Dunfermline Advocacy

Charity registered in Scotland SC021638

We create citizen Advocacy Partnerships by matching responsible local citizens with people who are vulnerable in some way. We aim for these partnerships to be long-term, but also we provide crisis advocates in cases of urgent need. Through our work we aim to help build a fairer community. Where people with a learning disability, physical disability or mental health issue are able to speak out and have their voice heard.

Current opportunities

There are, unfortunately, many vulnerable adults across West Fife. Our volunteers are matched with partners to provide support & friendship to those who need a voice. If you have time to -Listen to someone in need -Help them understand their choices -Enjoy social time together then your commitment would go a very long way in helping someone vulnerable. We match volunteers with partners based on interests, personality, location etc. Whether it’s a blether over coffee, a game of pool, or a walk in the park, our volunteers and their partners choose the activities they do together (of course, following current Covid-19 guidelines). We are here to provide both initial training and ongoing support. Citizen Advocacy is both challenging and rewarding. Volunteers come from all walks of life but have one thing in common – the desire to help give someone a voice.

Do you have time through the week to support adults at key times of vulnerability and need? Do you have an interest or passion to speak out for vulnerable people and ensure their views are heard? Would you like to learn new skills, enjoy ongoing training and support? Short-term advocates come into contact with the health and social care system in Fife, as well as a variety of professionals and gain valuable experience of supporting a person. Advocacy support can involve attending formal or informal meetings, helping to make a complaint, contacting existing or new services or giving support with navigating through the benefits system. This project works with vulnerable people with learning disabilities or autism, mental ill-health, physical disabilities or chronic ill-health in the West Fife Community when there. is a more immediate issue to address and the partnership will usually end when this is resolved. Volunteers will be matched on a one-to-one basis to support local, vulnerable adults with issue-based advocacy. Often people who are problem solvers, enjoy Short-Term Advocacy.

The Lynebank Project works with patients in the Forensic Learning Disabilities Unit’s at Lynebank Hospital. Citizen Advocates are matched up on a one to one basis with a vulnerable adult who is currently an in-patient, where they will provide support and understanding at what can be a difficult and unknowing time. One of the units is a Scottish multi-regional unit, where patients may be far from their family and friends, making them isolated and feeling alone. Being matched with a Citizen Advocate volunteer who not only give some of their free time to help vulnerable people but specifically chooses to help you is incredibly significant and a powerful message that everybody counts and is worthwhile. While being an in-patient at the Learning Disability Forensic Units, if a person does not have family local, a Citizen Advocate may be the only person they see who is not paid to work with them.

Dunfermline Advocacy matches local volunteers with people in West Fife who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk of being excluded from their communities. It provides support, understanding and friendship and ensures that voices are heard and rights protected. They are currently looking for volunteers to join their Board of Trustees and support their great work, providing strategic guidance, governance and leadership to the Chief Executive and staff team. You should have a real desire to help others and to make a difference to the lives of those most vulnerable in West Fife. As a priority they need individuals with skills, experience and/or an interest in finance, IT and fundraising. Time commitment is 8 meetings per year including quarterly Board meetings, business action groups and charity events. A ’get involved’ attitude is welcome. More information at www.dunfermlineadvocacy.org Expressions of interest or requests for an informal chat with Chair, Hazel Smith, email hazel@dunfermlineadvocacy.org by 30 June 2022 at the latest.