Mum’s no longer the word

Last year over a third of the UK online population went to the charity’s advice website for help with 78% (12.4 million people) coming from internet searches.

Half of people (46%) say they are most likely to turn to internet search engines when they need advice. They are far less likely to ask their family, though mums are the relative people turn to most for help (20%).

The research also finds that, if they could, people would turn to stars including Stephen Fry, Kylie Minogue, Martin Lewis, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Alan Sugar for advice. The wish-list also includes both David and Victoria Beckham as well as new Dr Who actor Peter Capaldi.

Some celebrities turned up on both the list people would choose to turn to as well as who they wouldn’t think of getting advice from, including Katie Price, Jeremy Clarkson, Russell Brand and reality TV star Joey Essex.

The research reveals over half (55%) of people needed advice over the past year.

Money is the top issue with half (51%) of people needed help with their finances in the last 12 months, mirroring the fact that Citizens Advice helped people with over 1.6 million debt problems in the last year.

Work is the second most common issue people need help with over a third (35%) needing help in the last 12 months. Basic rights at work is the most popular page on the charity’s Adviceguide website with over half a million people referring to it in the last 12 months.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "Good advice can transform people’s lives. In this digital age we’re seeing a profound change in people’s first port of call when they need advice, as they choose to put their faith in the internet rather than the conventional wisdom of the people closest to them.

"The economy may be improving but we know that for many people money is still tight as the benefits of the financial recovery are slow to trickle down. Employment figures are heading in the right direction, though for some people this means taking unstable jobs, for example on zero hour contracts, which can leave them in a precarious situation.

"Citizens Advice has been at the heart of communities for 75 years now, giving advice to anyone about anything. Last year over a third of the UK’s online population visited our Adviceguide website and we’re developing our phone service too. As the life decisions people face grow increasingly complicated it’s more important than ever that we’re here for the next 75 years and beyond, ready to help people solve their problems."