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Citizen Advocacy in North East Fife
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Advocacy Stories


Advocacy Stories

I have to say that being an advocate is fulfilling experience. When my partner told me that I am like family to her I knew that I was doing something worthwhile with my spare time. (M - Citizen Advocate)

 


As a parent, I see citizen advocacy not as an interference from an outsider, but as a reassurance, a security. That there is someone who my daughter trusts, who she can confide in and who has her best interests at heart. Someone who can support her in getting what she needs, if I am unable to do that for whatever reason. It takes time to build that level of trust, especially so with those who have learning disabilities, and ideally that relationship needs to be in place well BEFORE a crisis situation arises. Life is unpredictable and it is good to know whatever happens, that my daughter has a citizen advocate to support her. (L - Parent of Advocacy Partner)

 


I really can't imagine not going out and about with S. We both enjoy our excursions tremendously, whether just catching the train to Kirkcaldy and changing platforms to catch the next one back or finding an interesting museum with a coffee shop. S is always so stimulated by looking round new places and his enthusiasm is infectious. (E - Citizen Advocate)

 


I would really appreciate if we could stay in touch though as your help and support has been invaluable to me and S, I don’t think we could have got the resolution that we have if it wasn't for your help. (G - Relative of Advocacy Partner in letter to Citizen Advocate)

 


C and I have been partners for 6 years and we have developed a very close relationship. I enjoy spending time with her as I know how important it is for her. C doesn't go out very often without family or support workers so having a friend to spend time with is really special for her and boosts her self-esteem. We usually cook together and this is rewarding as I can support C to develop her independent living skills, all whilst catching up and listening to Westlife! (N - Citizen Advocate)

 


I have been partnered with A for 4-5 years as his advocate. During that time I have got to know him much better in a social context; we meet weekly at the Lighthouse in Cupar and have visited a variety of other venues, including Clatto Park in Dundee and Anstruther. It is sometimes difficult to get A to talk about problems, because he can be anxious and keen to please, but over the period of our partnership , he has become more open. I have attended his regular review meetings and have supported A in situations, where his interests needed to be represented eg in tensions with a housemate, in consideration of his housing situation and discussion of his future situation vis-à-vis finance. I have established good contacts with the staff who work with A and he updates me about any changes taking place. I think A knows that I have his best interests at heart and he is now more open, easy-going and trusting with me. I accept my responsibilities with A, especially since he seems to be in the situation that I am of the few non-staff people who has regular contact with him. To my mind this makes it even more important for him to have an advocate, someone he can turn to, ask questions and get information from. I also attend every two or three months sessions, where residents are encouraged to air their concerns and talk about what is happening in their lives. Over the last two or three years I have noticed A’s confidence growing in these sessions and also his ability to speak out. I hope that some of this is down to advocacy! Clearly staff in his accommodation also have his best interests at heart and do a good job of caring for him, but necessarily they sometimes are affected by other priorities eg their own job pressures, the amount of support he gets + appearance of staff on short-term basis. Given my role as advocate, I try to keep a watching brief on as many of the situations affecting A as possible. (A - Citizen Advocate)

 

 Scottish Charity No. SC 040082 
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