We Need You! - Get Involved with 2020 Want to give back to your community? This is your chance… Imagine not being able to say what you like, where you want to live or tell someone about your worries or fears. Or imagine, getting a chance to say this but no one listens to you. How often do you get to help people in your local community when they need it most? Would you help if you could? Well now you can. We have launched a brand new fundraising campaign for our 20th anniversary; 20:20 will see us champion 20 events for 20 years to raise £20,000. No pressure! Advocacy is about making sure a person’s voice is heard when important decisions are being made about their lives, and helps them to become as involved as possible in the decision making process. It is a crucial service needed in the community for people that have fallen through the gaps in health or social care services, or who often have no family to support them and may suffer from ill mental health or cognitive or degenerative illnesses. Justine Hodgkinson says: “We are looking for people to fundraise for us for our 20th anniversary. We need to raise money to support more people with preventative advocacy services. Often, when a person requires an Advocate, there has been many missed opportunities before this point for a person to receive help. We want to use this money to support people before they reach this stage.” She continues; “We’ve never ran such a big campaign before and are hoping to really engage with more people and organisations in Lancashire who may not know about what we do and the impact we have. The event can be big or small – from a bake sale to an abseil – we just need people to step up and help their neighbours and friends.” What will the money be used for? ‘Preventative and supportive advocacy’ is important as it reaches out to the isolated, the very young or those people who are struggling but can’t or are unable to get help. Advocacy Focus currently have NO funding for these services, and as such, have to turn people away. Justine says: “We hate turning people away and always try to signpost them to related services where necessary, but currently, there is no service, provider or charity trying to deliver the scale of services what we want to provide. “The types of services this money will fund includes; helping veterans or military personnel who have been recently discharged from service, helping people who don’t have or can’t access a GP or health practitioner, people who are isolated and lonely and go days or weeks without seeing another human being, people with ill mental health who need help or are looking to get back into work but struggling, Mental Health Screening and Mental Health Wellbeing stands across Lancashire, and mental health education from an early age in our new educational programme. “It’s a big scope, but all of these are issues we are seeing in the community right now that need to be tackled.” What do you need to do? If you are an individual or organisation wanting to get involved in Advocacy Focus’s new campaign and hold a fundraising event for us, contact Jenny or Vicky on 0300 323 0965 or visit advocacyfocus.org.uk/2020 for more information and for fundraising ideas.