Linda Jones – Citizens Advice

In my role as Volunteer Development & Advice Services Manager at Citizens Advice Sefton, I’m passionate about learning, and about supporting others to learn and develop. The learning opportunities I’ve had as a volunteer, and as a paid member of staff, have helped shape the person I am today, so I’m always keen to help others have a similar positive experience, and lots of learning opportunities in their time at Citizens Advice.

I first joined Citizens Advice Sefton back in the days when there were separate bureaux in Sefton. I started as a volunteer at Crosby CAB in 2002 after using the CAB as a client, for advice for my mum. Due to years of ill-health I’d been out of the workplace for a while, and my self-confidence was at a low ebb, so I decided to start volunteering with the CAB. I had no idea when I started that five years later I would be a paid member of staff, especially as I was so in awe of the advisers when I first started!

My progression from Generalist Adviser, to Supervisor, to Guidance Tutor, to my current role has been a journey full of learning, and lots of support from my Guidance Tutors and Supervisors along the way. Through self-study, e-learning, attending courses, and observing client interviews, my learning was fairly constant, especially in the early days. I’ve always found that the flexibility of the learning at Citizens Advice has made learning more possible for me, and it’s helped stimulate my interest in the organisation, my interest in learning even more, and progressing (where the opportunities come up).

My most recent learning achievement has been getting a City & Guilds Level 4 qualification in Leading the Internal Quality Assessment Process and Practice. It’s a very long title for a qualification that means that I can assess the quality of the learning that’s delivered in Citizens Advice Sefton Accredited Training Centre. The Centre delivers accredited qualifications in Advice, and is a great opportunity for people to get accredited recognition for all the learning they’ve done at Citizens Advice.

I don’t know what my next ‘big learning goal’ is, but I know that even without a ‘big learning goal’, I’ll still be learning new things on a regular basis, and hopefully passing on as much of my learning as I can.