What Our Members Do
Put simply, – “They help people”.
Our members help some of the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and groups across the UK to solve or manage their problems and thus enabling them to get on with their lives.
In 2018, our members took over 2 million enquiries and managed approximately 1.4 million cases nationwide – across 750 members.
Our members help their clients to solve or manage problems – from the simple to the very complex. This is mostly done face-to-face in an advice centre or community base, but now more and more 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. Also since advice is sought on often quite sensitive matters, this can be crucial to trust and confidence between enquirer and adviser.
Subjects covered across the whole membership are:
- Debt and consequent problems
- Income maximisation and money management
- Welfare benefits rights / problems
- Housing rights / problems
- Employment rights / problems at work
- Immigration and 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
These services 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 simply bureaucratic red tape.
There are also 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. And it’s cost effective. 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 9!