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Impact of our advice, support and education

By providing advice and support, we help millions of people find a way forward each year.

Why we’re needed

Life is complicated. Sometimes people encounter challenges and problems that they don’t know how to deal with, and they need help to overcome.

We're here to help everyone in society that needs us. We believe individuals should be able to get help in the way that works for them and meets their needs.

What we do

We provide free, independent and confidential advice and support.

We aren’t driven by a one-size fits all approach, and provide support in person, over the phone and online. People also need different types of support at various times in their life.

Helping people find a way forward [PDF 0.84 mb]  - our 2015/16 impact report - explains our different advice and support services, including the work of our local Citizens Advice across England and Wales. The people we serve through our local network are often among the most disadvantaged in society with the greatest needs.

We provide education and skills to help our clients avoid similar problems in the future. We equip them with financial skills to help manage their budgets and avoid debt, and to ensure they know about and switch to the best deals that met their needs and save money.

We are committed to providing quality services and have high-levels of client satisfaction. 90% of our clients reported satisfaction with the overall service; 95% say they would recommend us to friends or family.

Why else is our advice and support unique?

  • We’re impartial: our primary objective is to get the best for our clients, and it is this that determines the advice and options we present.

  • We’re confidential and non-judgmental: our role is help people find a way forward, so we’ll be straight-talking and practical about how to resolve problems.

  • Our services can be accessed in different ways: we believe there is significant value in ensuring everyone has access to advice and support at any time.

  • We understand the complexity of issues that affect people’s lives: this doesn’t daunt us, and we’ll work to understand the root cause and aim to tackle that too

  • We provide the necessary level of support: we tailor our advice and allocate our resources to meet our clients’ needs, whatever stage their problem may have reached or level of support needed.

  • We understand that experiencing a problem affects self-confidence: we’ll provide as much support as needed, empowering clients to regain control of their circumstances, with certainty they’re taking the right approach.

  • We help people understand their rights and responsibilities: we support people to address their problem, bringing our voice, credibility and experience.

Because we help millions of people a year, our data enables us to have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in society:

The difference this makes

We solve problems, reduce their effect on people’s lives, and improve circumstances.

One of our greatest strengths is the flexibility to deal with most issues that people bring us.

We have robust evidence of the effectiveness of our advice provision, showing that our service really works: National outcomes and impact research report (2014) [PDF 280 kb]

2 in every 3 clients will have their problem solved...

...regardless of who they are, what the issue is, how the client accessed our service or how we provided the advice locally.

  • Our research demonstrated that 2 out of every 3 clients who seek our help will have their problem partly or completely solved

  • This level of consistency is testament to our advisers’ skill in knowing how to deliver the right advice and best support to our clients, regardless of issue or circumstance

  • Where a problem has not been resolved, our evidence shows there are often systemic barriers or market failure which prevent problems being solved. Our research and campaigns work aims to remove these barriers by improving policy and practice

We play a critical role in helping clients resolve their problems

78% said that they would not have been able to resolve their problem without us.

4 in 5 said that advice improved their lives

Advice does more than solve the immediate problem: it can reduce stress, improve finances and stabilise housing or employment. Our clients say that advice improved their lives even when their problems are not resolved.

We are able to show that solving and preventing individuals’ problems creates considerable value to society.

We’re currently looking in depth at our clients’ capability and understanding what works in education provision, including our financial capability support.