Our membership encompasses approximately 40% of the UK charitable advice sector.
The sector comprises our 700+ members, 600+ Citizens Advice Bureaux main outlets (run by around 300 local organisations), 40+ Law Centres and around 500 centres or projects of other types including Age UK centres, Youth Access members, Shelter outlets etc.
Our membership is the most diverse and broadly-based of the above groupings. Our members are all independent organisations. We do not require them to be AdviceUK branded (e.g. as CABx, Law Centres and AgeUK centres are by their networks). This would be impractical because many of our members help people in a range of ways, not just through advice, and most have well established identities of their own.
Our membership includes the UK’s (and therefore probably the world’s) oldest advice service; most of the newest advice services; most of the large specialist subject services and most of the minority community and community-of-interest focused services. It includes the largest individual advice projects (in terms of staffing and turnover) as well as many of the smallest (run entirely by volunteers). Our members have deep reach into communities giving them an acute insight into emerging issues and needs.
Our members have pioneered most of the innovations in advice work including:
- Inventing the work itself in the 1890s
- Inventing the practice of debt advice in the 1970s
- Starting the first services focused on communities of interest rather than geographical communities
- Seating advice work in campaigns e.g. around housing, employment or immigration rights
- Starting the first telephone helplines in the 1980s
- Pioneering new business models from the ‘noughties’ to today
Here are just a few of our members epitomising the diversity of our network: