"Advocacy is taking action to help people to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.”
The Advocacy Charter, 2002
What Advocates do
•Listen and ask questions in order to clarify the specific issues of concern
•Provide accurate information about your rights
•Provide strategies to resolve the problem
•Discuss any negative consequences that may arise from a particular action
•Proceed only if you or your representative give permission
•Support you to speak up for yourself or speak on your behalf
•Consult and keep you informed during the process, until the issues are resolved
•Provide information of other services if we are unable to resolve the concerns
Why we need advocacy
"People love to tell you how to live your life, don’t they? Family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, professionals, businesses, the list goes on and on, in fact there is no shortage of people lining up to offer you plenty of advice and guidance about what you should or shouldn't do with your life. The problem with that is their advice, decisions and help are all based on their beliefs and experiences, prejudices and sometimes personal agendas, which they use to influence and in some cases actually make those decisions for you!
Advocacy is not about giving you advice, it is about listening to and understanding what you want and then supporting you to make sure that your rights are respected and what you want is taken into consideration when decision are being made that affect your life. We are free and independent, that means we answer to no one else, we are just there for you.