INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY

We offer a Specialist, Independent Advocacy service. Our advocates are all qualified and our Deaf Hub Advocacy service is available for anyone who requires support including Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deafblind people. We also have experience with other disabilities and are happy to consider other cases. We provide instructed and non-instructed advocacy, statutory and non-statutory advocacy.

Our advocates work

• Under the Mental Health Act (Independent Mental Health Advocates)
• Under the Mental Capacity Act (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates)
• Under the Care Act and Social Care Act
• In community settings (for children, older people, those with mental health conditions and learning disabilities)

Different types of advocacy:

1

Instructed advocacy

The service user tells the advocate what they would like them to say and do. The advocate’s role is to work with the person to bring together what they have to say in a way that puts their point of view across clearly. The advocate supports them in what they want to achieve.
2

Non-instructed advocacy

When the service user doesn’t have the capacity to tell the advocate what they want them to do, the advocate uses other approaches to make sure the service user’s life choices aren’t compromised.
Our advocates use recognised ways to work with someone who isn’t able to communicate what they want. They’re trained to be aware that a person’s capacity might fluctuate, and continuously look out for opportunities to use instructed advocacy.
3

Statutory advocacy

Statutory advocacy means a person is legally entitled to an advocate because of their circumstances. This comes under the Mental Health Act, Care Act or because they lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. It also covers certain people who are in the care of the NHS or local authority, including prisoners.
4

Non-statutory advocacy

These services continue to play an important role, providing advocacy where vulnerable people fall outside the eligibility criteria for statutory provision.
5

Self-advocacy

In self-advocacy, a person is able to assess a situation themselves, make choices about what they want and take steps to make it happen. They are able to communicate their views and preferences, and have these heard. We support people to develop the skills they need to self-advocate as much as possible.

If you would like us to provide advocacy for you – whether as a partner or commissioner;
on someone’s behalf or for yourself please contact us.

CONTACT US

We follow The Advocacy Charter and The Advocacy Code of Practice:

1

Clarity of purpose

We ensure that all aims, objectives and the principles set out in the charter are met. The service users that we advocate for, and the funding agencies involved, both have information required as to the scope and limitations of our role.
2

Independence

We are independent from statutory organisations and service provider agencies and free from any possible conflict of interest.
3

Putting people first

The wishes and interests of the service users that we advocate for are always respected. We seek to be non-judgmental and respectful of our client's needs, views and experiences.
4

Empowerment

We support self-advocacy wherever possible, and we enable the service user to choose the level of involvement and style of advocacy work support that they want.
5

Equal opportunities

We have an equal opportunity policy and tackle all forms of inequality, discrimination and social exclusion.
6

Accessibility

Our services are free to eligible people. If someone wants to buy advocacy, we make sure they aren’t at risk of financial abuse. We strive to ensure that all information about our services is accessible to all.
7

Supporting advocates

Our advocates are always prepared, trained and supported in their role and have regular opportunities to develop their skills and experience.
8

Accountability

Everyone who accesses our service has a named advocate and a way of contacting them. We monitor and evaluate our work.
9

Confidentiality and complaints

We have a confidentiality and complaints policy available to all our service users. We have a robust data protection system in place to protect all personal information.
10

Safeguarding

We have clear policies and procedures to make sure we act on safeguarding issues. Our advocates understand what to do if they think someone might be at risk of abuse or neglect.