Dunfermline Advocacy Initiative (DAI) was founded in 1992. It brings together people who need advocates and responsible, committed people to be advocates. The advocates’ role is to get to know their ‘partners’ so that they can help them say what they want to say, and achieve what they want to achieve.
Autism Rights Group Highland (ARGH) was formally constituted on May 1st 2007 and has continued as a collective advocacy group. ARGH is a group run by and for autistic adults. As such all full members including the management committee are autistic.
Since being formed ARGH has continued to work to strengthen the voice of autistic adults within Highland. We have three main aims that we strive to adhere to, both within ARGH and in our everyday lives:
The National Involvement Network is a loose group of people with learning disabilities who are supported by different organisations across Scotland. What group members have in common is that they want to have more say over the services they use. One of the biggest achievements they have made is a publication called the Charter for Involvement. This book shows clearly what kind of involvement people who use services want. The National Involvement Network has succeeded in getting a lot of provider organisations to sign up to this Charter.
Speak Out started in 2002 after we learned about some work ENABLE were doing in schools in Glasgow. Our first meeting was at the Engine Shed in Edinburgh and we have been meeting at least every 3 weeks ever since. Edinburgh Development Group and People First support our group. We go into schools and do presentations to teach children about bullying and harassment and about learning difficulties. We also work with Lothian and Borders Police, the Local Authority (and sometimes other organisations and groups).
People First (Scotland) is the national self-advocacy organisation of people with learning difficulties. People First (Scotland) became a company in 1989 and we now have around 1000 members from across Scotland. We support local People First groups in the different areas of Scotland from the Borders up to the Highlands. People First is run by a Board of Directors elected from the members in the different areas, all of whom have learning difficulties. Members support each other in the groups to speak up, to gain confidence and to stand up for our rights.
My name is Edward Stanton. I am the Chairperson of People First in Glasgow. I am 72 now, and was born in Glasgow, in Kinning Park. I have lived in Glasgow all my life. Glasgow has got a lot better for disabled people over the years. It's a lot better now than when I was young.
The Moray Carers Project received funding to record on film the stories of some of the carers they supported. The purpose of this project is to raise the awareness of the issues that face carers. It also gives carers in Moray a chance to get to know each other and combat the isolation that can come from being a carer in a rural community. Why is this an example of Citizen Leadership? Firstly, in this project the carers are encouraged to creatively direct their own films, so they are really telling their own story.
Ceartas is an independent advocacy organisation in East Dunbartonshire. Still Game is a project that encourages people who have had an advocate develop their leadership skills so that they can play a part in how the organisation runs.
Still Game started because Ceartas are keen to get real people involved at the heart of the organisation. Ceartas want to hear what they really think about the services they use. It is also about helping individuals take control over their lives, speak up and influence the social care services they use.
When Dundee City Council decided it was important to get the views of people who used their learning disability services, they adopted a Citizen Leadership approach. They funded Advocating Together to employ five people with learning disabilities to consult with other people with learning disabilities, and find out what was most important to people, and what services would help them most. Advocating Together provided training for these five ‘SAY reps’, to give them the skills and information to do the job well.