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Last week was the National Advocacy Conference and Awards. In the words of Advocacy Awards these annual awards take place because ‘we believe it is time to celebrate the difference the sector makes and shout about outstanding practice, people and organisations. These awards recognise excellence within advocacy and congratulate exceptional contributions to the field of advocacy.’

After Advocacy Centre North was nominated in four out of the five categories and we are over the moon to have been awarded ‘Outstanding Service’ for our overall advocacy services. The category aims to ‘showcase the very best in service delivery’ with ‘creative and innovative ways that services are evolving their support’. The competition was very close as there are so many great services across the country.

The nomination highlighted our partnership approach to projects and innovation for income generation. This included:

  • Our partnership project called Families through Crisis with Newcastle Law Centre and Changing Lives which reaches families who might otherwise be unable to engage with services that can support them to a more stable position;
  • effective charismatic leadership, influencing the way users are heard by health and care services at strategic meetings, as well as advocating for Advocacy;
  • our ground breaking partnerships with Contract Managers to provide Independent Advocacy for people affected by personal injury claims;
  • our new crowd-funded Welfare Advocacy service that was developed after the film release of ‘I Daniel Blake’;
  • our participatory evaluation of the Neurological Advocacy service that included a short film that was instigated and directed by service users in conjunction with Barefoot Research who share a living experience of neurological conditions;
  • the creation of our unique DIY Advocate app that streamlines our services and helps people to advocate for themselves.

We are proud to have received an award from our industry peers in recognition of our hard work and impact through advocacy. We would like to thank our staff, volunteers, partners and funders who have all helped to make this possible.