Long-serving volunteers honoured at ceremony
TWO volunteers from Citizens Advice Chiltern were among the local volunteers recognised at the Chiltern District Council’s recent Community Awards.
Valerie Kirk, runner-up for the Long Service Award, and David Hopkinson, runner-up for the Older and Bolder award are both long-standing volunteers at Citizens Advice Chiltern, based in Townsend Road, Chesham.
Valerie has been a volunteer adviser for more than 30 years at Citizens Advice Chiltern, during which time she has helped more than 8,000 people with their problems.
She has been at Chalfont St Peter outreach service since it was set up in 1988, currently running every Wednesday morning at Chalfont Community Centre.
“Ms Kirk has seen a lot of change in her time, with online information, telephone advice and now live web chat services but she says, “face to face help will continue to be at the heart of the Citizens Advice service.”
David has been advising clients at Citizens Advice Chiltern for 15 years and has campaigned to effect local change using evidence gained when helping clients.
Mr Hopkinson leads the Campaigns, Research and Social Policy group at Citizens Advice Chiltern, which most recently researched digital barriers preventing people from accessing services online.
The campaign group has successfully worked with other local services to initiate more support for people, such as in libraries, helping to overcome fear of technology and literacy problems.
Interim district manager at Citizens Advice Chiltern Jan Knight said: “We’re delighted that two of our advisers, Valerie and David, have been recognised in this year’s Chiltern District Council Community Awards.
“Their tireless efforts have helped many thousands of local people with their problems and brought about change, which helps the most vulnerable members of our society.
“Our service relies on our team of loyal and enthusiastic volunteer advisers who are drawn from the community we serve.”
Citizens Advice Chiltern is an independent, locally funded charity offering free, confidential advice to the community.
A team of trained advisers help people find a way forward with their problems and campaign on local issues when clients’ voices need to be heard.
For more information about volunteering, the work of Citizens Advice Chiltern or to find your local centre, visit www. chilterncab.org.uk.
For free, confidential advice, call 01494 545 991.
David Hopkinson, who has been advising clients at Citizens Advice Chiltern for 15 years and Valerie Kirk, who has been a volunteer adviser for over 30 years