You can get free face-to-face advice from advice centres, Citizens Advice Bureaux, and law centres. Some advice and law centres can help with lots of different problems, others just deal with one particular area like housing, benefits, or money problems.
There are also lots of charities who run advice services for particular groups - for example, Mind has services for people with mental health problems, Working families has services for people who work and care for children, and Gingerbread has services for single parents.
If you can't see someone face-to face, there are also organisations who can advise you over the phone or by email.
There are lots of different ways you can get help and advice to deal with a problem.
Find a legal adviser or family mediator
You can use the Find a legal adviser or family mediator to search for advice services and solicitors in your area. You can also use the Advice Quality Standard website to search for an advice agency near you that meets the Advice Quality Standard. This means that it has been checked to make sure that it runs its service to a certain standard.
Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)
Acas offers free advice and guidance on rights at work and employment law. Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm. Helpline number 0300 123 1100 or Text Relay: 18001 0300 123 1100
Age UK provides information and advice to older people, and their friends and relatives. Age UK can also give you information over the phone.
Find an Age UK near you
Telephone: 0800 169 6565.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Citizens Advice Bureau help people resolve their debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems.
Find a CAB near you
Citizens Advice consumer helpline
You can call this helpline about problems you might have with a shop or a service.
Telephone: 03454 04 05 06. Open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm
You can talk to a Welsh-speaking adviser on 03454 04 05 05.
Civil Legal Advice
If you live on a low income or benefits, Civil Legal Advice can give you free advice over the telephone. Telephone: 0345 345 4 345 Open Monday-Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 9am-12:30pm. Calls cost from 4p a minute - or you can ask them to call you back.
For online advice from Civil Legal Advice
Debt Advice Foundation
Debt Advice Foundation can give you advice about your debt problems over the phone.
Telephone:0800 043 40 50. Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm.
Calls are free.
DIAL is a network of local disability information and advice services run by and for disabled people.
Find a DIAL near you
Equality Advisory and Support Service
The EASS Helpline advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales. Telephone: 0808 800 0082 Textphone: 0808 800 0084. Open Monday - Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 10am-2pm.
Law Centres help people with problems with employment, immigration, education, housing, community care, and benefits. They are staffed by both solicitors and other workers who specialise in legal problems. Law Centres usually only help people who work or live in their area.
Find a Law Centre near you
You can use the LawWorks website to search a network of free legal advice sessions.The majority of these law clinics take place in the evening and provide free initial advice to individuals with a particular focus on social welfare issues, employment law, housing matters and consumer disputes.
Find a law clinic near you
National Debtline can give you advice and information about debt problems over the phone or go to their website to email them.
Telephone: 0808 808 4000. Open Monday – Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9.30am-1pm
Calls are free.
NYAS has a specialist legal service that can undertake casework on behalf of children, young people and vulnerable adults in the areas of family law, community care law, education law and public law.
Find NYAS Legal Services
Rights of Women
Rights of Women offers free, confidential legal advice for women in England and Wales on family law, criminal law (for example, about sexual offences including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence and harassment, reporting offences to the police and the criminal justice system, the rights of victims, witnesses and defendants and criminal injuries compensation) and immigration and asylum law advice (for example, about the rights of EEA nationals and their family members, claiming asylum in the UK, trafficking and domestic violence and immigration law). You can find the contact details for their different advice lines here: Get advice
You can use the Shelter website to search for services that provide advice on housing, debt, benefits, care and health needs.
Find an advice service near you
Shelter can also give you free advice over the phone about housing problems.
Telephone: 0808 800 4444. Open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday-Sunday Calls are free from UK landlines.
If you live in Wales Shelter Cymru can advise on urgent housing problems. Telephone: 0845 075 5005.
Your local library or council offices should also be able to tell you about the advice services in your area. Or you can find details of local advice services in the Yellow Pages or phone book.
You can use the Youth Access website to search for services that provide information, advice, counselling and support to young people in your area.
Find a service for young people near you
If you are trying to deal with an issue to do with your family (like a divorce, or issues to do with the children) you should speak to a solicitor who is a member of Resolution.
Search for a member of Resolution
If you are trying to deal with an issue to do with personal injury (like if you have been hurt in an accident), you should speak to a solicitor who is a member of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Search for a member of APIL
For some legal problems, you will need the help of a firm of solicitors. Different solicitors will specialise in different issues - you should always try to get a solicitor who specialises in dealing with problems like yours.
You can search for a solicitor who deal with problems like yours on the Law Society website or call them and they will search for you.
Search for a solicitor near you
If you are on a very low income you may be able to get help to pay for a private solicitor. To find out if you qualify for this help see: Check if you can get legal aid
If you do not qualify for this help, don't be put off. Don't be afraid to phone around and compare prices, or see if anyone will give you a free first appointment.
Still can't find what you need? Try looking for the right organisation on the AdviceUK website.
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