Stuart and Joy

Joy Graham and Stuart Watson

Without our dedicated volunteers and law students, Cumbria Law Centre would not be able to function as efficiently and effectively as it does. Amongst other things, our volunteers cover reception, answer the telephone, undertake research and collect statistical data.

If you would like to become a volunteer, simply contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Fiona McCrum. She will invite you in to have a chat and discuss ways in which we can make the use of the skills, time and commitment you are able to give us in delivering our daily work for the community.  Give Fiona a call on 01228 515129, or email her at reception@comlaw.co.uk.

Our current volunteers are:

Joy Graham
Stuart Watson
Katherine Gribbon
Liz Thompson
Sue Watson
Michelle Key
Faye Doggart
Linda Nicholson
Rebecca Jackson
Matthew Wardle
Jake Marshall
Daniel Maxwell
Jack McAtear
Liam Mulholland
Oliver Wahab

Stuart and Katherine

Stuart Watson and Katherine Gribbon

The Law Centre’s Volunteer Investment Programme offers individuals a unique insight into the workings of a Social Welfare organisation.  Each volunteer is fully trained on our bespoke software programmes and Microsoft Office.  They go through an intensive, yet supportive, training programme.  Volunteers perform an invaluable role at the front face of the Law Centre, and their professionalism, expertise and discretion is valued not only by fellow colleagues but by the whole of the local community.

Our volunteers were given the opportunity to accompany caseworkers to our outreach at Eden Housing Association in Penrith to assist clients complete Discretionary Housing Payment forms. Here is what Stuart Watson, one of our longest serving volunteers, said about the experience.

Stuart and Laura

Stuart Watson and Laura Goode

“I recently assisted one of the caseworkers with completing Discretionary Housing Payment forms at Eden Housing Association.  I found this to be an extremely interesting and worthwhile experience.  It was good to see first hand the type of  work that caseworkers do.  Being on reception I don’t usually get to observe the follow-up work that takes place and this was a great opportunity to see the real, positive impact that Cumbria Law Centre has on so many people’s lives.  It was wonderful to see the relief on the clients’ faces as the forms were completed and they were left with the knowledge that their problems were, if not over, then at least on the way to being resolved.  Cumbria Law Centre has given me confidence and experience and I would like to express my thanks to both Fiona and Michael for giving me the opportunity to be involved.”

Our volunteers visited the Carlisle Foodbank and Liam found the visit enlightening:

“I find my time at CLC very enjoyable.  I have learnt a vast amount from my time here, mainly in the areas around Housing and Welfare Benefits.  I have learnt about the difficulties that those who aren’t able to access assistance from a private solicitor face and the challenges that have been created by difficult economic times.  Volunteering at CLC has given me an awareness of the types of work relating to housing repossession and the processes involved.  This is an area I may wish to pursue in the future.  The research activities were good to broaden my awareness of what I witnessed in Triage.  It helped to embed and answer any questions I may have had about certain cases of law.  Visiting the Foodbank was also enlightening as I would never have known where it was and the type of work they do.

This is feedback from one of our recent volunteers who found full-time employment due to gaining confidence as a volunteer here at CLC.

‘I found volunteering at CLC thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile.  It gave me an insight into the Centre’s work to help people are often at their lowest ebb.  It enabled me to learn new skills, enhance existing skills and generally took me out of my comfort zone.  I would like to thank everyone for their friendliness and support, especially Fiona, Michael and Kirsty.  Being a volunteer at CLC came at the right time for me and if I am ever able to return then I will’