More vol­un­teers will solve CAB prob­lem

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

If you have a ques­tion about park­ing, want to know your le­gal rights or sim­ply need a jus­tice of the peace, Val Hol­land can help.

The Eden Al­bert Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau vol­un­teer can an­swer al­most any ques­tion un­der the sun.

And if she can’t, she knows some­one who can.

Mrs Hol­land is one of a team of vol­un­teers who give up their time to help at the St Lukes-based cen­tre, an­swer­ing phone queries, meet­ing with peo­ple and solv­ing their prob­lems.

The cen­tre has a wide variety of brochures avail­able on any­thing from fam­ily law to ten­ancy is­sues.

A free lawyer is also on site, along with a coun­selling ser­vice, bilin­gual in­ter­preter and jus­tice of the peace.

The only thing lack­ing is more peo­ple to help out. Ex­tra vol­un­teers are needed to lend a hand at least half a day a week in the cen­tre.

Mrs Hol­land says be­ing a vol­un­teer has a num­ber of ben­e­fits.

“You’re not just con­tribut­ing to your lo­cal com­mu­nity, you’re do­ing some­thing for your­self as well,” she says.

“We are very grate­ful for the peo­ple who take time out of their lives to help us.”

The Eden Al­bert Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau has been op­er­at­ing at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion since 1990.

There is one paid part­time worker and the rest are vol­un­teers.

They cover a range of roles from an­swer­ing the phones to coun­selling, le­gal aid, clean­ing and more.

Vol­un­teers must be avail­able at least half a day a week, have ba­sic com­puter skills, be familiar with their lo­cal com­mu­nity and have been in New Zealand for at least four to five years.

They com­plete a train­ing course when they start and then there’s con­tin­u­ing on­theteach­ing to en­sure their skills are up to date.

Mrs Hol­land says vol­un­teer­ing is a way to give some­thing back af­ter re­tire­ment or sim­ply help out the com­mu­nity.

“It’s a con­tin­ual learn­ing curve and you’ll never know it all but there’s al­ways some­one around who will.”

Man­ager Josephine Far­nan says the bureau is a fun place to vol­un­teer.

“It is a good life and you work with a group of re­ally neat peo­ple,” she says.

“Peo­ple come in here and they feel they have a friend.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about vol­un­teer­ing phone 846-4023 or email cab. mtalb@xtra.co.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Help­ing out: Vol­un­teer Rod Melville and man­ager Josephine Far­nan of the Eden Al­bert Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau. They are look­ing for more vol­un­teers to help out in the St Lukes of­fice.

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