What is advocacy?

Advocacy is about making sure that people’s thoughts and opinions are heard, especially when decisions are being made about their lives.

Advocacy can help people to:

  • Think through different choices and options available to them.
  • Make their views and wishes clear.
  • Get independent and accurate information.
  • Understand their rights.

Advocates support people to speak up for themselves. Advocates can also speak up for people’s views on their behalf if they are unable to do this for themselves.

Advocacy is a legal right for many people with long term conditions.

What are the benefits of advocacy?

  • It will help make sure your voice is heard and really listened to.
  • It will give you support to help you make choices.
  • It will help you to get people to understand your point of view.
  • It can make it easier to get information that you need in a way that you understand.
  • It is a free and confidential service.

Advocacy is not:

  • Persuading someone to think a different way or do things differently.
  • Being a friend.
  • Being a counsellor.
  • Making decisions for the person or giving advice.
  • Providing social support for example managing someone’s financial affairs or organising transport.
  • A mediation service – these services are available elsewhere.
  • A service that can provide specific legal advice or support – we can help you find that support elsewhere.
  • A replacement for support staff or social workers.
  • A long term service.