Our Story:

NCAN was formed in January 2005 following a meeting of all the former members of all seven of the Norfolk Community Legal Advice Partnerships which had been set up by the Government to bring together private, voluntary and public sector stakeholders together to try to improve the provision of legal advice.

The LAPs were being supported by a Development Officer from the Legal Services Commission who supported the group to research gaps in advice provision and identify the priorities for future development.

The NCAN Steering Group was then formed, and worked together without funding until in 2008 the Big Lottery Advice Plus funding opportunity became available and NCAN was given five year funding which fully funded a co-ordinator, admin support, training and quality work. It also etablished a formal Partnership between the original agencies – NCLS, all the Citizens Advice Bureaus, Age UK Norwich and Shelter, with MAP, Equal Lives and Age UK Norfolk joining later, and most recently the Steering Group welcomed The Bridge Plus + in 2020.

In 2009, the Steering Group began development of the NCAN Referral System. All agencies are welcome to join and access is free of charge to the VCSE sector. The referral system ensures that there is a joined-up ‘no wrong door’ approach to advice and support in Norfolk. For more information see here

Our vision:

An end to poverty, discrimination and inequality!

Our mission is to ensure all Norfolk residents can access free, independent, accredited social welfare and legal advice as soon as they need it.

NCAN strategic aims are to:

  • maintain a strong, effective, and inclusive network of advice agencies by enhancing partnership working and collaboration;
  • improve the planning and resourcing of social welfare advice information, casework, and representation to meet the needs of Norfolk residents, particularly those who would otherwise struggle to navigate the multiple and complex systems they face;
  • maintain and improve the quality of social welfare advice, information, and representation delivered in Norfolk;
  • enhance the contribution made by advice agencies to objectives both locally and nationally in the areas of poverty, inequality and discrimination.