This service operates across both Herefordshire and Worcestershire and provides free, independent and confidential support to adults who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. Support is provided by a skilled and experienced team of volunteer advocates. Advocates work alongside individuals in a supportive and empowering partnership.
Could an advocate help you?
If you are an adult that feels you are facing disadvantage and you can answer yes to some of the questions below then an advocate may be a good option for you:
- Do you find it difficult to get your views across to other people?
- Does it feel like people are making decisions about you but not in consultation with you?
- Does it feel difficult to speak and say how you feel in an appointment?
- Is it difficult to consider options and make decisions because you are under stress or in difficult circumstances?
Then one of our Volunteer Advocates could help you in one of the following :
- Assessments - this could be a medical assessment relating to your benefits claim
- Benefit appeals and tribunals
- One off medical appointments with either your GP, consultant or specialist medical practitioner
The aims and objectives of each partnership will be unique but will focus on ensuring that:
- the person's voice and views are heard
- they have access to information and professional advice and guidance
- they have support to consider options, make decisions and act on information and advice
- they are afforded fair and equal treatment
This type of advocacy is not based on a legal right and therefore availability depends on the level of volunteer availablility. This can mean that there may be a waiting list and unfortunately we are not always able to help everyone who requests support. Please do not let that deter you from contacting our Access Hub who will do everything they can to help you and if necessary to put you in touch with someone else who may be able to help.
Getting in Touch
If you feel an advocate could be helpful for you or someone you know then you can get in touch directly with our Access Hub team on 01905 27525 or Accesshub@onside-advocacy.org.uk. They will explain more about our services and discuss your specific situation.
If advocacy seems to be an appropriate option then they will arrange for one of the advocacy team to contact you. They may also be able to provide you with information on other options for support from other agencies.
If you require an Easy Read version of this leaflet it is available here