Volunteer Delivered Advocacy Service

What do we do?

AdvoCard is aimed at users of mental health services in Edinburgh. AdvoCard aims to assist service users to express thoughts and preferences about their own mental health needs and about other issues which affect their lives.

AdvoCard runs training programmes for people who wish to become volunteer advocacy workers and this is an essential part of the service which makes this a unique project.

Is it for me?
AdvoCard could help if:

  • your feelings are not being considered
  • you are not being listened to
  • you would like more information
  • you would like to find our more about your rights

How could we help?
AdvoCard could benefit you by providing a trained volunteer to support you by:

  • listening to you and helping you explore more options
  • going to meetings or appointments with you
  • helping to draft letters
  • accessing information
  • offering moral support

What do we help with?
Some of the issues that people have needed help with include:

  • housing
  • medication
  • benefits
  • employment
  • getting in and out of hospital
  • access to other services

Community based
The fact that we are based within the community makes us easily accessible and it enables us to handle a wide range of issues affecting peoples’ lives

Confidentiality
AdvoCard recognises the importance of strict working practice with regard to confidentiality and sets high standards with a strict confidentiality policy.

How to access Advocacy at AdvoCard
At AdvoCard, we try to make accessing the services we provide as easy for you as possible. We encourage you to “self refer” or contact us yourself.

Getting a Volunteer Advocacy Worker
If you come to AdvoCard wanting help about a specific issue, the process is relatively quick. We can work with you around a number of issues, whether they’re benefits issues, queries over medication, your experience of the mental health system, housing issues and so on.

A worker will take some brief details from you to establish what it is you would like help with. They will then assign you a suitable Voluntary Advocacy Worker and arrange an appointment for you to meet them.

Having met, the Voluntary Advocacy Worker will establish how it is that you want them to advocate for you. It could involve helping you fill in a form or helping you establish what your rights are or where next to turn for information. The important thing to remember is that they are there to follow your instructions.

So…
If you are a user of mental health services, who lives in Edinburgh,

– give us a ring on 0131 554 5307
– or call in to see us at 332 Leith Walk (close to Pilrig Church).
– email [email protected].
– write to 332 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 5BR