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Real Life Stories

Oct 28, 2021 | Volunteering

Real Life Stories

Decorative Heart - Real Life Stories


At Citizens Advice East Devon we all have real life stories stories that stick with us. Some are filled with sadness and empathy, others are heart-warming and make us brim with pride on how we have helped shape another’s future. We feel pride when we know we have helped another soul but equally, we feel gratitude for our blessings in life when we are faced with someone else’s reality.

We asked our volunteers for real life stories that stick out to them and we would like to share them with you. Details have been changed to protect identities.



A New Start for a New Life

A pregnant woman and her partner came into our office with no money and nowhere to live, it would seem life had dealt them an unfair hand. A phone call later, mixed with a spoonful of TLC and a pinch of advice. Job Done!


This on its own would have of course been enough for me to feel pride in what I do, however, it was what was to come that makes this particular story stand out to me.


Quite a while later my wife and I were having a meal out and one of the staff members kept staring at me and smiling. At one stage, my wife said “You’ve definitely pulled there – she needs to go to Specsavers” Eventually she brought our bill and said “You don’t remember me, do you? You helped me and my husband so much.”

To sum it up, they are settled, in good accommodation and both in employment and we helped them get there.

By Martin. S.



Turning it all around

Another story that stands out is one of a client who struggled with substance abuse & addiction. They were a well-qualified medical professional who had lost their job and contact with their child before going into rehab. They came to us for help – seemingly very drunk. I saw them a couple of times and then our supervisor at the time said that we would not see them again if they turned up drunk and/or were carrying a bottle of alcohol. 

I (respectfully) challenged this (we are here to help one and all) and it was agreed that they would only be allowed to attend by appointment – and only to see me.  


The client was hugely supported by their family as well as Citizens Advice East Devon and some years later I saw them again. They were sat on the library steps, and on seeing me leapt up and hugged me! (much to my astonishment and amusement of passers-by). They are now ‘clean’, working, and a very proud grandparent. 


They still greet me warmly if we see each other in the town. 

By Martin. S.



These are real life stories that won’t be forgotten in a hurry, it is why we do what we do. We all have many such anecdotes from volunteering with Citizens Advice East Devon and we hope to collect many more


If you have any real life stories of how we have helped feel free to let us know! email us at enquiries@citizensadviceeastdevon.org.

Or do you fancy being one of our amazing volunteers? Get in touch here or have a look at some other volunteer experiences here.


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