These are people with a learning disability who have few, if any links, with friends or relatives in their community and who may have additional needs because:
- they have no supportive relationships and are socially isolated;
- they are being challenged by a life threatening activity or situation;
- they are receiving a service which is diminishing their opportunities for personal growth;
- there is evidence to suggest that an individual is being ill-treated or abused;
These are ordinary members of the local community who vary greatly in their skills and experiences.
The one thing they have in common is a willingness to enter into a long-term relationship with a person who has a learning disability.
Advocates come from all walks of life and can represent a wide range of cultures.
Advocates do not require formal qualifications or any particular prior experience.
Things an Advocate might do:
- help their Partner to express their views in meetings or generally with other people;
- help their Partners in problem solving;
- help their Partner to make choices that benefit them;
- support their Partner in meeting new people and getting out into their community;
- help their Partner access support to which they are entitled.