Community Advocacy Our community advocacy service supports people in Lancashire over the age of 18 who have a disability or mental ill health. Community advocacy helps people feel more enabled to take control of their own lives and provides practical support to overcome health and social care issues. This approach equips people with the knowledge and skills to be their own best Advocate. What is Advocacy? Advocacy can support you to become more involved in matters that impact on your health and social care. Community advocacy, sometimes referred to as non-statutory advocacy or generic advocacy, is a preventative approach that enables people to be active citizens and self-advocate in regards to decisions affecting their lives. Advocacy can help when you feel no-one is listening to you, when you feel you have been treated unfairly, when you need support to access services and can help you to put across your views and wishes to professionals. Advocacy can help you challenge your decisions and complain about situations you are not happy with. Watch a short video 'What is Advocacy?' here. What is Community Advocacy? Community advocacy can equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to deal with health and social care services with confidence. Community advocacy can support you over the phone or face to face with things such as; self-advocacy, challenging decisions about your care and treatment, accessing mental health services, healthcare or social care services, end of life care planning, future care planning, advanced decisions and more. Ultimately community advocacy helps you to be more involved in decisions about your life, access information, explore your choices and options in your life, understand your human rights and support you to live the life you want to live.We support: • People who are disabled• Elderly people• People with learning disabilities• People with mental ill health• People with physical and sensory impairment• People on the autistic spectrum• People with an acquired bran injury• People with long-term conditions What Community Advocacy can help with: Support to access statutory advocacy We can help you access the services and support you need and make you aware of your rights when it comes to statutory advocacy. Statutory advocacy is advocacy that is required by law, i.e. someone who is being treated under the Mental Health Act may be legally entitled to the support of an Independent Advocate. Support for those who do not meet Care Act criteria If you feel you have care and support needs, but do not meet the requirements for a Care Assessment or Review, or you need help with your care planning, we can support you. Health and Social Care Complaints We can provide you with self-help guides or support from an Independent Advocate in raising your complaint. We are completely independent of the NHS and Social Services and on your side. Mental Health Support We can help you access mental healthcare services, or help you feel more confident to voice your own views and wishes when dealing with mental healthcare services. Access to a Healthcare Professional or Social Services Whether you need help seeing a GP or visiting a hospital or need to access/deal with social services, we can help you. Concerns with a care provider Advocacy can help you raise concerns or challenge decisions. If you feel something isn’t right with your care provider, our self-help tools can help you raise complaints and feel more confident to speak up for yourself. Loss of or changes to services In a world of budget cuts where services are disappearing or changing every day, we can work with you to make sure that you continue to get the help and support you need. Medication and Consent We can help you explore your options – for example, what medication you take and when and how to take it. An Advocate can help you to communicate your needs and wishes. Powers of Attorney A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (known as 'attorneys') to help you make decisions, or to make decisions on your behalf. This is very important and something to think about if you are in ill health. Did you know you can appoint your LPA now online by yourself? Read more here. Advance Care Planning / End of Life care planning End of life care planning (sometimes called advance care planning) involves thinking about, talking about and making plans about how you are cared for in the final months of your life. We can ensure you get the support you need during this emotional time and that your wishes are taken into consideration. You can also access some free guides and resources on how to do this here. Advanced Decisions / Future Planning Although it’s hard to think about now, there may be a time when you or someone you know becomes too unwell to make important decisions about their care and treatment. We can help you communicate your decisions and future plans before that time comes, for example, if you have recently been diagnosed with a degenerative illness. You can also use this free online tool to start record your advanced decisions and statements in one place. What do I do next? There are numerous ways we can support you, depending on your needs and your circumstances. You could benefit from one to one support or browse our self-help resources and help yourself from the comfort of your own home. Our community advocacy service provides you with: • Phone support• Self-help via our range of toolkits, guides and resources• Up to three face to face sessions with a volunteer or Independent AdvocateWe can help you to self-advocate and signpost you to other services and support if needed. How to refer You can refer yourself - download a referral form here Ask your Social Worker or healthcare professional to refer on your behalf Speak to our team call 0300 323 0965 now or use our ‘Ask an Advocate’ Live Chat on our website. Browse our self-help resources here.