What is an advocate?
An advocate is someone who will support you, listen to you and both empower you and give you a voice. As a result of this, we will help you to say what you want and what you need. With this intention, if you are in a situation where you feel powerless and think that important decisions are being made on your behalf, then an advocate can support you in being involved.
Advocates are independent and non-judgemental. We won’t tell you what to do or what to think, and we won’t give you advice. Instead, we support you to make your own decisions, and therefore can help explore different options and different outcomes but it is always with your input.
Confidentiality is important and advocates will never share or disclose what has been discussed privately (as long as it doesn’t harm yourself or others).
Sometimes you may need an advocate for a short-term problem: writing a letter, helping make a phone call or send an email or you may have a long-term problem that requires more In-depth support and understanding.
Why might I need an advocate?
There are lots of reasons why you might need the support of an advocate:
– You might feel that you are not being listened to due to physical and/or mental health issues.
– You may have dementia or a degenerative disease.
– Someone may not have the mental capacity to make these decisions for themselves and do not have a family member or a friend who can act in that person’s behalf. Therefore, an Advocate will provide support to ensure that decisions are made in the person’s best interests.
– Children and Young people often need advocates to support them in being heard.
– Someone with a learning disability may struggle to understanding complex information overwhelming and will struggle to understand what is happening. An Advocate can help you understand and give you the time to have your say.
– Lastly, if you are living in the care system you may feel vulnerable to change being made without your say so or have worries and concerns that aren’t being heard.
ICANN gave me the support I needed, I was pleased the advocate came with me as I couldn’t have faced it alone.
The ICANN advocate was above and beyond my expectations, I felt better prepared for the assessment and I can’t thank him enough
As a volunteer advocate, I felt really well supported by the ICANN staff. I am a retired primary school teacher and was amazed how transferable certain skills are, it feels good to be able to support people at a time of need