Advocacy

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Advocacy services in WiltshireThis page contains information on advocacy services in Wiltshire.

Follow this link to an Easy Read Leaflet about Advocacy in Wiltshire

 

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is about helping you to speak up for yourself, making sure that your views and opinions are heard and understood and obtaining your rights. This could be someone supporting you to speak up or, if you find it hard or you are unable to speak for yourself, then you may need an advocate who can speak on your behalf to help you get what you are entitled to. Advocates are neutral and independent and what you say to them is confidential. They will work directly with you to help you have your say and deal with difficult issues.

If you are asking for or using a service provided by social care (or are a carer of someone using services), you may find that it is not always easy to express your wishes or preferences. If decisions are being made that affect your future, an advocate can speak up for you in these situations or help you to put across your point of view.

 

What are the benefits of advocacy?

  • It will enable you to speak for yourself
  • A person or group will speak for you about your concerns
  • It will provide you with access to information, professional support, complaint procedures and services
  • It will help you to see what others services are available, such as local community services, self-help groups and other support networks
  • It can make it easier for you to get information in a way that you can understand
  • It will help you to choose what you want to do
  • It will help you to get people to understand your point of view
  • The advocate will speak for you
  • The advocate will listen to you without judging you.

 

What do advocates do?

  • Listen to you and give you information
  • Encouraging you to speak up for yourself
  • Liaison with different agencies
  • Mediating so people can understand each other
  • Representing or acting on your behalf

 

What advocates do not do:

  • Offer counselling
  • Do what they think is best for you
  • Advise you on which choice to make
  • Make decisions for people
  • Complaining – advocacy is not an alternative complaints procedure but may involve the advocate in supporting you in making a complaint effectively
  • Campaigning – although it may highlight problems and gaps in particular services
  • Providing social support
  • Offer legal representation (unless they are legal advocates).

Advocacy Services - where to go if you want help

Wiltshire Independent Advocacy Service at Rethink is funded by Wiltshire Council to provide all statutory advocacy services including advocacy under the Care Act, the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Rethink are also funded to provide other generic/non-statutory advocacy for people who need support outside of care Act and MCA responsibilities. They provide advocacy for adults who are experiencing or recovering from mental illness, physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulty or disability, autism or ageing or are carers and live in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire Independent Advocacy at Rethink can be contacted by telephone on 07484 001862 OR 01225-774279 or by e-mail: wiltsadvocacy@rethink.org.  Office address: Unit 2 The Halve, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8SA

SWAN - South West Advocacy Network is an Advocacy Service for Adults in Wiltshire and across the South West, living with memory loss or dementia. SWAN can be contacted by telephone on 01722 341851 or by e-mail at mail@swanadvocacy.org.uk

Wiltshire People 1st (Self Advocacy) is a county-wide self advocacy organisation, run by and for people with learning difficulties with support in Wiltshire. Promoting the rights and inclusion of people with learning difficulties, autism and other needs by running speaking-up groups and making information easy to understand. Wiltshire People 1st can be contacted by telephone on 01380 871900 or by e-mail: admin@wiltshirepeople1st.org.uk

There are other organisations like WSUN, Wiltshire CIL, and SeAp who may also help

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/Conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/advocacy-services.aspx