#AdviceAtHome: 'I decided to join Citizens Advice to bring some community purpose back into my life'
This week sees the return of the Citizens Advice's national #AdviceAtHome initiative, a social media event which shines the spotlight on the work being carried out by local advice bureaus across the country. In our first blog of the week, recent recruit Carmine talks to us about her motivations for volunteering and the vital work she is undertaking as part of Citizens Advice new engagement strategy. I am Carmine and I am a Marketing & Communications volunteer at Citizens Advice Haringey. I have been a North Londoner for a while now and I am in the final year of my university degree. I first moved to the UK when I was a teenager, so I am passionate about diversity and people from all walks of life, which attracted me to volunteer for Citizens Advice.
My personal engagement with Citizens Advice stems from my personal experience as a young person in a COVID-stricken London, engaging in remote learning and working while having to cope with an uncertain future. I have always had an active life and a sociable personality - COVID has been a real challenge for me. I have felt the need to channel my energy into something beneficial for others and myself.
I, therefore, decided to join Citizens Advice to bring some community purpose back into my life, to meet new people, and also to help my generation, as we are disproportionally suffering from this crisis. It has been hard seeing my friends struggle and I feel that volunteering turns this upset into positive action.
I have previous professional experience in Public Relations, hence my role as a Communications volunteer. I have been drafting engagement strategies to reach 16-25 people in Haringey - which I am finding incredibly interesting and rewarding as it combines my personal experience with my professional skills. I really feel I am contributing to better my generation’s situation in North London. I think using social media effectively is now an absolute requirement as people my age (and a significant part of the population) use it to look for solutions to their problems - and Citizens Advice has a role to play in this.
I have had a great experience so far with my supervisor, who assigns work in a very clear and straightforward way. I am engaging with content, research and strategy. The organisation is very inclusive and I have enjoyed meeting other volunteers. Being allowed to visit the office (with covid-safe measures) also makes me feel valued. I am excited to participate in more events as lockdown restrictions are increasingly lifted.
16-25 engagement is incredibly important as society has a duty to the youth, especially in COVID times. The loss of education, employment, and social contact has been incredibly tough on young people who are just trying to build their lives. Together, we can hopefully create better and fairer environments for the youth and everybody - and I am really glad I decided to join Citizens Advice Haringey.
Interested in volunteering at Citizens Advice Haringey? Head over to www.haringeycabx.org.uk/volunteering for more information.