What is Advocacy?

Advocacy Shetland is an organisation there to help you have a stronger voice and to have as much control as possible over your own life. Our independent advocates will not make decisions on your behalf, we will help you to consider your choices and the options which are available to you, and to represent your views. Our team will make sure your views are heard and listened to, and help and support you to know your rights. Our independent advocate may speak on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself.

Advocacy means giving a person support to have their voice heard. It is a service aimed at helping people understand their rights and express their views. Advocacy is about standing up for people, supporting them and dealing with issues which affect them, whilst standing with them! When someone has no one available to help and doesn’t know how to go about finding anyone, an independent advocate may be able to help.

Advocacy Shetland is a charity that is based at Market House in Lerwick but where necessary we will meet with you in your own home or other location. We support people on a number of issues and if we are not the best service to help you will with signpost you to the right services or refer you and support you to access the help you require.

What is Independent Advocacy?

Independent advocacy organisations do not provide any other services. Independent advocacy strives to minimise any conflicts of interest so that Advocacy Workers can work with complete loyalty to their Advocacy Partners (clients) and independent of other agencies, friends or family members.

We can support you by:

  • Listening to you and trying to understand your situation
  • Finding information which might help you make choices
  • Being by your side if you need us
  • Helping you be clear about what you want to say and say it for you if you prefer
  • Helping with letter writing
  • Preparation to attend meetings
  • Helping you think of the questions you want to ask
  • Attending meeting with you so you can make your views known, we can speak for you if you feel you cannot speak up for yourself or feel that you might not be listened to.
  • Help you express your views to those making decisions about you and the services you are provided

We will not:

  • Make decisions for you
  • Tell you or advise you what to do
  • Speak for you when you are able to speak for yourself
  • Guarantee the outcome you might want

We will:

  • Treat you with respect
  • Listen to you
  • Respect your confidentiality
  • Safeguard your rights

I never knew people like them were around and without their help things for me could have been a lot different so all my thanks to them.

Advocacy was, as ever, super helpful and supportive.

Advocacy gave me confidence to attend a meeting with social work.  Although the outcome was not in my favour have the Advocacy case worker with me was a huge comfort and helped me massively.