Early 1990’s
The idea of AdvoCard is conceived by service users and research and meetings are happening.

A steering group of service users forms. Negotiations with Edinburgh City Council around funding.

August – November 1994
Karen Anderson, Jane Rubens and Janette McDougall are in post.

December 1994
The first Management Committee Meeting takes place.

Spring 1995
The first training course for volunteers is held. Advocacy begins to be offered.

May 1996
AdvoCard moves from East Norton Place to Leith Walk to larger premises.


Malcolm Chisholm visits AdvoCard to learn more about what we do.

Our first MHSG evaluation involving a number of service users.

Our first independent evaluation by consultants John Bonnar & Associates.

AdvoCard given funding to move into South East sector of Edinburgh.

AdvoCard given funding to develop the service City wide. Bryan Davies and Jean Crombie are in post. We move to new larger premises on Leith Walk.

The official launch as city wide at the City Chambers with Malcolm Chisholm (MSP and Health Minister) as guest speaker.

AdvoCard continues to develop as a city wide service including developing an outreach service.

Negotiations begin to build capacity within AdvoCard to meet the demands of the new Act.

AdvoCard has a new service based at Norton Park for individuals subject to the new Act. Jane Laidlaw, Devrim Turkay, Vincent Gill, Jackie McGinty, Jane Cairns and Marion Hadland are in post.

AdvoCard celebrates 10 years of delivering advocacy in Edinburgh.

AdvoCard improves the accessibility and effectiveness of advocacy delivery by basing the Mental Health Act advocacy service alongside the volunteer delivered advocacy service at its Leith Walk office.

AdvoCard is awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard, recognising its commitment to a high standard of volunteer support and management.

AdvoCard is successful in its bid to take over the management of the Individual Advocacy Service at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, and as ‘host agency’ for the Patients’ Council.

Chris Mackie joins AdvoCard as Director.

On 1 April, AdvoCard becomes a company limited by guarantee. The City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian jointly tender all advocacy services in Edinburgh. AdvoCard is successful in securing the contract for advocacy for mental health service users and carers. Laëtitia Jan joins AdvoCard from CAPS as Development Worker for community collective advocacy. AdvoCard commences as ‘host agency’ for Edinburgh Carers Council.


AdvoCard commences advocacy services for prisoners within HMP Edinburgh and for people affected by welfare reform.  These services are developed as a result of additional funding from NHS Lothian.


AdvoCard, together with partners Edinburgh Carers Council and the REH Patients Council successfully re-tender for mental health and carer independent advocacy services in Edinburgh.


AdvoCard is instrumental in securing the ‘right to advocacy’ for people applying for benefits within the forthcoming Scottish social security system.


AdvoCard launches an advocacy service for people with problematic substance use (PSU) in Edinburgh.  This comes about through a successful funding application to the Scottish Government, and monies from the Edinburgh Alcohol and Drugs Partnership.