What is advocacy?
Advocacy is about standing up for and sticking with a person or a group, taking their side, helping them to get their point across.
It adds weight to people's views, concerns, rights and aspirations.
Independent advocacy reduces any possibility of conflict of interest ensuring loyalty to the individual or group and no one else.
Models of advocacy
There are a number of models to support people:
Peer or Collective Advocacy - people come together to explore ways to get their voices and stories heard.
Independent Professional Advocacy - the advocate, usually provided through an agency with expertise, represents a person's interests to assist the person to put their point over more effectively. The advocate can be a paid or volunteer worker as part of a service.
Citizen Advocacy - an unpaid citizen gets to know a person in a vulnerable situation and promotes the person's interests over a long period of time. A citizen advocate will receive initial support from a service but this will reduce as the partnership develops. This can help break the cycle of a very dependent person relying totally on paid support.
Current independent provision for advocacy
Current independent provision is through a range of organisations and here are the contact details for each of them.
We now have four services in North Lanarkshire.
There is now a service for all older adults that is delivered by Equals Advocacy Partnership. Services for all younger adults are delivered by North Lanarkshire Advocacy. And the service for all children and young people is delivered by Who Cares Scotland.
Shelter provides a specialist service that's available for anyone facing complex housing issues. This service also works in together with all of the advocacy services to help with advice and information on housing problems.
Advocacy for older adults (people aged 65 and over)
Equals Advocacy Partnership, telephone: 01698 327772
Advocacy for younger adults (people aged 18-64)
North Lanarkshire Advocacy: telephone: 01698 358 245
Advocacy for children and young people
Who Cares Scotland, telephone: 0141 226 4441
Shelter North Lanarkshire Housing Advocacy
National helpline: 0808 800 4444