History

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

1993-1994  A steering group of service users forms. Negotiations with Edinburgh City Council around funding.

1994  Karen Anderson (Advocacy), Jane Rubens (Training) and Janette McDougall (Finance) are in post.  The first Management Committee Meeting takes place.

1995  The first training course for volunteers is held. Advocacy begins to be offered in North-East Edinburgh

1996  AdvoCard moves to premises in Leith Walk.

1996-1997 
Malcolm Chisholm MSP visits AdvoCard to learn more about what we do.

1997-1998  Our first Mental Health Specific Grant (MHSG) evaluation involving a number of service users.

1999  The first independent evaluation of our service.

2000  AdvoCard given funding to work in the South-East sector of Edinburgh.

2001  AdvoCard given funding to develop the service across the whole of Edinburgh. The staff team now has a Manager and an Admin & Reception Worker.  We move to our current premises on Leith Walk.

2002  The official city-wide launch at the City Chambers with Malcolm Chisholm (MSP and Health Minister) as guest speaker.

2003  AdvoCard develops an outreach service in Craigmillar.

2004  Negotiations begin to build capacity within AdvoCard to meet the demands of the upcoming Mental Health Act.

2005  AdvoCard has a new service for individuals subject to the Mental Health Act.  Employed Advocacy Workers are in post for the first time, along with a Volunteer Coordinator, Training Worker and Clerical Worker.

2005  AdvoCard celebrates 10 years of delivering advocacy in Edinburgh.

2007  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.

2009  AdvoCard is awarded the Investing in Volunteers standard, recognising its commitment to a high standard of volunteer support and management.

2009  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.

2010  Chris Mackie joins AdvoCard as Director.

2011  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. Development Worker for community collective advocacy in post. AdvoCard commences as ‘host agency’ for Edinburgh Carers Council.

2013  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.

2017  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.

2018  AdvoCard is instrumental in securing the ‘right to advocacy’ for people applying for benefits within the forthcoming Scottish social security system.

2019  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.