About CHAI Advice Service
The provision of free, confidential, high quality advice, information and representation is a key element of CHAI’s service mix. We work hard to deliver an accessible service which is responsive to the needs of our service users.
The Advice Team consists of specialist and generic Advice Workers and a small band of skilled Volunteers. We focus on providing housing, debt and welfare rights advice. We also currently operate an Income Maximisation and Energy Advice project.
We are located within CHAI’s Head Office in ELS House at Chesser. This office is wheel-chair accessible. We also have a satellite office within the South Edinburgh Neighbourhood Office and deliver advice in a range of outreach locations city-wide. Please discuss your requirements when booking an appointment.
CHAI is committed to providing a service that is accessible to all. We will:
- Provide an interpreter where a service user’s first language is not English and interpretation is required
- Provide materials in large print for service users who are partially sighted
- Provide British Sign Language interpretation where required
- Carry out home visits when required
- Ensure that our offices and outreach locations are accessible and periodically review accessibility
Our Appointments System
Demand for the service is high and we can only assist Edinburgh residents (and in some cases, for housing debt enquiries, Midlothian residents). We have an appointments based system. Appointments need to be booked in advance by phoning 0131 442 1009, or can be made in person at any CHAI office.
There is a limited drop-in service at ELS House on Wednesday mornings. It opens at 9.30am and operates a queue system. Unfortunately, due to high demand, we cannot always guarantee that everyone who presents at the drop-in will be seen on the day.
We do not provide telephone advice. Citizens Advice Direct operate an Advice Line for telephone advice: 0808 800 9060
We work closely with other advice agencies across the city, both through voluntary referral protocols, and as lead partner in the Edinburgh Housing Advice Partnership (EHAP) to meet the growing need for advice services. We may refer an enquiry to another advice agency if we deem it appropriate to do so, for example if we do not provide specialist advice in that subject, or if the waiting time for a suitable appointment with us is more than 3 weeks ahead.
CHAI is a member of Advice UK. The CHAI Advice Service has been accredited against the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.