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Include Me
Citizen Advocacy in North East Fife
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Advocacy/what is it?

Who can be an advocate


Citizen Advocates are ordinary people who choose to stand by someone who may be vulnerable in their own community.

Citizen Advocates don’t need qualifications or experience, just the will to make one other person’s life better by getting to know them, representing their interests, protecting their rights and involving them in the life of the community.

Advocacy is an everyday activity that we often take for granted. Broadly speaking it's when we speak up for ourselves or someone does this on our behalf. However there are people in our community today who have no-one to advocate for them. This can put those people at a significant disadvantage as there is no-one to keep an independent watch on their quality of life or help them be more included in their community. So, Citizen Advocacy is when responsible citizens leading full lives in our communities get to know someone who experiences exclusion from their community or unfair treatment and who needs help to make decisions about their own lives.

 Include Me's role is to create and support the development of long-term Partnerships between the two people.

What does a Citizen Advocate do?

 

Like all relationships, every Citizen Advocacy Partnership is unique, but in general a Citizen Advocate:

Gets to know his/her Partner, spending time together and building up a picture of the Partner's life

Helps the Partner to examine his/her situation and decide what issues are important to him/her

Spends time discussing different options so that the Partner has unbiased support to help him/her to make vital decisions

Focuses on what the Partner wants and helps him/her to put his/her own views forward

Treats the Partner as an equal and encourages others to do the same

Is prepared to make a long-term commitment once the Partnership is established

 

It is important that Citizen Advocacy is:

  • independent of services received by the vulnerable person and their family
  • a partnership in which the Advocate's sole loyalty is to their partner​
  • not a service to the vulnerable person, but a resource for them within a relationship freely entered into directed by the two people in the partnership

Citizen Advocacy Process

The process of matching someone with a local person in a Citizen Advocacy Partnership can take some time, and must be carried out sensitively and carefully.

 

We will carry out this process in the following stages:

 

  1. Identify people who would benefit from the long-term, one-to-one relationship which Citizen Advocacy offers.
  2. Get to know the person (the Partner), their interests, needs, issues which will enable us to form a picture of the kind of person we would ideally like to recruit to be their Citizen Advocate.
  3. Network for the Citizen Advocate – this means using our knowledge of local contacts, both groups and individuals, to find the person we feel will be a good ‘match’ – for example they may live nearby, be of a similar age, share the same interests.  
  4. Recruit the person we think is responsible and more suitable to become the Partner’s Advocate and request from them the names of two referees and a routine police check.
  5. Prepare the Citizen Advocates to give their time freely and make a commitment to the Principles of Citizen Advocacy through a preparation course.
  6. Once the Citizen Advocate has been identified, we will introduce them to their potential partner and continue to meet together until we are satisfied that both people are comfortable with each other.
  7. Regular and on-going support will be provided to the partnership in a way that strengthens its independence from Include Me.

Contact

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AGM 2012 Friendship Tree

It is important that Citizen Advocacy is:

  • independent of services received by the vulnerable person and their family
  • a partnership in which the Advocate's sole loyalty is to their partner​
  • not a service to the vulnerable person, but a resource for them within a relationship freely entered into directed by the two people in the partnership
 Scottish Charity No. SC 040082 
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