What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is about having someone to help you to make your wishes known when dealing with service providers. It is about:

  • Safeguarding people who are in situations where they are vulnerable
  • Speaking up for, or standing alongside, people who are not being heard - helping them to express their views and make their own decisions about matters that affect them
  • Enabling people to access information they need, and use this to make informed decisions about, and remain in control of, their own social and health care

What is Independent Advocacy?
Independent advocacy is provided by organisations or individuals who are totally independent of other service provision. They are not responsible for providing anything other than advocacy and are not supervised by any manager in health, social services, housing or education, or any of the other services vulnerable people often rely on.
Independent Advocates act only according to the wishes of the person they are supporting and do not present their own views but that of the person they are advocating for.

Types of independent Advocacy:
Professional advocacy - where paid (or volunteer) staff work with someone on a short-term issue, or issues, helping them to get their views over.

Citizen advocacy - A one-to-one partnership between a trained, unpaid volunteer advocate and a vulnerable person over a longer period of time.

Group advocacy - support is offered to allow vulnerable people to come together and gain strength from a collective voice.