AdviceUK celebrates 40 Years of Independent Advice at Annual Conference

AdviceUK held its 11th Annual Conference at The King’s Centre, Oxford on 10 October 2019.

The theme of this year’s conference was “WORTH WORKING FOR: CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF INDEPENDENT ADVICE” heralding the history and innovation of AdviceUK and its members through the years.

AdviceUK Chief Executive, Steve Johnson, opening the conference by “though William Beveridge in his report advocating the foundation of the welfare state recognised there would be a need for advice services and recommended they should be established “in every local Security Office, to which every person in doubt or difficulty can be referred” , this had never happened, so by the 1960s and 70s, it was left to the voluntary and community sectors to step in and help the growing numbers of people disadvantaged by the gap between having rights on paper but not the information, knowledge or means to enforce them. Despite never being on a stable footing, our members have continued working ever since in pursuit of social justice in the shared conviction that this is a good worth working for”.

In his keynote address, Neil McInroy, CEO of The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) – the UK’s leading independent think and do tank,  delivered an impassioned and engaging presentation encouraging Community Wealth Building, influencing change within our local economies and addressing poverty and disadvantage.

Throughout the day, Conference Chair, Sian Williams – Director of Policy and Innovation at Toynbee Hall, guided delegates through a helpful and engaging programme, inspiring lively debate.

There were SIX interactive workshops covering;

  • Keynote Speech from Neil McInroy at CLES
  • Design issues in Universal Credit that are of importance for couples in particular
  • An explanatory session into Supervision and Independent File Reviews
  • An interactive discussion on Commissioning and how to win
  • Understanding the Impact of Mental Health Conditions on work and study life
  • Launch of AdvicePro Six – explaining how AdvicePro can be used for referring clients into and how using the File Review function can ensure all advisers are providing quality advice

Commenting on the day, AdviceUK CEO Steve Johnson said:

“The last four decades have been a challenging time for independent advice, but we wanted to take the opportunity this year to celebrate the resilience and achievements of advice providers and to highlight the continuing importance of community-based activism.”

For more information on AdviceUK please:

Visit the AdviceUK website at
View the AdviceUK film on our YouTube Channel

To enquire about membership or any of the services AdviceUK offers, please contact the AdviceUK membership team on  or call us on 0300 777 0107.


Notes for editors:

Founded in 1979, AdviceUK is the largest network of independent advice centres in the UK, with over 700 member organisations based in all parts of the UK.

Further details on the content of the AdviceUK Annual Conference 2019:

More about Steve Johnson, CEO of AdviceUK and the AdviceUK team:

With thanks and credit to the Sponsors of the 2019 AdviceUK Annual Conference:
Computer Share Loan Services

Exhibitors at the event included:



Child Poverty Action Group

Shelter Specialist Debt Advice Service

The Insolvency Panel

Solicitors’ Regulation Authority

Money and Pensions Service

Money Advice Trust


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