Access 2 Advocacy
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Access 2 Advocacy is an independent advocacy service based in Rhyl, Denbighshire in North Wales. They work with people living in the county over the age of 50, but will soon be assisting those aged 11-25 too. The service aims to ensure that people have the opportunity to make their voice heard, empowering them to make independent decisions and gain confidence to deal with similar issues, in the future.
They work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. The types of issues the advocacy deal with include:
- Financial issues e.g. debt problems, bankruptcy
- Care issues e.g. moving into or out of a care home, receiving care at home
- Benefits advice e.g. Income Support
- Complaints e.g. complaining about a service such as the utility companies
- Housing issues e.g. eviction, personal safety
- Reading letters and help understanding forms.
They have locally based surgeries throughout Denbighshire, staffed by trained volunteers, in Rhyl, Denbigh and Corwen. Aside from their information surgeries they have members of staff and volunteers who act as outreach workers, visiting clients at their homes, who require more assistance and a lengthier period of help. Their services are reliant on external funding which is currently provided by a Lottery People and Places grant until 2014.
There are a different groups of people who use this service, which include: older people, younger people, people with physical and/or sensory impairment, mental health service users, refugee and asylum seekers and people who lack the capacity to make decisions. Other groups include: people with learning disabilities and eople with carers responsibility.
- Self Advocacy – “speaking up for yourself” – involves a person expressing their own needs and representing their own interests, often people do this a lot of the time without realising it.
- Group Advocacy (or Collective Advocacy) – a group of people self advocating, offering mutual support, skill development or a common call for change. Different topics and situations are discussed.
- Peer Advocacy – This advocacy is provided by those sharing a common experience with one another. People with the same issue discuss it with one another.
- Legal Advocacy – Services provided by barristers, solicitors.
- Issue-based Advocacy (or Crisis Advocacy) – a one-off involvement, centered on a particular task or situation.
- Complaints Advocacy – narrow focus on assisting people to pursue complaints.
- Formal Advocacy – advocates work alongside a person, enabling their voice to be heard, promoting empowerment and self-advocacy –you have a legal right to have an advocate, for example IMCA.
- Citizen Advocacy – long-term, one to one relationships, where the person assisting does not work for an organisation or group. They are usually a friend or relative of the person they are supporting.
- "Accessing the Service". Access 2 Advocacy. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "An advocacy Service For Older People in Denbighshire". Clwyd Alyn Housing. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Key facts and figures". Radio Wales. Retrieved 9 May 2012.