Change that leads to better lives

Dorset Advocacy: Championing Human Rights since 1993

For 29 years, Dorset Advocacy has supported, empowered, and helped give a voice to vulnerable people. This is Advocacy; championing the views, wishes, wants, and needs of the person as they are aided to access the support to which they are entitled.

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Advocacy can be quiet. It can be a person in your corner, an email, or simply validation of your feelings. A hand on the shoulder, a presence that says “I have your back.” To outsiders this may not look like much, to the person being supported it can mean the world. Sometimes Advocacy is far louder. Advocacy has strength, real tangible strength and the hand on the shoulder will fight for you. It will be there to challenge decisions and assure that you are informed, involved, and centred in all outcomes.

The Human Rights Act (1998) sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone is entitled to and establishes that governments and local authorities, as well as public services, must uphold and respect them. Staff at Dorset Advocacy understand and champion this every day at every level of their work.

A Human Rights approach to health and social care is especially important for those who are at risk of being neglected, discriminated against, or disadvantaged. The safeguards built into our Human Rights means that vulnerable people should be and are protected. It means that care should be responsive and person-centred, reacting and responding to the needs of the individual. Human Rights demand that the Mental Capacity Act (2005), Care Act (2014), and Mental Health Act (1983) are approached in a way that includes and respects the individual they are supporting. Advocacy under these acts is a statutory right, recognised as invaluable in achieving this.

Advocacy is a partnership, we provide the support and help to establish reasonable adjustments, so that the person can feel empowered to express themselves. For example, a Care Act Advocate can ensure that concerns, wants, and wishes are met with the proper consideration. We are very fortunate at Dorset Advocacy to have a wealth of knowledge and experience which we bring to everyday practice. We understand, for example, that providing information in accessible formats can help vulnerable people to feel empowered and included. Without accessible information, how can we support people to make informed and full decisions. One of the ways we do this is by creating and sharing Easy Read documents. For example, our guide to the upcoming Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Dorset Advocacy is immensely proud to support individuals throughout Dorset and we are honoured to be able to say that, for almost 30 years, we have been robustly and passionately upholding rights. The work we do is varied and constantly evolving. We will continue to evolve with it, demonstrating partnership, independence, and adaptability so that we can support even more people in the future.

Rachael Dewhurst

Dorset Advocacy logo

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