The service provides free, confidential and independent advice primarily to Harlow residents. Funding is available to provide a limited range of legal aid services to residents from West Essex and beyond.

Specialist advice and advocacy is available on benefits, debt and housing rights.

Additionally, the service offers an assisted information service, on a wide range of related matters.

The housing advice service is provided by a solicitor specialising in housing law.


The Advice Centre is open to callers as shown on the CONTACT page. Home visits can be arranged for housebound people who need to see a specialist adviser, and out-of-hours appointments are offered to those who are unable to attend during normal opening hours.

User profiles and analysis of statistical records highlight where action is needed to ensure that those who need advice have access to the service.


Individual specialist advice is offered by pre-booked appointments.  An outline of the inquiry is gathered, and an appointment with an appropriate adviser will be made as soon as possible.  Some inquiries can be dealt with there and then, if an adviser with expertise in the subject is available, or if the client requires straight forward information and basic advice that can be easily supplied.  Other inquiries will be answered by telephone or email by a specialist adviser, where it is clear that a full appointment is not needed.

Interviews with advisers are confidential, although some information is stored securely for monitoring purposes, and to pursue case inquiries.