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We all face problems and difficult choices in our lives and sometimes need the support of others to help us deal with them. We might call on friends to give us much support or to help us find it elsewhere.

Residents of Residential and Nursing Homes are often cut off from the wider community. They may know what they want but have difficulty making others understand and sometimes are unable to express their views or make their wishes known. They feel that no-one listens. It could be they might need and want the support of an advocate.

Age Concern Advocates are volunteers, independent and specially trained to work with older people in residential care.

If you are a resident an Advocate will represent and protect your interests as of if were their own. They will stand along side you if you are facing a major change or difficult choice. They might support and encourage you to speak up for yourself or act as your spokesperson. They will be able to assist in gaining access to support and advice which you might not otherwise find easy to obtain.

Being a volunteer for the advocacy department

The Advocacy teams run a number of projects, working with residents in care homes, older prisoners and people in receipt of direct payments. Their work is supported by a team of volunteers who carry out visits to service users in order to support and encourage them to speak up for themselves or to speak on their behalf. Volunteers assist service users to gain access to support and advice which otherwise they may not find easy to obtain.

Volunteers receive an induction when they join and spend time shadowing Advocates until they are competent to carry out unsupervised visits unsupervised. Regular training sessions are held throughout the year to develop volunteers' skills.

Volunteers must have excellent listening and communication skills, and be capable of negotiating on behalf of service users. They must also possess a current driving licence and have access to transport to undertake these visits.

If you think you may be the sort of person they are looking for then please contact the Advocacy Department on 0116 299 2233 or
email Age Concern.

Age concern Leicestershire and Rutland are looking for more members for their peer support group. We meet once every two months to discuss any issues we may have about our Direct Payments. We are a friendly bunch of people and we chat over a cup of coffee before the meeting commences.

If you are a Direct Payments service user and feel you could spare the time to join then call the advocacy team on 0116 2992233 for more information or email:

More details are in this linked document
Direct Payments and Advocacy advice from Age Concern

(Reproduced from with an additional advert on behalf of Age Concern by Sue Lavender.)

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