Experiences Sought to Inform Independent Advocacy Plan

A PROJECT is aiming to help ensure adults in the region can access a strong voice to speak on their behalf, gaining more control over their lives.

Views are now being sought from people who currently use independent advocacy services – before the development of a new Independent Advocacy Plan for Adults in Dumfries and Galloway.

Speaking in support of the work being undertaken by Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, Chair of the Integration Joint Board Penny Halliday said: “Not everyone is in a position to speak up for what they want out of their own lives, and how they want to live them.
“This can be for any number of reasons – mental health problems, social isolation or a disability.
“It’s therefore incredibly important that people seeking to gain greater control of their own futures are supported to do so, and that’s where an Independent Advocate can play such a crucial role.”

An independent advocate will not make decisions on behalf of the person/group they are supporting.

Instead, the independent advocate helps the person/group to get the information they need to make real choices about their circumstances and supports the person/group to put their choices across to others.

And the independent advocate may speak on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves.

The Health and Social Care Partnership is now responsible for the majority of adult health and social services delivered in the region, and must develop a new Independent Advocacy Plan for Adults in Dumfries and Galloway.

As it prepares to begin that work, it would like to hear from people who currently use independent advocacy services, those that have used advocacy services in the past and anyone with an interest in independent advocacy.

An online survey is being mounted to help people influence this plan.

In addition, there will be drop-in sessions at the following dates and locations:

  • Monday 25 June, 10.30 am to 12 noon, at  Newton Stewart Activity and Resource Centre, King Street, Newton Stewart
  • Thursday 28 June, 9 am to 10.30 am, New Board Room 1, Crichton Hall, Dumfries.
  • Thursday 28 June, 1 pm to 3 pm, at Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Services, Church Crescent, Dumfries.

To complete the online survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/adultadvocacy

Penny Halliday said: “The new Independent Advocacy Plan for Adults must guarantee the best opportunities for anyone who might want to call on the support of an independent advocate.
“That’s why, to get it right, we really need to hear from any individual or group currently using an independent advocacy service, or has used one in the past.
“That way, we can work towards ensuring that the new plan works for everyone.”
Pamela Deans, the Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Service said “We have been delivering advocacy across the region for 25 years and it is very important that Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership find out your thoughts on Independent Advocacy to make sure that we know how you have found the service, what you would look for from an Independent Advocacy service and how it can be improved for the future. We support over 500 people across D&G each year to have their voice heard and to make sure they are treated with dignity and respect by services.” 



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