Older people can often feel marginalised and silenced when it comes to making a complaint, or appealing decisions. Advocacy can support people to have their voices heard, and their views and wishes known

Woman and man indoors at table

Someone on your side

Advocacy is listening to a person and then supporting them to take control and have their voice heard. Typical issues we help with are appealing a decision, e.g. on benefits, help with accessing services or making complaints, e.g. on consumer issues, or to housing providers. 

Our trained peer advocates are older people themselves. They will provide all the information you need to help you make choices and make sure that what you want to say is heard.

The Advocacy Service is completely free to all clients. The service is confidential in that no information about the client or the client’s enquiry will be given to third parties without the client’s clear consent.

The service is independent and is not part of the local authority nor is it linked to any health care provider

advocacyCase Study: Read how Advocacy helped Vernon deal with his energy provider 

Vernon, 71, came to us for help with his energy provider. Having switched providers the previous autumn, Vernon had yet to receive a bill despite making several requests and diligently providing regular meter readings.  He had been given a complaints reference from his energy provider, but nothing was resolved, and he still hadn’t received a bill. 
The situation with his energy provider, which had been ongoing for several months, was mentally draining for Vernon. He was very worried about the prospect of receiving a large bill in the future and being unable to pay. He felt ignored and did not know what more he could do to get a response from his energy provider. 
The first thing Vernon’s advocate did was to provide information on Ofgem regulations pertaining to the energy provider. The advocate highlighted the fact that the energy provider was required to work with customers to ensure they wouldn’t be damaged financially by their error. This reassured Vernon that he could agree repayment on his own terms with the energy provider once a bill had been delivered. 
With Vernon’s permission, his advocate telephoned Vernon’s energy provider to ask them for the bill, and was told it would be delivered within 7 to 10 working days. Vernon was sceptical, having received the same promise before, and so his advocate worked with Vernon to write a letter to his energy provider, noting the verbal assurances given to both Vernon and the advocate about the delivery of the bill. The letter also noted Age UK Sutton’ involvement in the matter, as well as our support of Vernon in further action pertaining to his complaint. 
Following the telephone call and letter, Vernon received his bill within the time promised. He was very relieved and was empowered to liaise with his energy provider to pay the charges without any difficulty.  Of his experience with advocacy, Vernon said “I am very pleased with the service. I am glad to know you are there in case of any future problems.”

 

What advocacy can do for you:

  • Talk with you to find out what you think and what you want
  • Explain information and provide support for you to make your own choices
  • Support you to challenge a decision about yourself or make a complaint
  • Represent your views to others if you feel unable to do so
  • Help you write letters, emails and fill in forms
  • Make telephone calls on your behalf and attend meetings with you as support 

What your advocate will not do:

  • Give you advice, or tell you what you should do
  • Help with legal or debt issues, although we can signpost you to organisation that can help
  • Talk to anyone about you without your permission
  • Withhold information from you
  • Speak for you unless you ask them to

An advocate will help you until you both agree that the problem has been resolved OR there is nothing more that an advocate can do to help.

Do you need an Advocate? 

Contact us online 

Tel: 020 8770 4614
Email: advocacy@ageuksutton.org.uk

One Voice for Age Peer Advocacy is funded by: 

Big Lottery Fund logo

Further information