Let’s start at the beginning
As with starting any job, I was nervous to start my new role as an ICANN Advocate. The team welcomed me straight away. I soon found that my knowledge from previous roles, within care and education, came in very useful. After completing my training and shadowing other advocates, I now have my own case load and support a wide range of clients.
The work begins
Nerves aside, I have really enjoyed meeting my clients. It has been so interesting getting to know them and their experiences and be able to assist them. I have found that my previous experience has allowed me to understand their needs and difficulties and, therefore, enable me to empower and support my clients through PIP/WCA form filling, health assessments and appeal tribunals.
I find my role extremely varied from giving people information over the phone to supporting them at appeal tribunals. I’ve also been involved with delivering training to 3rd year medical students on the role of advocacy and how, as medical professionals, they can provide relevant medical evidence which can be used to support their patients when they are claiming disability related benefits.
No day is the same, I could be supporting my client with filling in paperwork in the morning, at a health assessment in the afternoon and then preparing for a tribunal the next day. It is really rewarding to be able to see the difference I can make in people’s lives. Giving them the power and confidence to speak up for themselves. I’m excited about what more my role may hold in the future and all the wonderful people I am yet to work with.
Come and volunteer
I would highly recommend volunteering with ICANN. Not only is the team incredibly supportive and always willing to answer any questions but volunteering itself is extremely rewarding. You get to engage with and support people when they need it, such as, form filling to enable them to put in a claim or a review for PIP/WCA, providing advocacy support at PIP/WCA health assessments and appeal tribunals. As a volunteer advocate you will help people to feel less alone as well as empowering individuals to give them the confidence to speak up for themselves.