Pop Up Advocacy

The free of charge event took our award-winning work to the streets and allowed us to further support individuals with mental health and social care needs across Lancashire. One of our main aims was to explain to the public what ‘Advocacy is,’ and how it can help local people to achieve what matters to them in their lives.

The event was held in our Advocacy Focus gazebo and included access to fully trained Independent Advocates for people to talk in confidence.  As we have a wide range of expertise in providing support to people with learning difficulties, individuals with mental health needs, people with dementia, those who lack capacity and work directly with carers, we were able to give a wide variety of support on the day.

Our service is completely independent from local authorities and the NHS, which means that our services are not biased and we work for the individual. Visitors to our gazebo either talked to us in private or we arranged an appointment  to suit where can visit people in their homes or other community spaces.

The ‘Pop-Up’ advocacy team listened to people and explained their rights in their personal situation and, if we could not help with a particular issue we signposted individuals to services that can.

The event fell during Mental Health Awareness Week run by the Mental Health Foundation and seeks to ask the question, ‘are you thriving or surviving?’ In order to support the week and to help local people to ‘thrive’ our ‘Time to Talk’ Employee Champions, were available to give people a chance to open up about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

Justine Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of Advocacy Focus said:

“Accrington has been home to our charity for almost 20 years, so it made good sense to roll out ‘Pop-Up’ advocacy in our local town.  We know there are many people that can benefit from the support that advocacy can provide, however a lot of people don’t know what advocacy is, how it can help and more importantly, that it is free.  That’s why we took our service to the people, to explain what we do and what we can achieve together.  We have launched our ‘Pop-Up’ service in Accrington and then will go across Lancashire to reach out and make a real difference within our communities.”