Friendship Circle’s advocacy talk

There was a good turnout for Tuesday’s meeting of Panbride Friendship Circle when Heather Turnbull gave a talk on Angus Independent Advocacy.

Heather began with a short history of advocacy saying that in the 1960s a group of American parents got together to fight for the rights of their vulnerable children. Similarly in 1995 when long-stay hospitals closed, Arbroath parents formed a group to help their own families. A change in legislation established paid advocates funded by a partnership of Angus Council and the NHS but the bulk of advocacy is carried out by citizen advocates, volunteers from local communities funded by the lottery.

Advocates can help their partners with writing letters, making ‘phone calls, GP visits, self help or social inclusion.

Trust is very important in the partnership and this is recognised in the training given to advocates.

Heather made it clear that Advocacy was not a ‘complaints vehicle’ and not a ‘substitute for legal services.’

She added that when necessary clients could be passed on to other agencies such as Citizens Advice or befriending groups.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 29, at 2 p.m. in the Newton Panbride Church hall when the speaker will be Anne Parker Smith talking about hobby crafts.

All are welcome.