Although we don't provide advocacy services, Macc has been involved in the development of advocacy services at both local and national levels since the early 1990s.
At a national level, Macc was a founder member of the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance OPAAL (UK) and continues to support the development of national standards and good practice in these kinds of services.
In Manchester, our work involves supporting projects such as Link-Age and The Generation Project (both are community-based projects which provide support to older people in North and East Manchester respectively), the Carers Advocacy Service and services within mental health (Hearing Voices) and Learning Disabilities (Landridge House).
In 1996, Macc was asked to consult with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector on a proposed advocacy strategy for the city. Manchester Advocacy Partnership was formed fulfil this role and we managed to secure limited resources to develop advocacy services. The main part of these resources were used to promote the “self-advocacy” model. We began to develop local schemes by supporting the establishment of user groups, who would represent their members and other service users on an individual or collective basis (e.g. People First, Manchester Deaf Centre/Senior Citizens group, Irish Community Care).
Although resources to support the Advocacy Partnership have not been available for some time, Macc continues to promote advocacy and work with local projects, identifying and sharing good practice.
We continue to support the inclusion of advocacy in strategies and planning as an important element of local health and social care provision, particularly around services for older people and for people with mental health needs.