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Thames Valley Military Advocacy Service
A specialist service in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
seAp's Military Advocacy Service, operating across the Oxon and Bucks area, is a non-statutory service which relies on donations from Trusts, Businesses and the General Public, and on Non-statutory Grants.
seAp Military Advocacy Services are part funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.
We are particularly grateful for the financial support we have previously received from the Royal British Legion, the P.F. Charitable Trust and the Tolkien Trust. If you would like to make a donation, please follow the link to our Just Giving page below.
Just Giving page:
|Thames Valley Military Advocacy leaflet|
About Military Advocacy
Our specialist service is fully understanding of the distinct challenges and needs of those with a military background, delivered by staff with direct experience of the armed forces. Support is available for the following groups of people:
- individuals in transition to civilian life
- recent service leavers
- those who have been out of the military for some time
- early service leavers
- medically discharged leavers
- close family members or partners
We recognise that people who find themselves isolated are more vulnerable and may have particular need for the type of support we offer.
Our military advocacy can also support veterans who are in prison or detained under the mental health act.
Please read our leaflet where all contact details are provided if you would like to get in touch.
seAp belongs to Cobseo and, in the Thames Valley area, we work closely with a number of other military focused organisations which support armed forces personnel and veterans.
How can Military Advocacy help?
Advocacy is unique in the way it supports someone to ‘have their say’. Sometimes people are unwilling to engage with services that they perceive to be making decisions for them that are ‘in their best interests’.
Advocacy works directly with people to help them get their voice heard, and does not judge their choices or the decisions they make.
The military advocacy service supports individuals to express what they need, explore their options and empower them to come up with their own solutions to their issues. The advocate also supports people to gain the skills and confidence to address their needs.
The military experience of the advocate is essential in understanding how the person feels, enabling them to be supported appropriately in their life, without the military structures they are accustomed to, when adjusting to a more independent civilian life.
Many people come to our service with multiple and complex issues. Working closely with health and social care services, military bases and military focused organisations (e.g. RBL, SSAFA, Combat Stress, SPVA), seAp’s unique advocacy service provides specialist support, enabling veterans to address issues including:
- Medical matters
- Continuing Care
- Mental Health
- Benefits claims and assessments
- Referrals onto South Central Veterans Service (SCVS)
- Relationship matters
- Mental Capacity
- Care Assessments
- Financial Assessments
- Council Tax
- Debt Management
Our service works to uphold the promise of the MOD Armed Forces Covenant and aims to ensure that veterans receive the recognition and fair treatment they deserve, without disadvantage.
Military advocacy aims to:
- improve veterans’ experiences of mainstream services, from the NHS to housing, social care and the benefits system.
- ensure that veterans’ needs are properly and sensitively understood and they receive the support, services and benefits that they are entitled to.
- address any situations where mainstream services have not accepted their responsibilities under the Armed Forces Covenant.
- work to remove any inappropriate exclusionary conditions on access to service or benefits experienced by veterans.
- offer practical solutions, helping veterans understand their rights, the range of services available (including NHS mental and physical health resources and non-clinical support) and how to access these.
- ensure better support when accessing mental health services.
- provide confidential and independent support when addressing issues of homelessness, crime, alcohol misuse, domestic abuse etc.
The seAp military advocate works on a one-to-one basis to:
- identify what individuals need to improve their situation.
- establish how to access services or practical help needed.
- support people to speak up about what they want.
- support GP/patient relationships on issues specific to those with military backgrounds.
- support and empower individuals to have their voice heard in decisions affecting their care and treatment.
- provide family support where veterans are not coping with life outside the military.
- prepare people to continue feeling empowered once their advocacy support has ended.
- provide credible, accessible and timely information.
- signpost appropriately to other services.
Peer advocacy volunteering opportunities
We also aim to recruit volunteers from the military and ex-military community as peer advocates. seAp’s work in mental health advocacy shows that people with common experiences are able to empathise and relate to each other within the context of advocacy and work together to achieve successful resolution of individual issues, concerns and complaints. With their direct experience of military life, peer advocates are ideally placed to understand the needs of fellow service men and women.
If you are interested in becoming a Military Advocacy peer advocate please read our leaflet or get in touch via our contact details below.
If you would like to make a referral, or find out more about seAp’s Thames Valley Military Advocacy Service, please contact:
seAp Oxon & Bucks Barton Neighbourhood Centre, Underhill Circus, Headington, Oxford OX3 9LS You can also make an enquiry using the Contact Us page on this website.