Advocacy: who can help me to have my say?

Advocacy involves supporting someone who has a problem or issue to help them speak up for the themselves and have their rights respected.

According to Advonet, advocacy is working with you to:

  • Think about what choices you have.
  • Put forward your views so they are heard.
  • Stand up for your rights and interests.
  • Get the services you need.

Find support

Advonet - offers a range of independent advocacy services in Leeds including dementia advocacy, Care Act advocacy, mental health advocacy and learning disabilities advocacy as well as services for people whose first language is not English.

Support after Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) - provide a free, independent and confidential advocacy service for women (aged 16 and over) who have been affected by rape and/or sexual violence at any time in their lives. An independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) provides expert assistance to those thinking about reporting to the police or already engaged with the criminal justice system. The service provides emotional and practical support on a range of issues including physical and mental health, the criminal justice system and personal safety. We also support women to access financial welfare and housing services. Advocacy is not limited to these areas and SARSVL work with survivors to identify where and how advocacy could best support them. Contact the advocacy service by calling 0113 200 2930 or email An interpreting service is available.

Independent Domestic Violence Advocates Team (IDVA) - offers support to women, men and transgender people if they need immediate crisis or safety advice, with a focus on reducing risk. The team members are legally trained and are able to give advice on legal family matters. You can make a referral by calling 0113 246 0401.

SignHealth - offers advocacy services (using British Sign Language) to make sure Deaf People are treated fairly and that they get what they're are entitled to. Advocates work to help people understand complicated situations, explain their rights, and make sure their views and opinions are properly heard.

Solace - offers advocacy services to asylum seekers and refugees accessing their therapy services.

Leeds Involving People - involve the community in the development of health, social care and community services by ensuring their opinions and concerns are at the centre of decision making processes.

Leeds Autism Advocacy, Information and Mentoring (AIM) - Leeds Autism AIM is a free service for autistic adults in the Leeds area who receive little or no funded support. It can provide some advocacy support including help with making phone calls, filling in forms and support with issues around access to services, health, housing, benefits, employment and education.

Voices and Values in Psychology and Psychotherapy Services (VIPS) – service user involvement group - this is the service user involvement group for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's Psychology and Psychotherapy Service. The group meets to discuss the service and members are encouraged to share their knowledge, views and experience on what is working well at the Trust and their thoughts on areas that could be improved. Members of the group all have lived experience. They are either current or previous service users or staff members of the service.

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