What is Community Advocacy?
Advocacy is there for those who feel they are being ignored, excluded, unfairly treated, or are not getting the sort of help they think they need
A community Advocate will listen to you and help you to express yourself in circumstances where you find it difficult, putting you first and enabling you to have your voice heard and acted upon.
An advocate will:
- Help you to voice your needs and choices.
- Speak on your behalf if you want them to.
- Help you to have your say.
- Help you to make sure that your voice is heard when decisions are being made about you.
- Respect your confidentiality and honour your right to view any information kept by the advocate about you.
- Support you if you need to access specialist organizations for your financial, legal, benefit or welfare rights.
An Advocate will Not:
- Make judgements about you
- Give direct advice about financial, legal, benefit or welfare rights, although we can offer assistance and support in accessing other organisations that do specialise in these areas
- Campaign on behalf of groups of individuals
The Advocacy service will endeavour to be:
- ACCESSIBLE - The Advocacy service is free of charge to anyone who is over 18 years of age and may be experiencing mental health issues.
- INDEPENDENT - A Community Advocate is Independent to other organisations and all other service provider agencies
- EMPOWERING - People who require assistance from a community advocate shall be supported with self-advocacy and empowered to make choices with the level of involvement of an advocate.
- CONFIDENTIAL - A Community Advocate has a written policy stating that information given remains confidential. A person has the right to any information that is kept by an advocate.