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Volunteer week: What it’s like to volunteer with CSE

A quote from our volunteer, Louisa
1 June 2022

Volunteers are crucial to supporting the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) in our mission to end the suffering caused by cold homes.

This Volunteer Week, we’re celebrating all our incredible volunteers and their amazing contributions towards supporting people in fuel poverty.

At CSE, we have around 80 volunteers. They carry out a variety of important tasks from assisting with home visits and energy advice, attending events to promote our services, and providing admin support. Each volunteer receives training to make sure they have the confidence and knowledge in these areas. Roles are allocated based on the experience, interests and amount of time volunteers can spend with us.

Louisa has been working with us for four years. Louisa has kindly shared her experience with us to shine a light on what our volunteers do.

Why did you become a volunteer for CSE?

I have some experience in the energy industry and wanted to put it to good use by helping people in fuel poverty.

What sort of tasks do you do?

I’ve gone to events, home visits and helped out in the office. At the moment, I’m doing admin and phone calls for the Warmer Homes, Advice and Money (WHAM) project, which I’m really enjoying!

What do you enjoy about being a volunteer?

I feel like I’m making a difference to people in need. It’s also great to share knowledge and give advice to those who wouldn’t normally be able to access various information.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve helped with?

Definitely WHAM and I’ve done a lot of work on the Warm Home Discount calls. It’s so wonderful to be able to tell someone that they can get substantial help with their energy bills, and it’s such a straightforward process!

What do you find most rewarding?

Having a positive impact on people’s lives. When I speak to people on the phone, it’s so amazing to be able to tell them their options and give them hope. I know I’ve done a good job when someone, who was initially concerned, is thanking me at the end of the call and they’re clearly relieved.

Has being a volunteer supported you in your daily life?

I am registered disabled, so I don’t currently work. Volunteering for CSE has made me feel like I’m doing something valuable. It’s also helped me with my energy costs and understanding my bills! I wouldn’t have known about the Warm Home Discount and certain benefits had I not been a volunteer. I think lived experience helps me to connect to people as well. Plus, I’m always geeking out by telling friends and family about my energy knowledge! I hope it helps them in some way.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

Absolutely yes!

Is there anything else you’d like to add from your experience?

I cannot begin to explain how appreciated I feel by everyone I work with at CSE. They hold their volunteers in extremely high regard and invest in us constantly. Thanks to CSE, I now have a City and Guilds in Energy Awareness. I never thought I would have the opportunity to gain more qualifications, particularly as a disabled person. I feel 100% part of the team!

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

You don’t have to have any specific experience – just bring your passion and we’ll make sure you’ve got the right support.

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