Advice First Aid

Advice First Aid is a new service from Citizens Advice Cornwall which trains frontline workers and volunteers from other charities and organisations to point people to sources of help and information and to identify those who need more in-depth help from Citizens Advice.


Who is it for?

Anyone who has a frontline role with members of the public likely to need help with issues such as benefits, debt, employment problems, housing or managing relationship breakdowns. This could include foodbank workers, community groups, people working in health or education, or charities that provide services to vulnerable people.


Why are we doing this?

We want people in direct contact with members of the public to feel confident in discussions about available help for issues such as benefits, housing and employment and to be able to identify those most in need of our advice service. There are many people who just need to know where to look for information or which organisations to contact, but there are also those who need more help and assistance with their problems.


There is no expectation that participants in Advice First Aid will need to give advice themselves but by simply asking the right questions, be able to identify useful sources of information and to know when to refer more urgent, complex cases to Citizens Advice advisers.

St Austell Foodbank staff and volunteers at an Advice First Aid training session.
St Austell Foodbank staff and volunteers at an Advice First Aid training session.

How does it work?

Our professional training team will be in touch to organise tailored one or two day sessions with your staff or volunteers. No previous experience is necessary.

The session covers the following areas:

  • Starting a conversation
  • Benefits
  • Work
  • Debt and Money
  • Consumer Issues and Energy
  • Housing
  • Family Issues

All participants receive an Advice First Aid booklet they can refer to when speaking to members of the public to guide their conversations and with contacts for local organisations who can help.

For further information about Advice First Aid, please contact


What People Are Saying About Advice First Aid

We delivered training to members of the Peninsula Trust at the Rame Centre, Millbrook who said: “The course was excellent. It helped increase our knowledge, but perhaps more importantly, our confidence in helping provide advice. In particular, the checklist of questions to help frame a discussion were really useful. Thank you to the trainers (Catherine McCormick and Sophie Holland) who were both extremely knowledgeable but also flexible to the needs of our group.”