London Councils

Stronger Organisations – Benefiting London(ers)

AdviceUK was funded by London Councils under their 2015-2017 Grants Programme to provide effective infrastructure support and capacity-building for London’s advice sector in all London boroughs. The funding from SOBeL expired in April 2017.

Under the scheme we were able to free support to any voluntary organisation or community group that provides social welfare information and advice. With our partners Law Centres Network and LASA, this programme enabled advice services to deal more effectively with the problems faced by Londoners, particularly those resulting from welfare changes, in and out of work poverty, and the overall squeeze on low-income households.

Through SOBeL we offered a wide range of services to individual advice services, advice networks and other partnerships, including: our support helpline for advice providers; development consultancy; help with fundraising and other income generation; strategic planning; development of advice strategies and commissioning frameworks; quality assurance and service improvement; social policy and influencing work; learning and skills support, including training provision; equalities work; and the London Advice Conference.

Whilst we can no longer offer this through SOBeL, all the services provided by SOBeL are available through AdviceUK as a paid for service. For more information contact our consultants by phone on 0300 777 0107 or 0300 777 0108. Email us at

Our support includes:

Service Review – A service review is designed to get an overview of your organisation and its work. It is like an MOT for your organisation. It takes a look at your governance arrangements and structures, business planning and premises. We consider your financial procedures and fundraising plans as well as your management and supervision provisions and then concentrate on how your advice service is run. We can do a review of your procedures with a detailed commentary on any changes that may be required either for best practice reasons or to incorporate new legislation.
The review will identify things that are working well, and areas where improvements could be made. As part of the process, you will receive a written report and action plan. We will go through the recommendations with you and work with you to prioritise and implement them.

Organisational Development Support – This covers all aspects of running and resourcing an advice service, partnership or advice forum. We have extensive experience of working with organisations to: develop and sustain income streams; build capacity in governance and strategic planning; explore and set up new organisational structures; improve advice service quality and accessibility; meet regulatory requirements and manage risk; invest in learning and skills; and evidence and demonstrate the value of advice.

We can work with you and support you through an application for a quality standard such as the AQS (Advice Quality Standard) and even offer a mock audit should you fell that would be helpful.

We use a systems thinking approach to understand how advice services work and how they fit with the other things going on in the lives of the people who use them. This approach learns about the current demand for an advice service, and what lies behind this demand. It also challenges us to understand the purpose of the service from the perspective of the people who use it, and design services that deliver what matters to them.

Telephone and email consultancy – One-off advice is provided in response to individual enquires on issues relating to your advice service such as confidentiality, data protection, case management matters and regulatory requirements eg OISC and FCA. We are also happy to advise you on issues that are not advice-sector specific, such as HR and employment.

Advice and Funding Surgeries – These are arranged at different times and locations across London to suit you, and allow you to meet on a one-to-one basis with a Consultant, for example to discuss a particular funding application or organisational problem.

Training Workshops – Our training sessions are aimed at organisations giving social welfare advice. Sessions cover a range of topics including service planning, case recording, file management, file review and supervision, outcomes for advice, developing a fundraising strategy, monitoring and evaluation and governance training. Governance training can be delivered in-house for your Management Committee / Board of Directors/ Trustees.

Advice Provider Forums – AdviceUK has set up and facilitated a number of advice forums and networks across London. We assist local advice services to work together more effectively, and to develop constructive relationships with other partners. We help promote and coordinate arrangements that share information and good practice and influence the wider policy environment.

We also encourage networks to develop links with key stakeholders such as, local authorities, housing and health service providers, and services run by the Department for Work and Pensions.



Dal Warburton
Enrique Saenz

For more information contact our consultants by phone on 0300 777 0107 or 0300 777 0108. Email us at