Lancashire Communities

Client Support volunteer - Blackburn


Client Support volunteer - Blackburn


Role summary                          

You will be an invaluable part of the team supporting the Shelter Lancashire hub to deliver frontline services at the Shelter Lancashire Hub in Blackburn Central Library and in local community settings. This volunteer role is about developing your knowledge and skills to support local people with a range of benefit, debt and housing issues, providing practical support for clients and helping people to help themselves. You will gain experience of volunteering within a recognised national housing charity, while supporting your local community.


Suggested Involvement: minimum of 4 hours per week (can be more & can be flexible around your commitments).

Availability: This volunteering opportunity will take place within our working hours, Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm

Location: Shelter Lancashire Hub based at Blackburn Central Library.  Volunteering activity could be in the Hub or in our community settings.  

Supervised by: Volunteer Support Officer


Why get involved with Shelter?


Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services; and we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help. We're here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. 


As a client support volunteer your activity could involve phone, online, email and face to face contact (as appropriate) to clients needing help and guidance around a range of housing, benefit and debt issues. This role supports our specialist advice and community work and enables us to offer and deliver a broader range of help to the local community. There is also the opportunity to support involvement with people with lived experience and engage in our local and national campaigning activities.


Range of activities


  • Meeting and greeting clients contacting the service;
  • Assisting clients with form filling, paperwork and applications around housing, benefit and debt processes;
  • Showing clients how to log in and navigate online forms
  • Digital skills, supporting people with language barriers to access information.
  • Helping people become confident in navigating online systems so people can find help;   
  • Giving out information and leaflets and supporting clients to use our website;
  • ‘Signposting’ people to other services and making referrals to other agencies we work with;
  • Contacting clients for appointments, feedback on their case, opinions on the services accessed;
  • Updating and maintaining our agencies database;
  • Shadowing Advice/Case Workers in the hub and in community settings and providing support where needed;



Skills and experiences required

  • Effective communication skills and the willingness to understand the needs of our customers.
  • Interest in social welfare law e.g. housing; welfare benefits; debt; community care
  • Ability or a willingness to work towards organising and managing your own activity.
  • Ability to use computers and programs such as Word and Excel and experience of accessing the Internet
  • Willingness to follow Shelter’s policies, including volunteering, health & safety, GDPR, equality & diversity & confidentiality.

Induction, Learning & Development


To enable you take part in this opportunity Shelter will


  • Provide a volunteer pack including a Handbook and all Policies and Procedures;
  • Provide personalised volunteering plan, covering support, learning and development;
  • Provide e-learning: Equality & Diversity, Health and Safety, Data Protection, Case Management Systems, Safeguarding, Environmental Awareness;
  • Provide relevant training, coaching and shadowing to enable you to fulfil your role;
  • Reimburse “out of pocket” expenses in line with Shelter’s volunteer expenses policy;


Benefits of Volunteering with Shelter

  • Supporting Shelter in our fight against bad housing and homelessness
  • Gain valuable work experience and enhance your CV
  • Be part of a great team
  • Build your confidence and develop transferable skills