Advocacy Tender – Update

City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian have issued the following document regarding the re-tendering of advocacy services:

Advocacy Newsletter Aug 2011

You will see that 30 August is the date of the meeting that will make the formal decision (the Council’s Finance and Resources Committee), with papers online from tomorrow – 24 August.

Fingers and toes are firmly crossed!

New Volunteer Training Dates Announced

The dates for our next 10 session training programme for new Volunteer Advocacy Workers are as follows:

Session 1 & 2 – Saturday 8th October, 10am-4pm
Session 3 – Monday 10th October, 6pm-9pm
Session 4 – Monday 17th October, 6pm-9pm
Session 5 – Monday 24th October, 6pm-9pm
Session 6 – Monday 31st October, 6pm-9pm
Session 7 – Monday 7th November, 6pm-9pm
Session 8 & 9 – Saturday 12th November, 10am-4pm
Session 10 – Monday 14th November, 6pm-9pm

Please contact us if you require more information.

Community Drop-in Sessions

We are pleased to announce the following drop-in sessions for anyone who would like to find out more about advocacy and the work of AdvoCard.  Reading material will be made available in McDonald Road Library during the weeks of 8th to 14th August and 22nd to 28th August.  Also, at the following times staff and volunteers will be on hand to speak with anyone who would like to find out more:

Tuesday 9 August, 10am – 12noon
Thursday 11 August, 2 – 4pm
Friday 12 August, 10am – 12noon
Monday 22 August, 1 – 3pm
Tuesday 23 August, 3 – 5pm
Thursday 25 August, 11am – 1pm

We look forward to seeing you!

Changes to Independent Advocacy in Edinburgh

You may be aware of the recent Review of Independent Advocacy which was undertaken by City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian.  This concluded in December 2010, with this final report being produced.  The Council have since produced this Update on the Review which gives information about the tendering process that is currently ongoing.

As you will see, changes to the advocacy services provided by AdvoCard are unlikely to happen until December 2011, at the earliest.

You may be interested to know that AdvoCard has submitted a tender for the mental health and carers part of the advocacy contract. This has been a considerable undertaking for the organisation, but is one that is necessary to ensure that AdvoCard’s values and approach to independent advocacy continue into the future.

We await the outcome of this tender process, and remain optimistic of a favourable result.

AdvoCard remembers Jackie McGinty

We are saddened to announce the death of Jackie McGinty who was Advocacy Support Worker with AdvoCard. Jackie passed away in mid-June – after a struggle of several years with long-term illness.

Facilitating advocacy appointments between volunteers and service users takes special skills of listening well, communicating clearly, and being creative about possibilities and arrangements – not to mention patience. Then a thoroughness is required to ensure everything runs smoothly. Jackie had what it takes and was particularly good at making people she was working with feel at ease in her gentle way of carrying out her role. We all enjoyed working with her.

We, along with Jackie’s loving family and friends, will miss her greatly.

AdvoCard becomes a limited company

As of today, AdvoCard is now operating as a company limited by guarantee.  This is a legal change to the status of the organisation and does not affect the advocacy service provided.  The new company remains a charity, registered with OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) but it is also now registered with Companies House.  The Management Committee has been replaced by a Board of Directors, who take legal responsibility for the company.

All assets and liabilities of the unincorporated AdvoCard have been transfered to the new company.  This includes the employment of all staff.

As explained previously, this change has been brought about by the Management Committee (as was) who wished to limit their personal liability, should AdvoCard be wound up.

Please contact us if you require any further information about this change.

Initial Approval for Draft Governing Documents

We are pleased to say that OSCR have confirmed that they will be able to enter AdvoCard on the Scottish Charity Register as a charitable company under the proposed Articles of Association that we have submitted to them.  They have also given their consent to wind up the current unincorporated association, assuming that all assets, liabilities and staff undertakings will be transferred to the new company.

This is an important step forward towards incorporation.  Of course, all of this is subject to the approval of the EGM on 22 February.  I hope you will be able to come along to have your say and vote.

NB: Apologies for the jargon in the first paragraph above.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to avoid technical language when dealing with this topic!  Please contact us if you have any questions.