New advocacy hub will strengthen voices, support choice and empower people to take control

Media release

TWO charities have joined forces to provide a lifeline for people across Staffordshire who need help to get their voices heard.

The independent Total Voice Staffordshire service will be run by national advocacy charity VoiceAbility and local advocacy charity Asist who, between them, have over 50 years’ experience.

The organisations will work in partnership and will provide all statutory advocacy services through a single point of contact.

Total Voice Staffordshire launched on April 1st 2018 and is funded by Staffordshire County Council under a new contract which will last up to four years.

Advocacy is about supporting people to speak for themselves so that their views and wishes about their care and wellbeing are heard and understood.

Advocates are there to give people independent help so that they are empowered to exert their choice and have control over decisions in their lives.

The service will offer dedicated advocacy support to adults who may have mental health issues, learning disabilities, dementia, acquired brain injury or another disability. It will also work in some cases with children and with family carers. Anyone can access the service for support with making a complaint to the NHS.

The work of the service will include supporting people in local care homes and hospitals. It will also support those going through local authority care assessments and people judged not to have capacity to make their own decisions about the most important things in life.

The service reflects the County Council’s key principles in making use of digital, promoting independence and targeting those who have the greatest need.

The new advocacy service, which is free, independent and confidential, will offer:

  • A dedicated helpline for people who want information or immediate assistance about the advocacy support available, or to make a referral to the service.
  • A website offering self-help tools and information.
  • A range of contact methods including email, text, phone and Facebook facilities so that people can request advocacy help however they wish.
  • One-to-one advocacy for eligible people, delivered by professional and experienced advocates.

Clive Parry, Regional Director at VoiceAbility, says:

“Helping people have a voice is an important way to make sure they are getting services that are right for them, and the help they need at the right time. 

“Good advocacy can stop people’s personal situations or care deteriorating to the point that they need more help from other services or acute healthcare.” 

Cathy Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Asist, says:

“Asist has been delivering quality advocacy across the County for over 23 years, we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with a well-established and respected national advocacy provider in VoiceAbility. We share the same ethos and values, putting the individual at the heart of our work.”

Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, says:

“We believe in supporting people to become more independent and able to live happily in their community.

“Providing help to those who need it, to allow their views about their care and wellbeing to be heard is essential work, which is why we invest in its provision.”

Get in touch with Total Voice Staffordshire:

Tel: 01785 336387

Email: info@totalvoicestaffs.org

Website: totalvoicestaffs.org

Twitter: @TotalVoiceStaff

 

Ends

Notes to editors

Total Voice Staffordshire will offer all statutory advocacy services. These are:

  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) including Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Paid Representatives
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)
  • Care Act Advocacy including Care Act Advocacy in Prisons
  • Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)

About Asist: Asist is a local advocacy charity with a strong track record of working across the county of Staffordshire for over 23 years.

About VoiceAbility: VoiceAbility is a national advocacy charity embedded in local communities. VoiceAbility has over 30 years’ experience and is the lead partner in Total Voice Staffordshire.

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