Steps to Open a Centre

If you decide to affiliate with CMA you can access a range of support and service benefits that will help you establish your own, independent, community-based money advice centre. So how does it work?

One - Information & decision

First, apply for a CMA enquiries pack which will give you additional information about Community Money Advice and also outlines some of  the different options that you can look at to help those in debt

If you would like to speak to someone about visiting an existing CMA centre or the whole startup process then please email [email protected] or ring 01743 341929 to be put in touch with CMA's Business Development Manager

Two - Affiliation

If you decide that you do want to set up a centre and affiliate with CMA, the next step is to apply for affiliation using the link below

Affiliation gives you:

  • local support from our Operations Support Managers to guide you through the whole startup process
  • policy & procedure template documentation to use within your centre setup
  • CMA’s freephone & email Advicelines for support and guidance on all aspects of the startup process
  • Bespoke case management software & support
  • special affiliate rates for your generalist & additional CMA training
  • reduced affiliate rates for the CMA annual conference

Three – Set-up

The "Setting up a Debt Advice Centre" booklet details seventeen steps to work through to set up a centre. For a voluntary group, this typically takes between six and nine months. 

Four – Open the Doors

Once you open your doors to the public that is when the real work begins!

Ongoing Support

Once your centre is open, CMA can provide you with the following resources and support:

  • Audit & support visits from your dedicated Support Manager
  • CMA’s freephone & email advicelines for help on all aspects of centre management and casework queries
  • Bespoke case management software & support
  • Updates and guidance on sector developments and new legislative requirements
  • reduced affiliate rates for the CMA annual conference

If you are completing the affiliation application form you can email the completed form to us by clicking on the file menu button at the top of your screen and click share via email. Please email it to [email protected]


A television report about a local man committing suicide over a debt of £5000 prompted some in our church to ask some questions. What would make a healthy 23 year old man feel he needed to take this kind of action over £5000? How did he arrive at this point, what kind of pressure was he under, why did he feel there was no one to turn to? How could we make a difference to other people like him?

That’s how God led us at the Bridge Church to set up The Bridge Money Advice Centre here in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. With the minimum of research, it soon became apparent that there was a dire need for good, sound, professional, free of charge debt advice in our town. But how?

We were soon put in touch with Community Money Advice, who have helped and supported us, not only in leading us by the hand at every step of the way in setting up TBMAC, but by still continuing to help and support us many years later. We now serve over 200 people in our local area with debt advice at one level or another. From a personal point of view, debt advice is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs I have ever done. None of this would have been possible without the input, advice, encouragement and professional support of Community Money Advice.