Carriglea Cáirde Services actively promotes self-advocacy for service users and a policy and structures are in place whereby all service users have access to advocacy meetings.
The development of advocacy within the services has given service users the confidence to reach their full potential. Service users elect three representatives to attend ‘Seasamh’ meetings and one service user is now a member of the National Platform which supports people nationally to develop self-advocacy skills. Representatives from the Advocacy Committee meet with the Board of Directors at least once per year. Service users, with minimal support of staff members, have to date organised and presented two very successful conferences in Dungarvan where external advocacy speakers as well as speakers from Carriglea Advocacy Committee shared their experiences with members of the local community and fellow service users.
Service users are informed of how to access the National Advocacy Service and the local representative of the National Advocacy visits the services.
“Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want; secure their rights, represent their interests, and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality, and social justice”
Irish Association of Advocates