Spotlight on Sandwell Advocacy
26 Mar 2018 by Libby Mahoney
1) Tell us what you do
We are an independent charity offering advocacy, established in 1993, to ensure people are listened to and have a voice, that peoples rights are taken into account and that prejudice and discrimination are challenged. We work to safeguard and protect people’s rights.
Advocacy for Young Carers- we have advocates to bridge short and long-term support needs of young people who take on a caring role. We look to support them and their families in any number of ways. We ensure that the young people are at the heart of the decision making process and that their voices are heard and their needs are taken into account.
2) What is your proudest achievement?
We have been operating in Sandwell for over 24 years. I am sure you will agree this is quite an achievement for a small charity.
I’m proud to be part of an organisation like Sandwell Advocacy, working towards making a difference. All of our staff have worked in Sandwell for many years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience across the voluntary and public sector.
3) What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We are proud to be SCVO members and we’ve got value for money for our membership.
In recent months we have secured small pots of money which have enabled us to add value to the service we provide by offering services to the people we support. We were made aware of these through SCVO emails and meetings.
More generally, SCVO is there pulling people together so we’re stronger.
4) What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Our staff and volunteer workforce and advocacy partners work well together. Despite what we are told in the national media we have found that Sandwell residents are willing to pull together and support each other. People are proud of their culture and history and have a strong sense of belonging within the six towns.
5) What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We continue to look at offering advocacy in new areas using the models that we know work well. Additionally we are interested in creative and innovative ways of having voices heard. Our latest HLF project, Living Memory will be exploring and sharing unique photography collections and life stories from the diverse communities across the Black Country. We believe that heritage and arts projects are an ideal platform to advocate for the wider community.
6) How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
Continue what you do best – keeping us up to date with relevant legislation, information, funding, training and networking.