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Jobs from the Reach files - 23

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In this regular series Olive Braman tells how volunteers can use their skills and expertise through REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part time voluntary jobs

You can find all the Jobs From the REACH Files articles from the Volunteering Index

How Helen`s career break helped Redhill CAB

Redhill, Reigate and Banstead Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) has secured a £135,000 Lottery grant thanks to the business expertise of volunteer, Helen Miller.

Helen took a career break and decided to go for some challenging voluntary work via REACH, the charity that finds voluntary work for experienced managers. With a degree in modern languages and wide experience in general management in the retail sector, Helen wanted to do something which would make use of her skills but also give her the opportunity to learn something new.

“I chose the CAB because the work seemed stimulating and they were prepared to be flexible about my hours and fit in with other commitments,” she says. She is in the CAB office for a few hours each week and is now training to become one of their advisers.

“Citizen’s Advice Bureaux do such a good job in advising and helping people that the country would be a great deal poorer without them,” she says.

One of her first tasks was to make contact with local groups which brought more volunteers, including someone from the Rotary club who now works on the CAB computer network. But her major contribution so far has been to produce an application for Lottery funding which resulted in the £135,000 grant. The money will pay for a development worker in the most deprived areas of the borough.

CAB advice and information is available free of charge to everyone. The organisation offers guidance and practical help and makes people aware of their rights and responsibilities. It also supports those facing Benefit and Employment Tribunals or possession proceedings.

The REACH service, which matches people with skills with voluntary organisations in need of their services, is also freely available to anyone with a few hours to spare.          

To find out more about becoming a REACH  volunteer, telephone David Clark,  area manager for Sussex, on 01273 842535 or REACH HQ on 020 7582 6543 website:

For information about Redhill CAB, telephone 08701 264 072  

Look out for future features from Olive Braman on Jobs From The REACH Files or view all the REACH Files Articles from our Volunteering Index

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