An Advocate is someone that supports another person dealing with difficult decisions about complex issues such as care, housing, family issues or finance.
At some point in our lives, most of us will need an Advocate. You may need help to make a difficult phone call, need someone who can write a letter, or someone to represent you or attend a difficult meeting with you. In many cases, the Advocate is a friend or family member, for others, it may be a nurse or social worker. But what if you don’t have any of these people to help? Or the problem relates in some way to your family, G.P, or social worker?
This is where independent Advocacy can help, an Advocate supports vulnerable people to speak up for themselves, they are truly independent and ONLY there for our clients and have no conflict of interest or ties to other agencies or people. An Advocate helps individuals to get sort through the maze information needed to make real choices about their circumstances, supporting them to put their choices to others.
Our trained Advocates use all their considerable knowledge, experience and skills to enable their client to have the best life possible. They make sure that our clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions, giving them options they might never have considered. Explaining the options so that they are understood and helping them with any challenges that they might feel intimidating or stressful.
Their role is not to judge a person influence the decision or make the decision for the client but to ensure the rights, views and wishes of the individual are taken into account and also to talk to them about their worries, fears and problems.
Many of our clients have communication difficulties, learning or physical disabilities or dementia and find it hard to communicate. They may be elderly or vulnerable. It is the role of the Advocate to ensure they are not ignored when decisions are made, to challenge unfair decisions and to treat that person with respect. That also involves being realistic with their client, as not all things a client may want will be possible.
Shropshire PCAS is the only free, independent Advocacy services still available in Shropshire supporting people to live more independent lives with impartial help and offer guidance on matters such as health care and support, housing, money, benefits and safeguarding issues.
To find out more about what we do here https://shropshirepcas.co.uk/our-work/.