We maintain the independence of our service through the integrity and commitment of both board and staff to the principals of Independent Advocacy. The core principles can be summed up as follows:

  • Enabling people to gain access to information, explore and understand their options, and make their views and wishes known
  • Empowering those who need a stronger voice through enabling them to express their need and make their own decisions
  • safeguarding the rights of those who are vulnerable and discriminated against or whom services and difficult to serve
    Speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak up for themselves

We are here for the individual, focusing on them to ensure that all the services they are dealing with are listening to their views, needs, wishes, hopes and aspirations. We are here for the people in Shetland who and they are unable to speak up for themselves for what ever reason.

Who is advocacy for?

Advocacy Shetland offers independent advocacy to people across Shetland who are facing a wide range of issues. The follow list give an indication of the groups of people that we will always consider for support. We offer independent advocacy for those who:

  • have physical disabilities
  • have learning disabilities
  • are suffering mental ill health
  • have dementia
  • are elderly
  • are parents of children with additional support needs
  • are parents of children in the care system
  • are alcohol or drug dependant
  • are affected by stroke or with an acquired brain injury
  • are eligible for self directed support
  • are facing homelessness

Don't worry if you feel that you do not really fit any of these categories, we assess each case on its' own circumstances so please get in touch if you think you need help.

Where we feel that there are other organisations better suited to assist you with your circumstances we will, with your permission, make a referral to those who can help.

How we can help you

Advocacy Shetland can assist you in a wide range of areas. The following list is a summary of the main areas in which we offer independent advocacy:

  • Housing or accommodation problems
  • Your rights within various systems, such as: community care, residential care, mental health system, and child protection system
  • support those within the criminal justice system or leaving prison
  • Self Directed Support
  • Indirect advocacy or safeguarding for those who lack capacity
  • Assistance with benefits claims
  • Your health, treatment, and support you received
  • Assistance with obtaining legal advice and legal aid
  • Assistance in finding suitable debt management solutions
  • Assistance with handling disputes with others, such as, a carer, doctor, or solicitor

What to expect from our services

The following lists summarise what you can expect from Advocacy Shetland, and what not to expect:

Advocacy is:

  • About standing alongside people who are in danger of being pushed to the margins of society.
  • About standing up for and sticking with a person and taking their side.
  • A process of working towards natural justice.
  • Listening to someone and trying to understand their point of view.
  • Understanding their situation and what may be stopping them from getting what they want.
  • Offering the person support to tell people what they want or introducing them to others who may be able to help.
  • Helping someone to know what choices they have and what the consequences of these choices might be.
  • Enabling a person to have control over their life but taking up issues on their behalf if they want you to.

Advocacy is not:

  • Making decisions for someone.
  • Mediation.
  • Counselling.
  • Befriending.
  • Care and support work.
  • Consultation.
  • Telling or advising someone what you think they should do.
  • Solving all of someone’s problems for them.
  • Speaking for someone who is able to express a view.
  • Filling all the gaps in someone’s life.
  • Acting in a way which benefits other people more than the person you are advocating for.
  • Agreeing with everything a person says and doing anything a person asks you to do.