FAQs

General

No, advocacy is free to the people directly using our services.  We may sometimes ask for donations or contributions towards group sessions or activities – people will know this before they attend a session.

Advocacy is about helping people to speak up for themselves about the things that matter to them. An advocate can do lots of things to support you, for example: helping to find information, going to meetings, helping you to write a letter, talking through choices and options and what you might want to say.

Advocacy support usually happens on a one-to-one basis but we also support some self-advocacy groups, where people help each other develop the confidence and skills to speak up.

Our advocates will work with you on a particular problem or issue (or maybe more than one!), and once the problem has been resolved the advocacy support will come to an end.  This will be discussed with you. The advocate may also be able to support you to access different services which may be more appropriate for you – for example specialist advice, or befriending.

If you need the support of an advocate, please get in touch with us. We can take a referral over the phone, by email, text or through the website. You can also call into any Cloverleaf office.

We will need to know a little bit about you (your name, address, how old you are) and the reason that you need an advocate. 

If we can’t help you, we will always try to find a service that can!

Yes! We will need to know a little bit about you (your name, address, how old you are) and the reason that you need an advocate. 

Anyone can refer someone to our services – but we will usually need the person’s consent before we contact them or start to support them. 

Some of our statutory services have quite strict criteria – this can sometimes include who is allowed to make a referral for an advocate. 

We would always encourage you to give us a call and talk it through.  If we can’t help you, we will always try to find a service that can!

Anyone can be an advocate for someone, if that person is happy for them to do so. For example, a person might be an advocate for their mum, partner or friend and might speak up on their behalf.

Advocates who work or volunteer for Cloverleaf are ‘Independent Advocates’ – this means that they do not already have a relationship or friendship with the person they are supporting and they do not work for social care or health services. Our advocates all attend regular training and are supported and supervised by advocacy managers.

There are some pieces of law which say that in certain circumstances, people are entitled to have advocacy support.  The different types of advocate are:

  1. Community/General Advocate (not in law)
  2. NHS Complaints Advocate
  3. Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
  4. Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
  5. Care Act Advocate

Every different type of advocate has the same purpose – to help people have their views heard and be at the centre of decisions made about them.

It can be confusing for people to understand which type of advocate is needed for which situation. If you are not sure, please get in touch and we will try and help.

Where we can, we try and make sure our advocates are trained to deliver the different types of advocacy, so a person can be supported by the same advocate, even if their situation changes.

Our advocacy services are funded by contracts with local authorities, health trusts or independent health or care providers.  Cloverleaf is an independent charity and company, and all the advocates are employed Cloverleaf, not by our funders.  Funders do not get involved in the running of the organisation - they cannot sit on the Trustee Board.