What Our Members Do
…They help people
They help some of the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and groups across the UK to solve or manage problems – enabling them to get on with their lives.
In 2016, AdviceUK members took over 2 million enquiries and managed approximately 1.4 million cases nationwide – across 750 members .
This is can be crucial in some circumstances – helping people regain control and get things back on track, sometimes after a disruptive life event such as bereavement, redundancy, divorce, homelessness, mental illness, over-indebtedness or just some government department creating a bureaucratic nightmare that causes a dozen other problems!
But there are wider benefits to what our members do. Research has demonstrated that timely access to advice can have benefits beyond the alleviation of specific financial or other problems. These include maintenance of physical and mental health and well-being; whereas an inability to access help and advice when it is needed can result in problems worsening and escalating at increasing cost to the individual and, often, to third parties and to the public purse. Research has shown that every £1 spent on advice can save the public purse at least £9 dealing with the fall-out from problems allowed to get worse.
So an advice pound in time really can save nine!
Our members help around 2 million people every year to solve or manage problems – from the simple to the very complex. They mostly do this face-to-face in an advice centre or community base but a growing amount of help is delivered by phone or on-line and, as on-line tools for advisers become more common, advice is becoming more mobile.
One adviser will usually see an enquiry or a case through to conclusion so advice tends to be quite personalised and, since advice is sought on often quite sensitive matters, this can be crucial to trust and confidence between enquirer and adviser.
Our members are all different so the subjects on which they provide help and to whom will vary but subjects covered across the whole membership (in approximate order of volume) are:
- Debt and consequent problems
- Income maximisation and money management
- Welfare benefits rights / problems
- Housing rights / problems
- Employment rights / problems at work
- Immigration & asylum rights / problems
- Equalities issues
- Student-specific issues
- Children’s rights and issues
- Specific disability issues
- Specific health condition issues
- Specific community issues
- Social care issues / problems
- Educational rights / problems
- Consumer rights / problems
- Rights of redress e.g. ombudsmen or courts
- Dispute resolution