Advice Centre

Free, Independent & Confidential Advice.

We’re here to support you throughout University life, and there may be times where you need support and representation.

The Students’ Union Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service available to all students. Whether it’s an academic issue like plagiarism, collusion or a disciplinary, or you need advice for any welfare benefits, housing, finance or debt, or employment issues - we’re here for you.

Our advisors are a team of well trained, experienced staff who are here to offer free advice in a professional but friendly, relaxed environment. We are non-judgemental and we’re here to help you as much as we can, regardless of your issues.

The Advice Centre is currently working off-campus in line with the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines, but you can still access the service online by completing the ‘Contact an Advisor’ form.

 

Need advice? Contact one of our Advisors! 


Lisa Watson – Advice Centre Manager

Hi, I’m Lisa and I manage the Advice Centre. I used to work in accountancy, but decided to have a complete change in career, and I have now worked in providing advice for well over 20 years! I started as a volunteer with Citizens Advice Bureau where I later became a Specialist Advisor and then a Manager.

I came to work for UCLan Students’ Union in 2011, taking over the role of Advice Centre Manager and I’m responsible for supporting the team of advisors to provide quality, confidential and independent advice to students. I also work with the Elected Officer Team and lots of staff and departments within the University, so that we can represent students interests across the University.

I love the variety of the job, and the fact that the great team I work with can make such a difference to students lives. No two days in the Advice Centre are ever the same!

On a personal note, I love cooking and also love animals.

 

Nikki Bradford – Student Advisor

Hi I’m Nikki. I studied a Law Degree and the Legal Practice Course, and have over 10 years’ experience in providing advice. I love using the skills gained from these to offer support to students and protect their rights.

In my spare time I enjoy swimming, reading and watching a good box set!

Louise Robinson – Student Advisor

Hi, I’m Louise. I graduated with an English Language & Linguistics degree from UCLAN in 2017 and have worked for the Students’ Union ever since.

Working in the Advice Centre is really rewarding as you can see the positive impact that can be made in students’ lives.

In my free time I enjoy reading, running and watching films.

 

Chantelle Gardner – Student Advisor

Hello, I am Chantelle. I studied a foundation law degree and then went on to study a Masters in Law at UCLan from 2015-2019.

I was also a Students’ Union Course Rep for 3 years, where I helped and supported students with their feedback and academic experience. Prior to university, I worked for local government as a senior customer advisor for nearly 8 years, delivering a whole wide range of services from welfare rights to highways.

In my spare time I like driving off for adventures with my children. I also love arts and crafts, painting furniture and researching my family history.


Our Core Values

To provide students with the best advice and support possible, the Advice Centre runs on certain values and principles which form the backbone of our advice work.

 

Free

UCLan students are automatically members of UCLan Students’ Union. One of the benefits of membership is access to our free advice service.

 

Independent

As we’re independent from the University, we are able to represent you without any conflict of interest. 

 

Confidential

All enquiries are dealt with in the strictest of confidence. All case notes are kept in a secure database and information we hold is not disclosed to anyone outside the Advice Centre, unless you ask us to.

 

Standing Up for your rights

The Advice Centre works closely with the Elected Officer Team, the University and other organisations to ensure that students' rights are upheld. We do this in everything from reviewing regulations, preventative campaigns and feeding back to the University about the issues they face. To do this we need to show examples of good practice and bad but will never use or reveal sensitive details from any cases.

 

Non-judgemental

It doesn’t matter what your problem is or how it came about - we won’t ever judge you. We’re here to help you as much as we can, regardless of your issues and all of our advisors are supportive and open minded.

 

Respectful

The Students’ Union embraces diversity and is committed to communicating openly, honestly and respectfully at all times - regardless of race, sex, age, gender, religion, disability, sexuality or any other factors. All students should feel safe and comfortable coming to us for help and we also ask that you respect our advisors and other clients.

 

Conflicts of interest

Occasionally, there can be a conflict of interest if two students come to the Advice Centre with different sides of the same issue, wanting different outcomes – for example a student who faces disciplinary action because of complaints by other residents in halls. In these sorts of cases we look carefully at what arrangements need to be made to ensure we do not face any conflicts. We will assign different advisors to each side, never discuss the case between the groups and will never pass information from one side to the other.

 

Legal & fair

We’re not a legal team and don’t provide legal advice like a lawyer or solicitor would. In some cases, we might refer people to seek legal advice elsewhere, so they get the full support they need. We will never assist people in illegal acts - for instance we will not assist people to apply for benefits they are not entitled to. However, we can help you to resolve situations where people are receiving incorrect income etc. We also must treat all third parties fairly - for instance, in debt cases, we will not treat one creditor differently to another without good cause.

 

Advice UK

We are a member of Advice UK and we are compliant with AdviceUK’s Network Membership criteria:

  • Advice is independent and impartial with the interests of the client being paramount
  • Advice is confidential
  • Advice is covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Terms on which services are offered are clearly stated
  • A complaints procedure is in place and a data protection policy
  • Accountability to service users and other stakeholders
  • Commitment to equal opportunities

To view our certificate click here.

 

Disclaimer: The Advice and Representation Centre makes every effort to ensure that our web pages are accurate and up to date but regulations and procedures are subject to changes. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages.