Long-serv­ing vol­un­teers hon­oured at cer­e­mony

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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

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