Peer Advocacy service
The Peer Advocacy service is delivered by those who have been recipients of services or sometimes still stuck in services, often for many years but need opportunities for growth and development from drug/alcohol and service dependence and to move on beyond services, provided with training and supervision they become empowered while empowering others.
In order to reach the more vulnerable members of the community, we have seven weekly clinics in strategic places throughout the city where we are most likely to encounter those with support issues eg: Job Centre, Supported housing/hostels, Chemists etc. These have a bilateral benefit (which also highlights how we work more generally). Firstly, they benefit those with support and/or advocacy needs. These may be people not getting or not receiving the right welfare benefit. People not accessing the right service or getting the most from services, or treated unfairly by services or who slip through the net of services. Homeless people. Tenants at risk of losing their homes. Those with mental health issues who are not getting their needs met, we also provide a drop-in facility with a lunch for homeless people who may not engage through traditional routes.
The other benefit is for the person who does any advocacy. They grow from the experience from the training provided and the value (to the other person) of the support they provide. Our advocates are often people who have previously had support from other advocates or members and have decided to take on some responsibility and engage with their own process of growth and development. For them, seeing that they can create value in other people’s lives raises their self-esteem and self-worth and usually leads them onto taking on more responsibility within our organization. The advocacy service is not ‘fixing’ things for people even if this is the end result. The advocacy training, support and supervision (there’s weekly supervision for all advocates) is all about supporting people to empower themselves to solve their own issues and challenges as far as is practicably possible.
What is Advocacy?
- The promotion of people’s rights.
- Supporting people in maintaining control of their own lives.
- Promoting social inclusion and support in removing the obstacles faced by excluded groups and individuals.
- Involvement in supporting individuals, and empowerment of them being able to speak for themselves, or speaking for those unable to speak for themselves.
- Exploring the range of options available to them.
- Service Users can get support around anything relating to their treatment needs and rights.
- For example… Prescriptions, Detox (In Patient or Home) Care plans, Choice of Treatment, Choices of Treatment Centres and Rehab’s, Housing, Or just where the Service User may feel they are not being heard.
- All PUSH advocates undertake regular training and attend weekly supervision which takes place at the PUSH office every Tuesday morning from 10am.
- We have two advocates at each of our clinics which consists of the lead and a shadow is who is training into the role of one of our lead advocates.
- PUSH is always looking to recruit new advocates. If you feel this is something you would like to get involved in please contact us or visit our open forum which takes place at the office every Tuesday from 2pm.
Values and beliefs for the provision of advocacy:
- All have the right to be heard,
- For the client to have their views, and for those views to be respected,
- The Inclusion of all through all the planning and development of their treatment,
- The empowering of others to communicate powerfully and effectively their needs,
- That all have the capacity to contribute,
- Some people feel let down by the services,
- There is a need for inclusion in the policies and procedures of those who use services
Please call our Advocacy Coordinator
Caroline Mercer 07590 864135[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]