Welfare Rights Adviser
Advice NI volunteer
“Seeing that you help to make a difference to people’s lives through the support you provide and how vital a role you play really inspires and drives you to carry on”.
What You'll Be DoingVolunteers will also specialise in certain areas such as employment and tribunal/appeal work. Your work will be monitored and you will be expected to take part in formal case file reviews.
As a volunteer advisor, you will:
- Interview clients
- Research relevant information sources to gain advice for clients
- Complete form filling and full benefit checks
- Be able to give this advice to clients in a friendly and easily understood manner
- Assist clients in negotiation with outside agencies such as creditors or social security
- Draft letters of a high standard to third parties on behalf of your clients
- Make phone calls on your clients behalf
- Refer clients to other agencies where applicable
- Attend support and supervision sessions
- Attend both external and internal training sessions relevant to the post
What You'll NeedA volunteer advisor requires the following skills/qualifications:
- Good verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent telephone manner and people skills
- Good time management
- Fully computer literate and comfortable with the main Microsoft Office tools, databases and emails.
- Outgoing, friendly and proactive character.
- Be comfortable volunteering within a group or by yourself.
- Have to ability to understand and explain complex issues to a wide range of people
- Being able to use your own initiative but be able to ask for help when you need.
Training and SupportAll advisors are required to complete a comprehensive Training Programme in advice giving, which consists of 10 days over a number of months. Training will be provided by organisations including Advice NI Law Centre NI, Housing Rights and Wiser Adviser.
The Certificate programme includes:
- Training packs and observation on the advice process (interviewing)
- Training packs on the main enquiry areas (debt, employment, benefits etc.)
- A training course to explore and practise aspects of advising clients
- Interviewing clients with close support and supervision and attending further courses as needed
- Quarterly support and supervision with the manager
- Coaching and mentoring when required