Our CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, said: “We are delighted to have made the finals for not just one but two awards after what has been a very successful and eventful year.

“Over the last 12 months we have expanded our reach of advocacy services across the North West of England and further expanded our team of advocates.  In addition, we have implemented a new volunteer strategy with the help of our Volunteer Manager, Lauren Lovelace, which resulted in an 87.5% increase in volunteers than the year before.”

Volunteer Manager, Lauren’s new strategy has been a huge boost for us and recently saw her win a SELNET award for Excellence in Training and Mentoring.

Justine continued: “For Lauren to be shortlisted for ‘Volunteer Manager of the Year’ is a testament to her hard work and totally deserved. We couldn’t be more proud. Volunteers are a pivotal part of our service provisioning, providing essential support to our advocates out in the field.”

Lauren added: “I’m very pleased to be shortlisted at the awards. Volunteers are integral to our work at Advocacy Focus and our volunteering team is made up of people with a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences who are residents of the Lancashire community.

“Our volunteers assist us with a variety of tasks such as the running of our health and social care complaint surgeries across Lancashire, they also help run our service user focus groups, both in the community and in a hospital and residential setting. Our volunteers also run a drop-in service within all mental health wards across Lancashire to ensure people have access to our service and are aware of their rights during such a distressing time.”

The awards dinner and presentation ceremony will take place at the prestigious Midland Hotel Manchester on Wednesday 11th October 2017.

Justine finished: “To have our service provision recognised and finalised in these awards is already an immense achievement and a great morale boost for our hard working team of trustees and staff. We are hoping that this success will help raise the awareness of advocacy services in Lancashire and the need for advocacy.

“We can’t wait to attend the dinner in October and wish all finalists the best of luck.”