Meet The Team

Julia Cleeland

Manager

I joined the then Lisburn Citizens Advice in 2008 as a volunteer after being made redundant from my role as a chef and enjoyed my training that much I went on to complete a BA (HONS) Advice Studies through Staffordshire University and graduated in 2014 with a 2:1 degree in Advice Studies which encompassed Social Welfare Policy, Law and Practice.

I loved being a volunteer and helping our clients and in 2009 I was successful when I applied for a paid part-time generalist advisor post, which became full-time around a year later and was promoted to Office Supervisor in 2014. In mid-2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I became Manager.

I loved my time as an advisor and miss seeing clients, we all have our clients’ best interests at heart and they are why we all do what we do and is what gives us job satisfaction, but I am relishing the new challenges that come with my new role supporting the staff and volunteers in their roles and ensuring that we offer a first class service to all or our clients.

Ursula

Advice Team Leader / Senior Adviser

I joined Lisburn Citizens Advice, now Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh in 2009 taking on my first full time post as an Outreach Advisor having previously volunteered with another Citizens Advice Office and having completed and passed my Adviser Training. I hold a BA (HONS) Degree and diplomas in Community Development & Community Relations having returned to study later in life and have been involved with the independent advice sector for 14 years.

I became Advice Team Leader in 2020 mid-pandemic and have a passion for what we do, as our work has a positive impact on our clients and the local community. Part of our work is social policy which is where we see trends that affect our clients and can lobby to effect change for all those affected. I get great fulfilment from my role and I see Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh as championing the rights and advocating on behalf of the people within the community and that gives me great deal of satisfaction.  

George

Outreach & Generalist Adviser

In my previous life, I worked in QUB School of Biology for 44 years as a Senior Research Technician and completed my Honours Degree as a part time mature student at Queen`s University. I was actively involved in the Unite Trade Union, where I was a representative, for 30 years and for 15 years I was branch treasurer. I also served as a Trustee of a QUB Pension Scheme for 15 years and have a keen interest in all things pension related. I was also a qualified Youth Leader and worked in cross community youth clubs in my spare time.  

When I retired from QUB I undertook a course in SERC in Teaching Essential Skills to Adults and wanted to use the skills acquired in this course and  my Trade Union experience to help people so I joined Citizens Advice Lisburn as a Volunteer Advisor and have been there for 11 years in a number of roles including Generalist Adviser, Pension Wise Adviser and now I am the Outreach Adviser and prior to Covid-19 I also carried out home visits for those unable to come to the office.  

My time as a Pension Wise Advisor led to my interest in helping people understand their pensions, both occupational and the State Pensions as well. I find helping people to be very rewarding and I look forward to helping people in the Lisburn and Castlereagh for some years yet.

Cathy

Generalist Adviser

I have worked for CALC for over 5 years now having started as a volunteer. Prior to this I worked in a firm of Solicitors for over 11 years. Whilst working full time I studied law for 9 years through the Open University and finally graduated with my law degree in 2017. I then began my time in CALC as a volunteer and was subsequently offered a trainee position before becoming a qualified Adviser. I am now also trained in tribunal representation, and I have also carried out various outreach sessions in the community.

I enjoy the fast-paced nature of this work; because rules and regulations constantly evolve, and it is essential that we continually keep up to date with changes with training, self-study and courses. I thrive when advocating on behalf of clients on challenging cases, and I am therefore delighted to work for Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh who make such a difference to our local community in the Lisburn & Castlereagh area.

Carol

Welfare Reform Adviser & Tribunal Representative

I was a self-employed family business owner for over 10 years, after a change in my circumstances. In 2008 I joined Citizens Advice as it was then, as a volunteer. I completed my Adviser Training in 2008 and in 2011 I qualified as a Tribunal Representative. 

In 2011 I worked with Bryson House as a Welfare Rights and Energy adviser and I have now worked in the advice sector for 13 years gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas such as General Advice, Debt Advice, Welfare Reform changes and Tribunal Representation, assisting local people to access information and benefits to make their lives easier.

I love my role as a Tribunal Representative and get so much job satisfaction from advocating on behalf of my clients. It is a wide and varied role and no two cases are ever the same which keeps things interesting.

Tony

Welfare Reform Adviser & Tribunal Representative

After a mixed bag of a career including teaching, working in the construction industry and wholesale, I decided that a new direction was again required.  Not knowing what this new direction was to be I started studying for a law degree during which time I started volunteering for Citizen's Advice thinking it might help me along an as yet undiscovered path.

It turns out it was in fact the undiscovered path and I have been there full time since 2016 as a Welfare Reform Adviser and Tribunal Representative.  I'm not just saying this because the boss will see it, it really is an amazing place to work.  Fantastic team of staff and volunteers and the chance to make significant improvements to people's lives on a daily basis, what more could you want.

Mary

Debt Adviser

I joined Community advice Lisburn and Castlereagh in 2019 as a Debt adviser and am now a DRO Intermediary.  

I came from an airline background and have always loved working with the public and believe that we need to help and support each other in this diverse world we live in and subsequently applied for and was successful in securing my current role within Community advice Lisburn & Castlereagh.  

With my feet now firmly back on the ground I relish helping people find solutions to their debt problems, there is a solution for every situation, and it means our clients can get the fresh start they need and reduce the stress that they are under struggling with their debts. 

I love a challenge and look forward to meeting new clients and helping them see that there is a way forward and there is  always someone who can help and advise them in their difficult times.  

Naomi

Trainee Generalist Adviser & Debt Adviser

I joined Community Advice Lisburn and Castlereagh in October of 2020 as a trainee adviser. Since then, I have completed a Level 4 OCCNI qualification in Providing Social Security Advice through Advice NI. I work within the generalist advice team and more recently with the debt team, which is a new challenge for me that I am really enjoying. Working for Community Advice is very rewarding, we have a great opportunity to make a real impact on our local community.

Before joining Community Advice, I did lots of volunteering and worked within the charity sector. I completed an undergraduate degree BA (Hons) International Relations and Global Development from Leeds Beckett University in 2017 with a 2:1, following this I graduated in 2019 from the University of Leeds with a Distinction in LLM International Human Rights Law.

Thomas

Trainee Generalist Digital Adviser

I am currently a trainee generalist advisor with Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh having started as a volunteer in October 2020 and am just coming to the end of my training and will have gained a Level 4 OCCNI qualification in Providing Social Security Advice.

I previously studied IT and having gained a Diploma in this field, decided it wasn’t for me and worked in retail for 2 years until the start of the pandemic. This caused me to take stock of things and having a keen interest in my own rights as an employee decided that I would look at advice as a possible career path. The great thing about volunteering is that you get a chance to see if the role is for you before you start the training. I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh and am learning so much about employment rights, benefits and the inequalities suffered by so many. I am currently a trainee digital adviser and give advice via email and through our Facebook page and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge that this role offers.

Ciaran

Trainee Generalist Adviser

I am currently a trainee generalist advisor with Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh and am just coming to the end of my training. I have higher level education and background in aerospace engineering but decided the path I was on was not for me or that at the very least, I needed a break from it.

I took an interest in Advice work as I have a family member who is employed in this sector, and I have a good understanding of the sector. I consider myself fortunate to have an opportunity to train and become a fully fledged adviser. I am enjoying my training and look forward to learning more and learn so much from the more experienced advisers in the office.

Laura

Trainee Generalist Adviser

I am currently volunteering with Community Advice Lisburn and Castlereagh. I have just started my training for my OCN level 3 in generalist advice through the Law Centre.

I previously worked as a trained youth worker doing outreach and in youth centres, but decided it wasn't for me and went on to work in retail.
I have family working in community advice and they suggested I volunteer to see if I like it and instantly had an interest in it. I am loving my training and I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge and having a long-term career in the advice sector.

 

Helen

Volunteer Generalist Adviser

I am currently volunteering with Community Advice Lisburn and Castlereagh. I have just started my training for my OCN level 3 in generalist advice through the Law Centre.

I previously worked as a trained youth worker doing outreach and in youth centres, but decided it wasn't for me and went on to work in retail.
I have family working in community advice and they suggested I volunteer to see if I like it and instantly had an interest in it. I am loving my training and I'm looking forward to expanding my knowledge and having a long-term career in the advice sector.

 

Genuine provider of Advice Services

© Copyright 2021. Community Advice Lisburn & Castlereagh. All rights reserved.
menu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram