AdvoCard AGM and Annual Report 2011

We would like to acknowledge the attendance and contributions of all those who participated in our Annual General Meeting on 23 November.  This took place at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street.  We were very pleased to see so many people who support the organisation on that day.  Amongst the audience were service users, advocacy colleagues, volunteer advocacy workers, and a number of workers who have regular contact with AdvoCard.

Further, we are proud to present AdvoCard’s Annual Report for 2011:

AdvoCard Annual Report 2011

Newsletter – changes to advocacy services

City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian have published a newsletter outlining the changes that will take place to Independent Advocacy in Edinburgh from 1 December 2011.  Most people who currently receive mental health advocacy will see no change.  However from that date, AdvoCard will support community collective advocacy.  More details on this new piece of work will be posted here soon.

Please contact us if you have any specific queries.

AGM – 23 November

You are invited to our Annual General Meeting!

At 2 pm on Wednesday 23 November 2011

Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh EH6 8RT

Please come along and hear about the work of AdvoCard over the past year, and our plans for the future.

Please let us know if you will be attending by:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0131 554 5307

Text us: 07920 207564

Advocacy Tender Success

We are delighted to announce that AdvoCard (alongside partners – Edinburgh Carers’ Council and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Patients’ Council) has been successful in its bid for the contract to provide advocacy services across Edinburgh for ‘people with mental health support needs and carers of people with mental health support needs and/or learning disabilities’.

A meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Finance and Resources Committee on Tuesday 30 August approved the award of the new contract.

We are pleased that the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian have chosen to continue to support AdvoCard and its approach to providing independent advocacy.  We believe that this represents a firm endorsement of the our ethos and ways of working.

We would like to thank all those who have assisted with the bid, especially colleagues at the Patients’ Council and the Carers’ Council, who we look forward to continue working with.

Ultimately this means that, for the most part, mental health service users and carers will continue to receive advocacy in the same way as they do now, and from the same advocacy organisation. Please contact us if you have any queries about this.

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.