DWP Consultation Response

Here is AdvoCard’s response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee  consultation on the benefit assessment process.

201711 DWP AdvoCard response

Thank you to all who submitted your views.

Could you be AdvoCard’s Volunteer Coordinator?

Volunteer Coordinator (Community-based Individual Advocacy)
27 hours per week
Starting salary £23,781 (pro-rata)

AdvoCard is looking to recruit a worker who will recruit and train volunteer advocates, as well as working with the Advocacy Manager in the co-ordination and support of those volunteers to deliver an advocacy service for people with mental health support needs in Edinburgh.

Successful candidates will have experience of delivering training, as well as the ability to recruit, motivate and support volunteers.  You will have an awareness of the issues affecting people with mental health problems, via either a paid or unpaid role, or your own lived experience.

Closing date for applications:             12 noon on Friday 1 December 2017

Application pack:
Covering letter for applicants
Job description
Person specification
Application Form
Equal opportunities form
PVG Self Declaration Form

November 2017 Newsletter

Here is the November 2017 Newsletter/What’s On from Edinburgh Community Voices and AdvoCard:

2017 11 AdvoCard Newsletter

We hope you find the Newsletter useful – it has lots of information about support group meetings and other events. Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to include on a regular basis or if you would like to write something for a future edition.

The next main Edinburgh Community Voices meeting will take place:

  • on Wednesday 1 November
  • between 2pm and 4pm
  • at AdvoCard, 332 Leith Walk, EH6 5BR
  • free tea, coffee and biscuits and some good conversation
  • All welcome including Outlook Students and Redhall Trainees.

Outlook Students: Patricia will be at the Information Station on Thursday 2 November between 11am and 1230pm. Please come along for tea/coffee biscuits and chat.

Redhall Trainees: Patricia will be at the Clock cafe on Thursday 2 November between 2pm and 6pm. This is a drop-in session just for Redhall Trainees to come along to discuss their concerns about the changes to the service and how they are feeling about it all. Tea/coffee and a safe space for conversation.

NHS staff and service users are very welcome to attend the Service Improvement Group on Wednesday 8 November between 2pm and 3.30pm… and for people supported by Community Mental Health Team services in Edinburgh, you can stay for the Cambridge Street Community Voices meeting that follows the SIG, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.

Redhall Trainees are welcome to attend either or both of these meetings if they feel able to share their concerns with other people with lived experience.

Edinburgh Community Voices meetings are open to anyone with lived experience of mental health issues. If you have not been to and Edinburgh Community Voices meeting before and would like to come along you can call or email to ask us about what we do at the meetings.

The 2nd Wellbeing PSP Newsletter

Here is the second newsletter from the Edinburgh Wellbeing Services Public Social Partnership (PSP):

201709 Newsletter 2nd Edition

This will be a monthly update, to provide the latest news from across the PSP and partnerships.

Please feel free to comment or provide any feedback to Cat Young at NHS Lothian.

In case you missed it, here is the first one:

Newsletter – 1st Edition

Get a Grip on PIP

AdvoCard is a member of the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC).  The DBC has just published a report about problems with Personal Independence Payments (PIP).  The DBC said:

“The organisations that make up the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) warn that although PIP is a lifeline for disabled people when they can access it, the findings provide clear evidence that in too many cases, the assessment process is failing people at every turn and having a devastating impact on their health.”

Supporting those who need it most – executive summary

Supporting those who need it most – full report

There is a full blog post about the DBC’s report here:

Failing benefits system leads to ill-health and isolation for disabled people

We are also supporting the campaign, “Ask the government to get a grip on PIP”.  More info is here:

Get a grip on PIP

Third Party Reporting of Hate Crime

In some cases victims and witnesses of Hate Crime do not feel comfortable reporting the matter directly to the Police and may be more comfortable reporting it to someone they are familiar with.

AdvoCard is pleased to announce that its Leith Walk office is now a 3rd Party Reporting Centre for Hate Crime.  Staff have recently received training from Police Scotland in order to assist victims and witnesses to submit reports of Hate Crime to the Police.

You can find out more about 3rd Party Reporting on the Police Scotland website.

On that site, you can also find a list of other 3rd Party Reporting Centres.

Wellbeing PSP Newsletter

The Edinburgh Wellbeing Public Social Partnership (PSP) now has its very own newsletter. You can find the first edition here:

Wellbeing PSP Newsletter – 1st Edition

Social Security Bill – AdvoCard’s response

In response to the recently published Social Security Bill, AdvoCard has submitted the following response:

AdvoCard Social Security Consultation Submission

Have your say on Scotland’s new social security legislation

In response to the Scottish Social Security Bill being laid before parliament, the Social Security committee have issued a call for views to provide a response and to look at areas that the government can improve on. AdvoCard will be providing a response to this call. If you would like to have your views included in this response please complete our short survey:


Event – Helping People Feel Safe in the Emergency Department

Helping People with Lived Experience of Mental Health Issues
Feel Safe in the Emergency Department

Tuesday 2nd May,
Postgraduate Research Centre, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

We are happy to announce an event which marks the next stage in the “A&E | All & Equal” project.

At the end of 2015 Edinburgh Community Voices spoke to people about their experiences in the Emergency Department with our peer research project “A&E | All & Equal”.  Since launching the project report last year, we have been working with staff from the Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary to address the issues identified in the report and make things better in the Emergency Department for people who have lived experience of mental health issues.

One of the big issues that came up when we were speaking to people was the issue of not feeling safe in the Emergency Department.

This event will bring together people who have lived experience of mental health issues, carers and staff from the Emergency Department at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to discuss what the Emergency Department can do to help people feel safe when they are there.

Through collaboration and discussion, we hope to come up with new ideas for helping people feel safe in the Emergency Department, and identify changes that could be made.

The event will also give Emergency Department staff the opportunity to hear first-hand from people who have lived experience about the things that make them feel both safe and unsafe.

We will hold two workshops over the day, in order to give as many people as possible the chance to take part.  The timings are still to be confirmed, but they are likely to be 11am – 12.30pm and 2.00 – 3.30pm.  Lunch will be provided in between the workshops.

Travel expenses can be provided.

If you are interested, please contact Becky.  The workshops will be the same, so you only need to sign up for one.  Please say if you can make the morning or the afternoon, or if you would be able to make either of the two.

[email protected], 0131 554 5307, AdvoCard, 332 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 5BR

You can also contact Becky if you have any questions, would like to learn more about “A&E | All & Equal”, or would like a paper copy of the report.  The electronic version of the report is still available here.