Advocates' Stories; Why I Became an Advocate Becci’s story: Becci has been with an Independent Advocate at Advocacy Focus for over two years and is now an Advocacy Manager. She tells us what made her want to help others. Becci says: "My first encounter with advocacy was in college, I completed a Level 3 diploma in Health and Social Care. As part of the course I was required to do a presentation outlining the role of the advocate. It was then that I realised what a vital role an Advocate plays in empowering clients to raise their views and uphold their rights. "Further experiences of advocacy came some time later, after I had completed university and was working as an Employment and Life Skills Mentor with vulnerable adults for a charity. One of my clients wanted support attending health appointments to her GP and the hospital and asked for my help - back then I didn’t know that Advocacy Focus provided this service, so instead of signposting, I offered this support as a part my role. I supported the client to prepare for, and attend, the appointments and followed up any actions which were agreed by the health professionals. "I would also regularly support clients with benefit appeals and complaints procedures and attend independent tribunals in which I would advocate on a client’s behalf. I also regularly advocated for young people in my role as Young Person’s Substance Misuse Practitioner in a variety of community settings, this included to housing providers, the local authority, health professionals, family and police and probation services. "I always found these aspects of the role hugely rewarding and feedback from the clients was really humbling, each one said that they felt my involvement really made a difference in obtaining the best possible outcome and in helping to break the stigma they faced as young people with a history of risk taking behaviour. It has always been a desire of mine to work in a profession that helps make a difference to peoples’ lives. One of my primary career goals is to support and make a difference to vulnerable people through establishing a positive relationship and empowering them to improve their circumstances. "It has always been a desire of mine to work in a profession that helps make a difference to peoples’ lives. One of my primary career goals is to support and make a difference to vulnerable people through establishing a positive relationship and empowering them to improve their circumstances. "I feel extremely passionate about the service that Advocacy Focus provides, as offering support to those who do not feel able to raise their views independently is vital in ensuring that the person’s voice is heard." To find out more about the work we do at Advocacy Focus, please click here.