A poster design promoting the services offered by the Wiltshire Citizens Advice Bureau to young people has been won by 17-year-old Carmella Lowkis, a sixth form student at St John’s, Marlborough.
The competition was organised by the Devizes-based CAB, where one of St John’s students, Holly Sumbler, 17, is a volunteer gateway adviser as part of her IB diploma course, and volunteer work is part of her creativity, action and service activity.
“The aim of the competition was that young people would research the CAB and use their creative skills to produce a poster to inform other young people,” Holly explained.
“Before I joined the service, I didn’t know what the CAB did and how they could help young people like me. We had a fantastic response from several local schools, and the winners have been chosen by the members of the CAB youth forum”.
Sarah Cardy, chief executive of Wiltshire CAB, visited St John’s last week to talk to the sixth form about the services the CAB is able to offer to young people, and to present Carmella with a voucher prize for the poster competition.
Holly is a regular volunteer with the Devizes CAB and finds it a very fulfilling activity.
“Volunteering for the CAB has provided me with the opportunity to learn and grow,” she says. “I have learnt a lot about my local community and the problems it faces.”
“Some of the people that I have met in the bureau have changed how I view the world and encouraged me to develop my passion for law. I have seen people from all walks of life dealing with a wide range of problems – all problems that I wouldn’t have expected to see in Wiltshire.”
“What I failed to see before becoming a Gateway Advisor was just how quickly an issue can take over a person’s life and the dramatic effect it can have”.
Wiltshire Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on debt, housing, employment, welfare benefits, family and personal matters, consumer contracts, legal procedures, health and education.