Day in the life of Heather - Advice Sesson Leader

The ASL role is to lead one of the many advice channels at Citizens Advice Bedford. In this example our face to face service supporting our volunteer advisers ensuring that we are giving consistent, good quality advice and information to our clients. You don’t need to know everything but you need to know where to get the right information from appropriate sources.

On a typical day pre worldwide pandemic, I start at 9am with the staff operational meeting. It includes management, ASL’s and caseworkers discussing our priorities, resources and appointments for the coming day. Before the Citizens Advice Bedford office is open to the public - I greet and catch up with our volunteers for the day - giving them a team brief as there is always news to share with the team.

Once we have opened the office to the public, for drop in and appointments, I will be consulting with advisers on their appointments and initial assessments with clients. I help our volunteers answer emails and supervise calls on our advice line.

I will also keep a close eye on tea and biscuit supplies!

Once the public office is closed, I help our advisers get their write ups on our database. I will be checking the appropriate consents have been captured from our clients and making referrals to partner agencies - the local food bank, solicitors etc. I will catch up with any calls or emails I need to make before the end of the day. I also have quality checking to do as we need to ensure our client records are accurate and a consistently good standard

Working remotely has different challenges - we are keeping in touch as a team through web chat, email and regular phone calls. We are calling clients and consulting with volunteers over the phone and by email. The service may work slightly differently at the moment but the core values of confidential, independent, impartial and free advice remains central.