Ceartas facilitates and supports a Collective Advocacy group currently called Changes.
The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) defines Collective Advocacy like this:
Collective Advocacy enables a peer group of people, as well as a wider community with shared interests, to represent their views, preferences and experiences. A collective voice can be stronger than that of individuals when campaigning and can help policy makers, strategic planners and service providers know what is working well, where gaps are and how best to target resources. Being part of a collective advocacy group can help to reduce an individual’s sense of isolation when raising a difficult issue. Groups can benefit from the support of resources and skilled help from an advocacy organisation.
The Changes group aims to become involved in decision-making in our local communities, and to bring their individual- and collective experience of local services to bear on those decisions. By working towards building better communities in East Dunbartonshire, Changes also aims to give its individual members the knowledge, skills and confidence to influence decisions about their own care and support, or the care and support of people they care for.
Membership is open to anyone over the age of 16 who has experience of health or social work services in East Dunbartonshire, as a service user, a carer or a family member.