Sharon Bairden: Services Manager

Categories: Advocacy Stories

Ceartas is the Gaelic word for fairness, equality and justice which is what we aim to promote as we work across East Dunbartonshire.

Our advocacy workers support people to put forward their points of view, find out what their rights are, help them access the information they need to make an informed choice and help them to explore their options. We do this as an independent service, free from any form of conflict.

We are often asked the question: “what difference does advocacy make?” We decided to try and answer this question by asking the people who use our service what difference it has made to them. So together we have compiled this book of short stories explaining how advocacy has helped people in a number of situations.

We wanted to take the opportunity to demonstrate the areas of work that we do, give examples of what advocacy really means and of course to highlight the difference that advocacy can make.

As an advocacy service working across East Dunbartonshire, with a range of service users facing a variety of challenges and frustrations, we can work with people at many stages of their journey such as:

  • providing simple information or support with a more complex issue
  • providing information to carers who approach us when they are not sure of how to help the individual they are caring for
  • working with individuals who have a clear goal in mind and want advocacy support to achieve this
  • working with individuals who no longer have capacity to make their own decisions and therefore need someone independent to ‘be on their side’

The stories we have included give examples of both long and short term work. We have included stories from carers, people who use our services, an example of a non-instructed advocacy case and advocacy from the perspective of one of our team. The stories we have used are real stories and we hope that they allow the reader to understand why advocacy is important, the difference it can make and why it is necessary for people to be given the support to have their voice heard.

We hope that this collection of stories serves to raise awareness of the work that we do and encourages you to get in touch either for yourself or to refer someone else onto us.

Author:

Information Worker at Ceartas Advocacy