gill said: “We have had a lot of changes over the years, we have been here a long time but I still get stuck with things and there are always people who are willing to help.

“When we started, everything was done on paper and put in to folders and that was how it was all organised, now it is all done on the computer and we have learnt a lot over the years, and we are constantly learning.

“It is a great place to volunteer, staff and volunteers are so friendly and there is much support available.”

Maureen added: “We have grown into it and we have adapted along the way, the atmosphere here is very welcoming.

“The young people are tech savvy and are always on hand to help with new things.”

Citizens Advice Dunstable is always looking for new volunteers to join the team and Gill and Maureen would recommend it to anyone looking to volunteer.

Maureen said: “Every day is different here and you feel that you have given something back to the community, it is very flexible hours.

“Volunteers are always welcome so if you can spare some time, even just a few hours, just come down.”

Judy Atkinson, chief officer at Citizen’s Advice Dunstable, said: “This is an incredible milestone and we are very proud to have such committed and dedicated individuals in our team.

“What we do for people is life changing, supporting them through difficult times in their lives, we also have a lot of specialist services that we have access to.

“It is free and we also follow up with people who come here, we have a lot of different issues to deal with here.

“We are looking for people to come and join our team of volunteers as well as trustees to join our trustee board.”

If you would like to join, email training@dunstable.cabnet.org.uk or call 01582 670003.