What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.
We thought you may be interested in knowing a little more about our backgrounds and reasons for becoming Advocates and setting up our Service.
It all began……
In 2013 (initially at Bury Deaf Club) when we were asked if we could support the local Deaf members with a variety of issues.
In 2014, we were invited to attend a meeting being held at Bolton Deaf Society, which led to our service becoming permenently resident there.
We were invited to run a pilot scheme; with the aim of assessing the service needs by the Community. Our first weeks were a quiet until members became aware of who we were, what advocacy was and how we could support them.With this trust we have become busier and busier, and now we are at the point of needing to increase the number of advocates on our team.
Our service and experience has expanded to cover the whole of the Sensory-impaired community: including individuals who identify as Hard of Hearing and Visual impaired. We have some experience of supporting those with learning disabilities and mental health issues.
We will never turn away any individual who feels that that are without support.
In 2015 we celebrated our establishment as a registered UK charity (as Network Circle for Deafness) after being awarded a Lottery Grant to help us continue with our service.
As our offices are located within Bolton Deaf Society‘s building, you may like to know some brief local Deaf community history and our reasons for feeling this is the right place for us to be based.
Bolton Deaf Society has a long History and in the 1970’s to mark a century of progress for the Society, a book was written to tell the story of Bolton Deaf Society.
In 2018, we changed our name to Sensory Advocates NW in order to better represent our services and aim in supporting all member of the sensory-impaired community,
Sensory Advocates NW now as a team of ten volunteers which consists of:
- Two qualified Senior Advocates,
- Two qualified peer advocates
- Three trainee advocates
- Two Deaf relay interpreters (one of whom is also a trainee advocate
- One level 6 Trainee Sign Language Interpreter