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We were formed on the 28 April 1979, as the Federation of Independent Advice Centres (FIAC). Our founders about 100 such activists from London and other major cities gathered at the Isaac Newton Primary School in North Kensington, London, to launch the new organisation. They were a disparate community of activists from across the UK, trying to improve lives and conditions in mostly poor and decaying inner-urban areas. Amongst the tools they were using to try to bring about change was advice – to help tackle individuals’ problems, build awareness of rights and identify shared issues to mobilise campaigns. They represented perhaps half of the independent advice and community action projects in existence at that time.

They decided the organisation’s aims were to develop common resources such as training, information sources and to campaign to achieve greater social impact. By 1983 the first two paid staff were employed. In 1989 its first National Director started and, all the while, membership grew steadily. In 1984, in the midst of the miners’ strike, membership increased by 80% to over 800 members. By the time we reached the millennium, there were nearly 1,000 members.

In the 21st century our fortunes, and those of our members, have ebbed and flowed. After a few years of government and funder investment in advice, the pattern changed. The 2008 financial crisis, the long period of austerity, the pandemic and the recent cost-of-living crisis has seen services close, shrink or merge. Membership numbers have decreased but never below c650.

The availability of grant funding, especially for support bodies such as ourselves, has diminished quite severely. Nevertheless, while shifting to a more sustainable social enterprise business model, we did gradually develop and improve our support to members. We developed our insurance scheme, training and qualification routes, organisational guidance and advice tools and our AdvicePro online case-management system. These resources help members to provide advice to around two million people a year.

In recent years, new types of advice providers are emerging and we have broadened our eligibility criteria accordingly. The pandemic saw us (like many organisations) move much of our support online which our members have embraced. We are now far more financially sustainable and this is providing scope for development. We have started on our journey of digital transformation and remain the home for innovative advice. Online systems and service channels now supplement traditional face-to-face and telephone help. We are investing heavily in developing our digital capabilities to vastly improve communications and collaboration with and between members.



 Latest News 

AdviceUK members have already been experiencing an improvement to speed and quality of service, after their initial three month trial access to instant credit reports through AdvicePro and the Trustfolio Debt Adviser Support Portal. “With Trustfolio’s integration into AdvicePro, obtaining credit report information has now become instantaneous and allows us to have up to date […]

Family cuddling disabled child beside wheelchair in play park

Following the partnership last year with the Scottish Government to deliver £1m in small grants to members who provide money and debt advice services within Scotland, we are pleased to announce a further £1.3m of funding to Advice in Accessible Settings for 2024-2025.

Trustfolio AdvicePro and AdviceUK Logos

AdviceUK, the UK’s largest network of advice-giving organisations, has today announced an exciting collaboration with Trustfolio and AdvicePro to provide an initial free 3 months’ instant access to client credit reports. This service enables advisers to enhance the quality and speed of service they are able to offer clients, saving time and money by removing the administrative burden of gathering clients’ financial information.

People at a cliff edge

Readers will be aware of the funding pressures currently being experienced by local authorities. According to the Local Government Association, by 2024/25 cost and demand pressures will have added £15 billion (almost 29%) to the cost of delivering council services since 2021/22. This comes after central government grant funding for councils dropped by 40% in […]