What is Advocacy to you?

As part of this year’s Advocacy Awareness Week, we would really like to know more about what you think about advocacy. We hear all the time that lots of people don’t know enough about advocacy and so this year we want to help explain what advocacy is to as many people as possible. You can tell us in this short form. Your answers will be completely anonymous. We will share some of the thoughts and ideas, and stories throughout Advocacy Awareness Week in videos, graphics and in advocacy resources, highlighting how advocacy supports people and why advocacy is important to people. What is Advocacy?

This year is our 6th annual Advocacy Awareness Week (#AAW23) and it will take place from 6 – 10 November 2023. This year’s theme is going back to basics and exploring All About Advocacy – what Advocacy is, what Advocacy isn’t, what Advocates do, why advocacy is important and how Advocacy can help people. 

We are really looking forward to sharing some fantastic content with you during the week. This year we have even more freely accessible resources – all available to download hereincluding logos, a PowerPoint template that you can adapt for your campaign messages throughout the week, Easy Read information about how to take part, Easy Read information about Advocacy Awareness Week and loads of Social media graphics! Download the logos and resources from the Related Downloads to help share your stories and raise awareness about what advocacy is doing in your communities and organisation. We will add more to these resources as we get nearer to Advocacy Awareness Week.

Use #AAW23 and #WhatIsAdvocacy for all your Advocacy Awareness Week posts

Prepare a blog, vlog, podcast for Advocacy Awareness Week
We want to share your information and stories during Advocacy Awareness Week about what advocacy means to people – if you or your organisation want to write a blog, article, record a video or a podcast for us to share, please contact with details of what you want to submit.

Search #AAW22 on Twitter to see the fantastic stories, artwork, blogs, videos and case studies that were created last year for further inspiration. 

Advocacy Awareness Week 2023 – 6th-10th November

Updating the Advocacy Code of Practice and QPM

Thanks so much to everyone who expressed an interest in our joining our Advocacy Code of Practice and QPM update steering group. We are grateful for your support and interest! We will update the QPM website with further news about the updates over the summer.  

Advocacy Awareness Week 2023 – 6th-10th November

Planning is well underway for this year’s Advocacy Awareness Week! Thanks to those of you who have been working with us on this. During this year’s AAW – we’ll be going back to basics and exploring All About Advocacy – what Advocacy is, what Advocacy isn’t, what advocates do, and how Advocacy can help people.  As usual, we will be providing graphics and content for anyone to share during the week. We’ll share the links to these in the next few weeks.

To help coproduce and contribute to this content, you can share your ideas about what Advocacy is and how advocates help people by completing this anonymous form. The form is for anyone to fill in – Advocates, people who access Advocacy, family members, other professionals etc. Please share the link to the form with anyone you think would like to contribute. We will share some of your thoughts, ideas and stories throughout Advocacy Awareness Week in different ways, in pictures, social media posts, videos and stories. The posts will be highlighting what Advocacy is and what difference advocacy makes for people.

 This year’s hashtags, chosen by the planning group, are:  #AAW23 and #WhatIsAdvocacy  During the week, we hope to challenge some assumptions about Advocacy, highlight what Advocacy means to people and bust a myth or two!

What is Advocacy to you? 

We would really like to know more about what Advocacy means to you. 

You can tell us in this short form. Your answers will be completely anonymous, so we won’t know who you are. We will share some of the thoughts and ideas, and stories throughout Advocacy Awareness Week and in advocacy resources, highlighting how Advocacy supports people and what Advocacy is to people. What is Advocacy to you?

National Advocacy Conference 2023

Find out more about this year’s 2 day conference event, the National Advocacy Awards & 3 days of online content…

Advocacy Awareness Week 2023, plan with us and Hold the dates

We know that many of you start your advocacy awareness week planning early, so we wanted to let you know the dates for this year’s event. #AAW23 will run from Monday 6th to Friday 10th November. Our colleagues over at Blackbelt Advocacy have let us know the advocacy conference will also run across this week.

As usual, we’d love your support in helping us shape and plan the event and are inviting advocacy providers to join us to begin to think through and plan the week on Tuesday, 6th June 12.30-13.30. If you’d like to join us, please register here to be sent the meeting invite, which will go out the week before the event.


Advocacy News Spring 2023

Updating the Code of Practice and Advocacy QPM

The Advocacy QPM and Code of Practice are both in need of some updates to ensure they continue to support the best quality advocacy delivery. We are going to be completing updates over the summer. We would love to bring together a small working group of individuals and organisations to help us ensure we get the updates right and that they support advocates and advocacy providers in delivering high-quality, independent advocacy. We want to hear from advocates and advocacy providers (small and large), people who access advocacy, commissioners of independent advocacy and other colleagues who work alongside advocates. If you’d be interested in joining the working group, please register here. We’ll be in touch with more information about the plans at the end of May.. 

Nominations for the Advocacy Awards are Open

The Annual Advocacy Awards, hosted by Black belt advocacy, are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of advocacy.  Nominations are open now and the awards ceremony will take place in November 2023

There are five categories people and organisations can be nominated in:

1.      Outstanding advocate

2.      Outstanding service

3.      Best co-production

4.      Outstanding contribution to equality and diversity

5.      Best supporter of advocacy

To find out more and to make a nomination click here

DHSC Mental Health Act Culturally Appropriate Advocacy  Pilots Procurement 

The Department of Health and Social Care launched the procurement process for a second phase of Mental Health Act Culturally Appropriate Advocacy pilots. As part of this procurement, they are seeking suppliers (including in consortium) to bid to take forward one of three pilots across England. This will comprise suppliers designing, developing, and delivering models of Culturally Appropriate Advocacy, which support and respond appropriately to the diverse needs of people from ethnic minority groups who are subject to the Mental Health Act in both in-patient and community settings. This procurement follows a first phase of pilots which took place between late 2021 and mid-2022 and is being taken forward as part of the broader Mental Health Act reform agenda.

The relevant procurement documentation – including the service specification and the invitation to tender, both of which provide further detail on the requirement and tendering process – is accessible via the Department’s e-sourcing portal, Atamis: Atamis Contracts Search – Culturally Appropriate Advocacy pilots. Please note you will need to register in order to access the relevant documents. The closing date for the receipt of tenders is noon on 17 May 2023.


Leaders in Advocacy Group is hosting a free workshop free Webinar on Culturally Appropriate Advocacy A free 90 minute workshop to learn and explore what makes Culturally Appropriate Advocacy effective. In the first part of the session, you will hear from Anthony Salla and Doreen Joseph, researchers who evaluated the initial culturally appropriate advocacy pilots and training, about what is working.  Part 2 of the session will be in the form of a panel discussion, chaired by Fazeela Hafejee, including leaders from the organisations who delivered the pilots.
Date: 23 May 2023 Time: 11am Click here to register

Community Led Support – Online festival is being held on 16 and 17 May – to find out more or book places click here

Recent publications

There have been several important publications that reference and report on access to advocacy and highlight the importance of advocacy support to people when key decisions are being made. Please do find some time to read up on the following:

Learning from the Whorlton Hall Safeguarding Adult Review The review found that current arrangements for the commissioning and oversight of advocacy services and the skill requirements of independent advocates, are inadequate for people with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic, who are in-patients in specialist mental health hospitals or who are at risk of becoming in-patients. This leaves people in the most high-risk settings, the least well served and creates a false security that advocacy is in place. The Summary report was published by SCIE in December 2022: Whorlton Hall Safeguarding Adult Review. A webinar relating to the review can also be seen here

The new Dynamic support register and Care (Education) and Treatment Review policy and guidwas published in January 2023. It has important information for advocacy                      providers and and advocates and includes a chapter on the importance of advocacy.

Safe and wellbeing reviews: thematic review and lessons learned was published in February 2023. It is important reading for advocates and advocacy providers – Theme 3 is all about advocacy.

Personal Health Budget (PHB) Quality Framework was published in February 2023and talks about the role of advocacy in supporting people’s access to PHBs.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission published a report on their inquiry into Challenging adult social care decisions in England and Wales in February 2023Chapter 2.3 is about advocacy.

In March the University of Birmingham and Changing our Lives published a report and videos about why people with a learning disability and autistic people are getting stuck in hospitals as well as some top tips for helping people leave hospital.  You can read the report and watch the videos here

In March 2023, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen published their NHS Complaint Standards pilot evaluation report, as well as the updated NHSE complaint standards materials 

In January 2023, The Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill published their report following their consideration of the draft bill, including changes to rights to advocacy. You can find the report and Easy Read version here.

On 5 April 2023, The Government announced that it would delay the implementation of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 until “beyond the life of this Parliament.” You can read the letter here

Training resources

Free training resource on trauma-informed practice: The Gift of Reconnection: Trauma-Informed Practice training 

Leaders in Advocacy Safeguarding Survey

This survey is for people working as independent advocates. The purpose is to gather advocates’ experiences of the Making Safeguarding Personal key principles and supporting people though Safeguarding Adults processes.

The survey is led by The Advonet GroupWe Are People FirstDisability Advice Service LambethSouth West Advocacy Network (SWAN)Cloverleaf AdvocacyVoiceAbilityRethink Advocacy and National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS).

The findings of the survey will contribute to a report which will be produced for the Leaders in Advocacy Network. If you have any questions about this survey or report, please contact Philip Bramson by emailing

If you would like to find out about or join the Leaders in Advocacy Network, please contact Claire Lines at VoiceAbility by emailing

You can complete the survey using this link: 

Or scan the QR code below