Growing as an advocate and the difference it can make.
Making the move to Advocacy
I have previously worked supporting people with disabilities and health conditions in various roles for years before becoming an advocate.
A lot of people in healthcare and similar roles advocate for the people they support, but having a trained and independent advocate is so important!
Even when I have been supporting people through the form filling and assessment process, it is important knowing that we are independent from the DWP. As an advocate, we always provide information where the client can make informed decisions and will support them in their choices. We are by their side ensuring that they are listened to and treated with dignity and respect.
Growing and developing as an Advocate
When I was training to become an advocate, I was often told that I could do all the training in the world, but it wouldn’t fully fall into place without experience. At the time I didn’t realise just how true this was.
Working with my own clients, I have grown into my role and have a newfound confidence that I can give them all the support they need.
Since joining ICANN, I have been using my advocacy skills rather than giving people advice. As humans we tend to want to offer advice and solutions by nature, but this isn’t the role of an advocate.
Advocates help people’s voice be heard, make sure they are involved and informed in decisions, and empower them to advocate for themselves when possible. Through ICANN I have honed these skills and felt supported every step of the way.
Making a difference
The difference I feel that I am making has been so rewarding and is definitely the best part of the job!
There is nothing better than hearing someone say they were so relieved to get help, like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Or that the support they received resulted in a successful benefit claim, because they couldn’t have gone through with or understood a benefit assessment without us.
I truly believe in the difference just having someone in your corner can make, and it is amazing to see the confidence boost this can lead to.
I can’t wait to see what ICANN does next and hope we can continue offering support for years to come!