Help & Care is celebrating 20 years of offering advocacy support to older people in Dorset.
Launched in June 1996, the service started as a way of helping people to exercise their own choices especially when it came to their future lives such as choosing a care home. Since then, our aim has remained very much the same which is to help people to make their own decisions and ensure their voices are always heard.
Over the past 20 years, Help & Care has worked in partnership with range of agencies including: Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset Local Authorities; NHS Trusts and CCG’s in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and the Isle of Wight; and voluntary agencies and charities such as Dorset Advocacy and Macmillan. We have delivered services to a range of adults including older people, carers, people with sensory loss, physical disabilities and those diagnosed with cancer. More recently, we have adapted to meet the requirements of The Care Act, providing independent advocacy to help people understand and be involved in social services assessments, care and support planning and reviews.
Our team of Advocates make sure that the needs, wishes and views of the people they are supporting are understood and respected. Over the past three years, our advocacy team has supported around 1500 local people. The Advocates have helped people with a range of issues from housing problems and financial concerns, to maintaining physical health and emotional wellbeing.
We are immensely proud of our advocacy services and of our team of dedicated Advocates who are so committed to achieving positive outcomes for local peopleKeri Harrison, Community Support Manager at Help & Care
One couple who have been supported by our Advocacy Team are Archie and June who live in Christchurch. In their 80s, and with their health and mobility deteriorating, they were concerned how they would manage in the future. They felt very isolated and to make things worse, Archie was diagnosed with dementia. He could not do things that he used to take for granted, like driving and managing money and was at a very low ebb. The Help & Care Advocate assisted Archie and June to claim all the benefits they were entitled to and then helped them to put the money to good use. The Advocate supported them to access help with cleaning and laundry, set up a telephone emergency call line and a meal delivery service. The Advocate supported Archie to attend a social group and accessed community transport schemes to get him there. She also helped June to register with the Carers Service.
KAREN TAYLOR IS AN ADVOCACY & SUPPORT WORKER FOR HELP & CARE
Read Karen's story
We always keep our work people centred, that’s the core value of advocacy at Help & Care. We always ask people what they want to happen, what they need and what their aspiration are and then we try to work with them to help them achieve this.Karen Taylor