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person22 A newly qualified adviser describes his experience of training with Tonbridge CAB

I came to the CAB having worked for many years in business and also with the experience of running my own business for 10 years. After taking early retirement I felt that I would like to do something which made a difference to people and having heard about the CAB thought this would be ideal.

I originally applied to the Bureau for a paid part-time administrative position but then discovered that the trainee adviser programme sounded a lot more interesting (albeit unpaid!). I was able to commit myself to two days a week for the training which meant that I could complete it more quickly. Although having the experience of previous employment the training was quite a steep learning curve. There is a lot of information to assimilate but the Citizens Advice computerised information system is very comprehensive and easy to use.

As I worked through the training I became more interested in dealing with debt issues and hoped to pursue this further, ideally in a paid position, once I had qualified. I duly took on a small group of debt clients which meant I was able to deal with the whole debt process rather than only seeing a small part of the client's problem.

I would definitely recommend the training programme to anyone who wants to gain experience and confidence in a friendly environment before moving back into paid work.



We have been very successful lately in recruiting new volunteers to our training programmes. Thank you to all of those who have signed up with us.

All training courses are fully booked until Autumn/Winter 2014 so we are not able to take any more new volunteers right now. Please check back later in the year when we will be putting on more courses and taking on more people.

The CAB service relies on volunteers.

Volunteers help Tonbridge & Malling CAB in many ways. You can:

  • learn to be a Gateway Assessor helping others to find the information to solve their problems. All new volunteers undertake a short course to become a gateway assessor and then, if they wish, proceed to become a full adviser at a later date.

  • help by becoming an Administrator, helping with clerical and administration tasks in the bureau.

  • become a Receptionist, greeting our clients and aiding in the smooth running of the Bureau.

  • become a Campaigner (also known as a Social Policy Co-ordinator) who compiles evidence of problems brought to the bureau which can assist in changing laws, policies and practices for the better.

If you would like to volunteer, please call in to the bureau or telephone us on 01732 361 709.

Click HERE for the address, and opening hours of the Tonbridge & Malling CAB.

Or you can call the national CAB volunteer recruitment line on 08451 264 264.

Or visit the CAB volunteer page at

Website - Tonbridge CAB