Richmond Advocacy Service
What can Advocacy do for me?
The Richmond Advocacy Service is a free, independent and confidential service available for adults and carers across Richmond upon Thames.
This service is delivered by Ruils in partnership with POhWER (a national advocacy provider) and Taking Control (a local user-led charity supporting people with mental health needs).
The Advocacy service can provide one to one support with an issue or difficulties that you are experiencing. For example, An advocate can provide support you to:
Advocacy supports individuals to:
Understand their experiences
Discuss issues and agree outcomes to work towards
Understand rights and entitlements
Explore available options
Help make informed choices
Represent views accurately
Have time and knowledge to dedicate to working with individuals
Services offered at Ruils
The Richmond Advocacy Service is here to help the residents of Richmond achieve their goals. Ruils can offer you a trained Volunteer Advocate to help you understand your choices; and get your voice heard. Whatever the issue from housing to accessing health and social care services to help with administrative work, we are here to give you the consistent support you need. We are user-led and aim to provide a personalised service that makes clients feel more confident, empowered and able to make informed decisions.
Examples of how Volunteer Advocates can help:
Help individuals prepare for meetings and attending with them
Write letters on the client’s behalf
Sort through paperwork to prioritise correspondence and deal with accordingly
Support individuals to make complaints
Attending job centre with client
Supporting the client to fill in PIP form
Liaison with healthcare and social care professionals
Reducing social isolation – both by providing their own company and encouraging clients to get involved in social activities
Attending health assessments
Help organising clients diary, ensuring bills paid on time
Supporting client to apply for grants they didn’t know were available.
Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions.
In addition to training up Volunteer Advocates and matching them up with members of the community, Ruils also helps facilitate the running of three self-advocacy Community Voice groups across the Borough for different (often ‘silenced’) groups in the community. These include: a group for older people, those with mental health issues, those experiencing addiction and a group for those with physical disabilities and sensory impairments.
How do I refer myself or someone I know to the Advocacy Service ?
Call: Freephone 0300 200 0022 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm Thursday.
Minicom: 0300 456 2364
Text: Text the word 'pohwer' and then your name and number to 81025
Fax: 0300 456 2365
How the partnership works:
Step 1) Client contacts central number for POhWER or a referral is made to them
Step 2) POhWER decide whether case is suitable for Community Advocates or Volunteer Advocates
Step 3) If suitable for volunteers, the Volunteer Coordinator meets client to understand case in more detail
Step 4) Volunteer Coordinator matches client with suitable Volunteer Advocate. If case is mental health related, Volunteer Advocates will work with Taking Control. For all other cases Ruils will support
Step 5) Volunteer Advocate will meet client with Volunteer Coordinator to ensure both sides are happy with the arrangement before advocacy commences
If you would like to refer yourself or someone you know to the service, or if you are interested in having your own advocacy drop-in or self-advocacy/ community voice group, please contact the ruils service at 020 8831 6084.