Support for vulnerable people

Advocacy services

What is advocacy?

Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Someone who helps you in this way is called your advocate. Advocates can help support you with a range of matters, including health and social care appointments, benefit claims and appointments, workplace disputes, and housing problems.

Who can be my advocate?

Depending on the situation, you could ask a friend, family member or carer to act as an advocate for you. You can also access professional advocacy services through some organisations and charities – for instance the Advocacy People or the Citizens Advice Bureau. 

In some circumstances you may be legally entitled to an advocate. These are Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs), Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) or Social Care Advocates. These provide trained, specialist advocacy services for certain people in situations relating to the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act, or Care Act.

Further resources and information relating to advocacy can be found at: