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Introducing Advising Communities

Advising Communities is the legal advice, support and education charity for individuals in need and the essential organisations that support them in their communities.

How we got here

1997: Blackfriars Advice Centre

In 1997 we were established as an independent advice agency called Blackfriars Advice Centre.

Leaving our home as part of Blackfriars Settlement we took new space on the Walworth Road in the heart of the community that needed us most. As our organisation went from strength to strength we doubled our size and our geographical remit and developed a wide range of support and education services to increase our focus on preventative work, improve lives and make a lasting change for the people who needed us most.

2015: Advising London

In 2015 we changed our name and rebranded as Advising London.

No longer based in a centre in Blackfriars, we needed a name which reflected our wider work and geographical remit. The name Advising London allowed us to develop and grow, successfully weathering an ongoing funding crisis in the advice sector. We are proud to be able to help people from all over London with our advice, education and support service and we want this to feel modern, efficient, and reliable. We believe that free shouldn’t mean second rate.

2017: Advising Communities

In 2016 we designed a new income development strategy to start delivering legal advice services to other organisations and to begin charging for services to those who could afford to pay. Just as we were launching our new services we discovered that the national support agency for the community sector – Community Matters - was being wound down. Aware of the importance and quality of the work and resources they delivered we worked tirelessly with their consultancy team to save their resources. We were able to rapidly get a service to market that ensured no loss in continuity for those that depended on their amazing work.

We know that community organisations are essential to the people they serve, however we also know that being able to operate effectively has never been harder. This isn't because those who work for them and support them are any less committed, but because the funding and regulatory environment is getting progressively tougher.

Following the success of the year and our commitment to ensuring our work supporting community organisations continues to thrive and grow we’ve decided in 2017 to bring our work with individuals and organisations together. As such we have become Advising Communities and brought all of the work of Advising London under this umbrella.

Advising Communities is now the legal advice, support and education charity for individuals in need and the essential organisations that support them in their communities.

Our Vision

Communities are happy, confident and capable of solving life’s problems and planning a better future.

Our Values

  • Human – people have unique and often complex stories. We take time to listen and understand before we offer our support.
  • Responsive – we adapt to changes in policy and the law so that our advice and support is as helpful as it can be.
  • Practical - our advice and support helps people and their organisations solve urgent challenges.
  • Enabling - we help people and the organisations that support them develop their skills and knowledge so that they're equipped to solve their own problems and the problems of their communities.
  • Client-focused – Our priorities are determined by the real needs of the people we serve.
  • Collaborative - we work with anyone who shares our vision or helps make change happen for communities and the people within them.
  • Non-judgemental - we focus on giving the right advice rather than judging the people or the organisations who need it.