Leaders in advocacy network

The Leaders in Advocacy Network is an informal and highly effective group to develop genuine co-operation between organisations and share best practice. It is an informed and powerful collective voice for the advocacy sector pushing for positive change to strengthen the voices of people who rely on public services. We are always keen to welcome more people to the group. If you work for an advocacy organisation and have a leadership role with a remit to shape your organisation’s positions and overall approach, and would like to join the network or find out more information about it, please contact claire.lines@voiceability.org.

Leaders in Advocacy network

The network first came together in March 2020 to support the advocacy sector in responding to the pandemic and to ensure that people who need advocacy services are still able to access them in an effective and safe way. Alongside sharing support, tools, and resources to help organisations through the pandemic, we have worked together on major topics including advocacy for people with learning disabilities and autistic people in restricted settings, and legal reform.

Our current work includes the following:

Mental Health Act reforms

 30 organisations wrote a joint response to the Mental Health Act Reform white paper consultation. The government has now published its response to the public consultation. It is broadly positive regarding advocacy but with the big caveat that changes are subject to funding, especially the spending review 2021.

Over the coming months, the network will be engaging closely with colleagues in the DHSC, social care and mental health policy circles, and parliamentarians. If you would like to help us make sure that people’s rights to advocacy are secured in the Mental Health Act reform please contact stephen.hinchley@voiceability.org.

Liberty Protection Safeguards

120,000 people each year are deprived of their liberty under DoLS. As preparations continue for the move from DoLS to the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) in April 2022, the network recognises that this is an opportunity to strengthen people’s voices and rights through good quality advocacy provision. Over the coming months the network will be working to ensure that there are the necessary resources, the right commissioning, and will be supporting implementation by coordinating across advocacy providers.

We can use the shift to LPS as an opportunity to improve the lives of people deprived of their liberty or at risk of being so. If you would like to help us make sure that the LPS delivers on this potential, please contact claire.lines@voiceability.org.

You can read more about our work in the previous newsletter here.