Why we work with volunteers
It is very difficult for us to raise enough money to pay staff to provide all the services necessary to meet the huge need for advice, support and representation that exists in London. Using volunteers means we can extend our reach and provide help to far more households than we could do with our limited employed resources.
However, we are also most anxious that our work should improve community cohesion. Our way of doing this is to introduce those whose lives are a little more privileged to those who are suffering from various forms of disadvantage. One of the biggest problems affecting our clients is the stigma and prejudice attached to those on low incomes. Our volunteers soon learn the truth behind the myths and develop sympathy for and understanding of the difficulties faced by their neighbors in London who have been less fortunate in life.
It is extremely rewarding for all who do this work to witness the relief of terrible anxiety and stress which they can bring about by helping our clients to tackle their problems and by assuring them that they are not alone.
There is also great satisfaction to be had from ensuring that justice is done for those who would, without our help, be deprived of their rights and trampled down by the monolithic systems of courts, tribunals and statutory bodies.
There are many ways you can get involved in volunteering with Z2K, whether you can spare one day a week, a full time internship period of several weeks or anything in between we always have something interesting and rewarding you can help with. These are just some of things volunteers help us with:
- Advocacy: We train individuals to accompany our clients to Social Security Tribunal hearings and to help them to present their cases. Anyone who is articulate and interested can do this work. Volunteers who live in or near London are also trained to support the central office by taking statements, attending specific hearings and managing individual cases with our assistance and support.
- Caseworkers: We provide full training for volunteers to support our day to day casework. This can range from dealing with the authorities to rectify mistakes to negotiating with energy companies and bailiffs.
- Internship scheme: We welcome interns, particularly those with some legal training, who might like to spend some time with us in the office, either one day a week or for a fixed period of between 1- 4 weeks. You may be asked to help with our casework, campaigning activities and do a variety of office tasks.
- Research: We often need help with research on specific legal issues and also on statistics and other material which supports both our cases and our campaigning work.
- Content development : We welcome help from individuals who have great writing skills and a desire to help people out of poverty to write articles on our campaigns to be featured in the website and newsletters.
If you’re interested in any of the above please complete our volunteer expression of interest form with your CV and cover letter explaining how you would like to be involved and we’ll do our very best to accommodate you.
Investing in Volunteers
Z2K has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, recognising the excellent work we do with volunteers. Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers. Investing in Volunteers aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and for organisations to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by volunteers.