Community Advocacy
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Community Advocacy

We strongly believe everyone has the right to be heard on important issues impacting their lives. This can be particularly difficult when you face these issues alone and have other factors impacting your life such as mental or physical ill-health, a learning or physical disability and memory loss. Our Community Advocates are there to listen to you, assist in exploring your options and support in expressing and asserting your rights and wishes.

Eligibility

Our Community Advocacy service is available to support you if you are:

  • 18 years or older
  • Oxfordshire resident
  • Without the support of friends or family
  • Struggling to get your voice heard
  • Struggling to understand professionals around you
  • In need of support on a particular issue impacting your life

We particularly welcome requests for support from those who are facing issues with:

  • Housing
  • Benefits
  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to other services that you are eligible for
  • Discrimination, harassment or victimisation

There is high demand for our service and at times we may be unable to support you if you are not facing one of the issues listed above. Whether you need support in regards to the above or in relation to other matters, do get in touch and we will check our availability or try to refer you to other services.  We will always do our best to support you or refer you to a more suitable service.

Role of an Advocate

Our Community Advocates are volunteers from the local community who are specifically trained and supervised to support you on 1:1 basis. The service they offer is:

  • Free
  • Independent
  • Non-judgemental
  • Confidential
  • Supportive
  • There just for you

Our Community Advocates will:

  • Give time and listen
  • Offer support and understanding
  • Help you research your options
  • Support you to read and write letters
  • Assist in making telephone calls
  • Help you communicate using other methods (e.g. text)
  • Accompany you to meetings; take notes and askg questions on your behalf if helpful
  • Reflect with you on meetings that have happened and explore what you want do next

Our service aims to be fully accessible. If you are unable to leave your home then our Community Advocates can arrange a home visit following a risk assessment by our Programme Coordinator. Otherwise they will arrange to meet you in a public space where you feel comfortable (e.g. a community centre).

Client Feedback

"Thank you so much for all your support and help both before and throughout the appeal. I couldn't have gone through it without you. It really means so much to me I cannot express it in enough words how grateful I am to you for you being with me on the day and your understanding of my situation."

“It is incredible how a perfect stranger can walk into a meeting and change things for me. Her support was invaluable, even her presence took so much stress out of me. It was absolutely vital that I was heard at the meeting, and I was heard. What you do is incredible… massively important. I am not sure I would have turned up if my Advocate hadn’t been there”.

Advocate Role

Our Advocates are here to support you to get your voice heard when it matters.

  • They can help you:
  • Research options
  • Write or read a letter
  • Make a telephone call
  • Accompany you to meetings

They won’t tell you what to do or make a judgement about what you decide. It’s your wishes that will count. The support they offer is free, confidential and entirely independent.

All our Community Advocates are fully trained and supervised volunteers available to support you on the issue impacting your life. Do get in touch to find out more about our service.

Welcome to Getting Heard formerly Oxfordshire Advocacy.

For over 25 years we’ve supported Oxfordshire residents to get their voices heard on matters of importance to them; defending and safeguarding rights.

We believe everyone has the right to be heard on decisions affecting their lives and that no-one should face these decisions alone.

Our Advocates are there to listen, explore options and empower our clients to express their views and concerns, and in doing so take control of their lives.

All our services are free, independent, non-judgemental and confidential.

Please do get in touch if we can support in anyway.

My Story

video script coming soon

Get Support

Links to useful resources

Easy Read Leaflet

What to expect from our service

Description of what a Volunteer Advocate does

Examples of how we can support

Oxfordshire Live Well

Impact Data for Community Advocacy 2015/16

Other useful documents including Getting Heard Policy Documents

We welcome your feedback. If you would like to tell us what we did well, what we could do better or what you would like to see us doing differently please click on the following link to “Give Feedback”.

Support For You - Community Advocacy

Funded By:

Henry-Smith-Charity
st Michaels