Dunfermline Advocacy provides support for Citizen Advocacy partnerships across West Fife. Citizen Advocacy matches local volunteers with vulnerable adults in the community to provide invaluable support and friendship, giving each individual a chance to have their voice heard and represented.
Citizen Advocates aim to build lasting meaningful connections and mutually beneficial relationships with our advocacy partners. For many people their Citizen Advocate is the only person not paid to be in their life and here the impact of having a friend cannot be overstated.
Citizen Advocates provide essential support for local people at key times of vulnerability and need. A key part of many partnerships is the support Advocates provide, whether by ensuring their partner has the information they need to make choices, by sharing activities to widen opportunities and by ensuring their partner understands the legal processes they are part of.
Giving People a Voice.
Citizen Advocates speak up for those who may not otherwise have their needs represented and promoted. Supporting someone to have their say, or speaking up on their behalf can happen in many ways, from support to ask for small things at home to speaking up in formal meetings which could include statutory proceedings like a mental health tribunal.
Citizen Advocates are volunteers from all walks of life who want to help others in their community. They are a friend, an ally and a spokesperson and they take time out of their busy lives to support people who may not otherwise be able to put their own interests forward. Advocates may help their partner with practical support and advice, or just be someone to turn to for moral support.
Advocacy Partners are vulnerable adults looking for support and someone to speak up for them. Partners are generally people with learning disabilities or other issues that mean they may risk isolation, social exclusion or unfair treatment. Partners may also have a mental health need, physical disability or long-term (chronic) health condition that means they are at risk of being unable to safeguard their rights. Partners may be people living independently, in long-term care or in supported housing.
An Advocacy Relationship is a mutual partnership in which the Advocate’s sole loyalty is to their partner. It is not a service provided to the person with a disability but a relationship of friendship and support between two individuals.