How will an Advocate help?

Advocacy is about amplifying your voice, representing you and ensuring your rights are upheld.

Here's how an Advocate can help and what to expect when you make a referral to our service for you or someone you know.

An Advocate:

  • Offers to get information on your behalf to help you come to a decision
  • Helps you to explore the pros and cons of a situation
  • Helps you to weigh up your options
  • Supports you to speak up for yourself to say what you want
  • Makes sure you are always at the centre of decisions about you
  • Helps you to feel in control
  • Is independent from service providers, your family or carers so is free to help you work out what is best for you
  • Keeps your confidence (unless there is a risk to you or someone else)

An Advocate does not:

  • Give you advice about what to do
  • Tell you what they think you should do
  • Express their opinion
  • Try to convince you to do something
  • Have a hidden agenda

How we differ from other roles:

Independent Advocates:

  • Are fully trained in the National Advocacy Qualification
  • Work to the Advocacy Charter and Code of Practice
  • Are totally independent
  • Use a rights based approach (this means Advocates know the law and use it to fight for people's rights)
  • Have a legal duty to represent people
  • Have legal access to people's records
  • Are formally part of decision-making processes for people who are deemed unable to make decisions for themselves
  • Are legally required to be involved in people's care planning or safeguarding if they have no other family or friends.

The next steps:

If you are unsure if you or someone you know meets our criteria or you want help filling in our referral form, just give us a call on 0191 235 7013.  Otherwise you can fill in a referral form and return to us. We will acknowledge your referral within five working days and allocate an Advocate if the referral meets our criteria within two weeks.  An Advocate will then contact you directly and arrange to meet you to make an advocacy action plan.

How can advocacy help you?

We have produced a short film, Voices of Advocacy, to show how important advocacy is and how our team of Advocates' can support you through your journey. 

Fighting for your Rights: Watch this great film made by service users about our advocacy support.