CAPS Independent Advocacy

Charity registered in Scotland SC021772

CAPS is an independent advocacy organisation for people who use or have used mental health services. We are completely independent from the people who fund us and those who provide other services to the people we work with. We provide individual and collective advocacy in East Lothian and Midlothian. We also host several mental health related, experience-led projects across Lothian.


Current opportunities

CAPS are looking for a friendly and approachable individual to provide information on Advocacy Services in the Lothians. You will help others by signposting them to appropraite services and explain how Independent Advocacy might help. You will be offered the opportunity to promote CAPS Independent advocacy at events throughout the Lothians. You will help to set up and man promotional stalls. To monitor leaflets /resources and inform the volunteer coordinator when resources need to be replaced. CAPS also have a stall at the Information station Walpole Hall. The Information Station is a one stop shop acting as a source of support, information and sign posting. CAPS provides an Information Stall at this weekly event and will provide training and guidance for volunteers. Due to Covid 19 CAPS we have had to alter the way we work. Groups and volunteer roles are currently taking place online until we can resume face to face meetings.

This role involves using your own lived experiences of Personality Disorder in a positive way to raise awareness and campaign for change. The aim of the project is for people who have been given a diagnosis of a personality disorder or had experiences that they feel fit with a personality disorder diagnosis to come together, have a collective voice and create change.The group decides what it wants to do (it is experience-led) and has a CAPS staff member to enable/facilitate its decisions Individuals can get involved in a way which suits them. Activities and achievements of the group so far have included: developing and delivering experience led training; creating films based around experiences of living with a Personality Disorder; organising various awareness events , creating leaflets and resource packs based on peoples’ lived experience, responding to and creating consultations and attending and delivering presentations at conferences. (Collective advocacy is where a group of people who are all facing a common problem and have had similar experiences get together to work on specific issues and have their voices heard. The group as a whole may campaign on an issue that affects them. A collective voice can be stronger than that of an individual, as groups are more difficult to ignore.) Due to Covid 19 CAPS we have had to alter the way we work. Groups and volunteer roles are currently taking place online until we can resume face to face meetings.

Midlothian Voices is a Collective advocacy group of people in Midlothian who identify as having Mental Health issues. CAPS facilitate their group to enable them to come together to achieve their goals. The group is fairly new but since getting together as the end of last year they have identified three goals for the group to work on: To engage with services at a strategic level by attending meetings and events where decision making happens, to work on topic specific issues that are important to people such as Welfare Reform and reducing stigma and to bring people in Midlothian together around these issues. So far members of the group have attended Lothian wide events on Human Rights and the reform of the Scottish Health Council and have looked at how these issues are relevant in Midlothian and fed back through the Mental Health Strategy group on their thoughts. They have also been part of a sit down with the Minister for Mental Health at the NHS annual conference to ask questions about Mental Health services in Midlothian Midlothian voices describe themselves as a go-getting friendly group and have many ideas on issues they would like to work on in the future, they are very much looking forward to welcoming new members of the group and generating new ideas. Individuals can get involved in the project at a level that suits their own abilities, skills and commitments. Meetings usually take place every six weeks. Due to Covid 19 CAPS we have had to alter the way we work. Groups and volunteer roles are currently taking place online until we can resume face to face meetings.

Working as part of a collective advocacy team to raise awareness and speak about own experiences of eating disorders. The role involves working with the Collective advocacy development worker to show a collective advoacy film and facilitate a group discussion in various community settings throughout the Lothians including: schools , universities , health etc. As all of the workshops take place during the day the volunteer would need to be available during the day. The role requires someone who is able to relate to other young people and is willing to share personal lived experience of an eating disorder of any kind , in order to educate and raise awareness around eating disorders amongst other young people ; willingness to talk about and share experiences of eating disorders with other young people in group situations in various community settings including : schools , universities ,public events etc. Due to Covid 19 CAPS we have had to alter the way we work. Groups and volunteer roles are currently taking place online until we can resume face to face meetings.