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Humera Patel

My experience at the Drop In Advice sessions at UCLan’s ‘In the City’ Shop, Lune Street, Preston:

“The Drop in with Citizens Advice (CAB) has been one of the most valuable experiences that I have encountered during my time at UCLan for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the staff and the support which was provided whilst volunteering at the pop up shop were excellent. Both the staff from UCLan and CAB were very friendly and helpful in allowing me to gain practical knowledge of legal problems and filling in legal documentation. I always had a hands-on role which was both interesting and challenging.

Secondly, the clients were the heart of this project; this was the highlight of my time at CAB. The exceptional training delivered by the CAB staff enabled me to gain the confidence to talk to clients and build relationships with them. I was able to meet a diverse range of clients from different backgrounds, constantly learning new things. This opportunity has helped me a lot in my oral assessments in my degree, teaching me valuable skills of communication, time management and teamwork which I need in order to succeed.

I was exposed to many areas of law during my time at the Drop in with Citizens Advice. This has broadened my knowledge of subject areas I was familiar with, for example family law. I was also given the opportunity to advise clients on the areas of law I did not know about (housing law and tax law).  This has been my major learning curve during my time at the pop-up shop, allowing me to gain the knowledge on how to problem solve and work on my own initiative to find and provide practical solution to problems.

My experience of volunteering at the Drop in with Citizens Advice has been stress-free. The staff were very understanding, working around me and my schedule. They also provided me with extra opportunities when asked, making this experience very enjoyable.

This overall experience has enabled me to gain valuable life skills and a good standing amongst my peers. This has set me apart in a competitive job market, allowing me to utilise the practical skills which I have learnt during volunteering to gain work experience at law firms and the opportunity to volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau itself!

I would like to thank you for the opportunity and your active involvement at the CAB, this should be a compulsory module!”

By Leonie Jackson