Welcome to Look Ahead, our service user and carer bulletin. Each month
Look Ahead will provide you with information and updates on key activities
that are happening across our Trust, as well as recovery stories and
information on partner organisations who can off er you advice and support.
This edition of Look Ahead focuses on advocacy, knowing your rights
and being heard.
Please email email@example.com if there is something you would be
interested in reading about in a future bulletin.
Issue 31 - May 2019
Meet Maxine Reynolds,
an advocate from BCA, which
provides advocacy advice at our
medium and low secure sites
(Ardenleigh, Hillis Lodge, Reaside
What made you want to be
After 40 years of being a local
authority social worker I wanted
to return to a position in which I
felt I could actually 'help' others.
Being an advocate off ers me the
opportunity to speak up on behalf
of others and to support them to
gain independence, confi dence
and empower them to improve
What helps you to relax,
Walks with my dogs in the
countryside help me to relax and
allows me to appreciate nature.
What makes you laugh?
My family, especially my
for more information.
POhWER will provide advocacy
services in Birmingham for the next
three years (with the exception of
some specialist advocacy services).
Why is advocacy important?
Advocacy helps people to have their
voices heard. An advocate will listen
to your point of view and ensure
that your perspective is heard. They
will also help you to understand
information about your care and
support you in making decisions
about your care. Advocates help
people to stand up for their rights.
It is a legal requirement that
service users who are detained
under a section of the Mental Health
Act have access to an Independent
Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) -
who are crucial in supporting service
users to understand their rights
under the Mental Health Act.
Many people admitted into our
services will be aff ected by the
Mental Health Act, but may not
understand their rights. An IMHA
can help people understand their
situation and what they might want to
do about it.
Staff have a duty to inform service
users of their right to advocacy and
can refer service users to Building
Community Advocacy (BCA). Service
users can also refer themselves.
How do I know when I might need
• You are concerned about any
element of your care or that of
someone close to you.
• You are a little nervous or afraid
to voice your own opinion or a
little unsure how to raise issues or
• If you feel decisions are being
made about your care or your life
and your own views are not being
• An advocate can attend important
meetings with you to help
prevent feelings of anxiety or
Advocates can help you ask
questions, they can sit with you, they
can speak for you or they can point
you in the right direction to solve other
problems you feel you may have.
For more information visit
call 0300 456 2370.
POhWER - your new advocacy
organisation in Birmingham