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What is advocacy?
Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to:
- Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them.
- Defend and safeguard their rights.
- Have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to:
- Express their views and concerns.
- Access information and services.
- Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities.
- Explore choices and options
An advocate is someone who provides advocacy support when you need it. An advocate might help you access information you need or go with you to meetings or interviews, in a supportive role. You may want your advocate to write letters on your behalf, or speak for you in situations where you don’t feel able to speak for yourself.
Our advocates will spend time with you to get to know your views and wishes and work closely to the Advocacy Code of Practice.
Advocacy can be helpful in all kinds of situations where you:
- Find it difficult to make your views known.
- Need other people listen to you and take your views into account.
Easy Read Leaflet: What is advocacy?
People you know such as friends and family or health or social care staff, can all be supportive and helpful - but it may be difficult for them if you want to do something they disagree with.
Health and social services staff have a ‘duty of care’ to the people they work with, which means they can’t support you in doing things that they think will be bad for you.
But an advocate is independent and will represent your wishes without judging you or giving you their personal opinion. We believe that you are the expert on your life and it is your view of what you wish to happen that our advocates will act upon.
Unless you tell us something of a life-threatening nature, or in other limited circumstances, we will not tell anyone else what you tell us without your permission.
Find out more about our confidentiality policy.