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Meet our new Trainee Advisers - 1st Edition

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Blog by Oliver Purver, Jude Raybould and Cara Faulkner

In the first of a new series of blogs to meet our 14 new Trainee Debt Advisers who started in late 2020, Oliver Purver, Jude Raybould and Cara Faulkner write about their experience.

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Oliver's Story

I’m Ollie and I’m a biological sciences graduate from Plymouth University. Prior to my application to become a trainee debt adviser, I worked in the sports industry as a lifeguard and as a customer service assistant in the retail industry. I’ve always known I’ve wanted to help people as a career, however I was always unsure about what employment opportunities out there were right for me.

Funnily enough, it was a close friend of mine that sent me the job advertisement for a position at Citizens Advice South Somerset as a Trainee Debt Adviser, so I decided to read into the aims and principles of the organization before submitting my application. This sparked my interest as I began to understand what a brilliant organisation Citizens Advice South Somerset is, and how rewarding it could be to work for such a great charity.  I am delighted to be a Trainee Debt Adviser as part of the Debt Free South West partnership.

Jude's Story

Hi, I’m Jude a people person with a quality focus and appreciation for learning and development. Following my graduation many moons ago, I went into the recruitment sector which started my appreciation for working with people, understanding contracts and the importance for the details. I then worked for many years in Welfare to Work which started a passion for wanting to help people make a difference to their situation. It was here I had a grounding on what we now refer to as legacy benefits and the complex nature and circumstances individuals can experience. I grew as a person in this job learning that everyone is individual and how important it is to listen and support a person to help themselves.

I was fortunate to gain many skills in this role which led to a change of career into the world of work-based apprenticeships where my joy of working with people grew by being in the privileged position to help people become the best they can be within their chosen profession as an assessor and trainer. 

Prior to becoming a Trainee Debt Adviser, I worked in Local Government as a Town Clerk and Financial Responsible Officer, working to ensure that the instructions of the Council in its functions as a Local Authority were carried out, balancing the needs of the community and responsibility for the financial records of the Council and the careful administrations of its finances.

It was a dear friend who had sent me the job description for the position of Trainee Debt Adviser for Citizens Advice South Somerset, following many a conversation related to local government and its forever changing landscape and my reflection of wanting to work more closely with people and desire to help to make a difference however big or small. Well, it did not take long to appreciate the positive impact Citizens Advice South Somerset has within the community and the very nature of what they do to provide advice and support to all in an impartial, confidential, and non-judgmental setting putting the person first, so I got to work and submitted my application, and here I am now working for this amazing organisation and being part of the Debt Free South West partnership.

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Cara's Story

Hello, I'm Cara.  My professional background and experience all started with administrative support. Whilst working in administrative roles I also enrolled on further education courses (part-time) over my working years. Firstly, in sports therapy and I set up my own business. I then became fascinated with the connection between the emotional experience of clients and the physical impact this could have on them at times. Then a few years later I enrolled onto a professional counsel course to learn more.  

Amidst specialist support roles (part-time).  I also gained other experience within advice and guidance delivering support both for voluntary and business sectors.

All these elements of my career gave me such an interest in how people end up the way they do.

Now I find myself in the later term of my career in a very different world than which I started my working career within. I wanted to continue to work alongside people in a supportive role and I really do enjoy a challenge and study.

A very good friend told me about an opportunity with Citizen Advice South Somerset and the Trainee Debt Adviser posts, so I applied.

I was absolutely delighted to be successfully recruited by Citizens Advice South Somerset and then entered into a national programme as part of being in the Debt Free South West partnership.

I am extremely honoured to work for the Citizens Advice South Somerset, to be able to learn how to administer debt advice. And be able to both support and empower clients to change their life situations in a very difficult world we all find ourselves living in.

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Our shared reasons for entering into Debt Advice

• To feel proud to work for Citizens Advice South Somerset and be part of the Debt Free South West partnership
• To come home from a day of work knowing that I have made a difference to someone else
• To share a common passion to provide impartial advice that both supports, and empowers people to bring about positive change in their life
• To be part of a team for a voluntary organisation both locally and nationally
• To part of a national programme

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