Why Advocacy Matters to Me - Bec Cope
With an ever-growing number of people accessing advocacy services, we’re asking members of the Cloverleaf team to share their views, thoughts and experiences on advocacy and why #advocacymatters
How did you become involved in advocacy? Please tell us a little about your role at Cloverleaf...
I worked in domestic abuse advocacy for a number of years then children’s advocacy. I wanted to gain experience in statutory and non-statutory advocacy with adults and had heard good things about Cloverleaf so applied for an advocacy role when the chance cropped up! I am now the Service Manager of Absolute Advocacy which is the Rotherham branch of Cloverleaf.
Can you share three reasons why advocacy matters most to you?
Too many people don’t get a say in important decisions that affect their lives. Advocacy is about making sure these people get a say when it comes to decisions about where they live and the care they receive.
It matters because I have seen how advocacy support can lead to self-advocacy and empowerment. It’s great to see people star in their own lives!
It matters because advocacy is person led – we really are focused on you and what you want to happen. We don’t tell you what to do.
What do you think are the most important attributes required to become a good advocate?
Three of the main ones are resilience, determination and a willingness to learn.
What one thing would you most like people to know about advocacy?
That we are independent and separate from other services such as social care.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that the sector is currently facing?
I think capacity – making sure there are enough of us to be there for the people who need us. Also, ensuring that young people consider the sector in terms of future career. We need to let young people know what advocacy is all about!
If you could share 1 tip on how people can learn to self-advocate what would it be?
Understand yourself first – what are your values and what do you need?
Complete the sentence – in 10 years’ time I would like the advocacy sector to...
Be recognised, appreciated and valued by whoever is in government at the time.