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What is Advocacy?

How we help give you a voice.

Advocacy is: listening to you, supporting you to speak up, supporting you to make your own choices and decisions, and supporting you to access your rights as a member of the local community. The aim of advocacy is for people to speak up for themselves as far as possible!

We are able to work with people who can tell us what they want (instructed advocacy) as well as people who are non verbal and have communication difficulties (non instructed advocacy.)

What can Advocates do?

Some things an advocate can help with include: getting the right care and support, accessing services, finding out information, supporting you to make decisions and choices about the important things in your life, being included in your local community, making a complaint when things go wrong, having your say about local and national issues. Most of our work with people in the community is about removing barriers to accessing the right care and support. This can involve your advocate making calls or emails on your behalf, attending meetings and helping you speak up.

Keeping you and your information safe

 We keep all of your information confidential including the things you tell us about unless you give us permission to share, or you or another person is in danger. Our advocates will explain this at your first meeting, and will give you a copy of your information sharing form which is sometimes known as GDPR. The advocate will also explain our Safeguarding policy, and where possible we will involve you in any disclosures we need to make if you or someone else is in danger. All of our staff are DBS and reference checked before they start working.

The importance of Speakeasy Advocacy

We are a ‘safe pair of hands’ to ensure that people have their voice heard, their rights upheld and can access the right care and support. All our advocates are employed rather than freelance or self employed, and everyone has regular individual support and supervision as well as peer support and training opportunities. We have local knowledge and relationships across communities and services in Hampshire. We have expertise in complex advocacy and life planning casework using our highly skilled workforce with a range of professional qualifications and experience in areas such as social work, health and law.

Are there any questions you need answered now?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to get the answers you need right now.

Who can you work with?

Please check the Help and Support pages to see if we can work with you. We aim to provide advocacy support to as many vulnerable children young people and adults as possible throughout Hampshire. Unfortunately this can’t always happen as we are dependent on funding from grants and contracts which are usually limited to a fixed time period, a specific location or group of people. So we keep our website updated so that everyone can see the current situation. From April 2024 our focus is on people in Basingstoke and Hart & Rushmoor with a learning disability, autism, other neuro diverse conditions or communication difficulties. 

Do I need to pay?

We don’t charge individuals for our advocacy service, but we have to find the cost from grants, contracts and individual service commissions. We may ask a Local Authority or NHS Trust/Integrated Care Service to pay for the advocacy if they have a legal duty to provide the service – for example under the Care Act, Children and Families or DOLS legislation. People can only join Friday Network if the place is funded as part of their HCC or NHS commissioned care.

What happens if you can’t help me?

If we do not have funding to work with you, we aim to signpost you to at least one local organisation who can offer support. We can sometimes keep a waiting list of people who need advocacy if we think we may get some funding in the near future.

How can I join your groups?

You need to contact us and we will discuss if the groups will meet your needs. You do not need to live in Basingstoke to attend the groups. People can only join Friday Network if the place is funded as part of their HCC or NHS commissioned care.

Do you provide the commissioned advocacy service?

From April 2020 the commissioned advocacy service in Hampshire is provided by VoiceAbility. This includes all statutory advocacy for adults and children – IMCA and DOLS IMCA, Care Act, IMHA, Children’s – as well as some non statutory advocacy for mental health and learning disability or autism. Please let us know if you have any problems accessing their service and we will try and support your referral.


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