Action for Advocacy Conference

16th & 17th May 2012

This year’s annual Action for Advocacy Conference ‘Not Strictly Advocacy’, held at The Imperial Hotel,Blackpool, was a resounding success with almost 150 delegates in attendance.

The conference was designed to challenge the advocacy sector to look at some of its established confines and ways of working, and provide delegates with an opportunity to participate in a number of thought provoking discussions and workshops.

On day two of the conference, Sarah facilitated two workshops entitled ‘Creative Approaches to Adult Safeguarding’. The brief from Action for Advocacy was to make the workshop as interactive as possible and as always Athena met and surpassed expectations. Delegates were intrigued to see Sarah’s balloon representation of a vulnerable person (later named Mary by participants!), standing alongside a cardboard cut out of Homer Simpson to represent the role of the advocate. This, coupled with the relevant subject, resulted in much higher numbers of delegates signing up to participate than first expected.

The overall feedback from the conference was extremely positive and Sarah received some fantastic personal feedback from the participants who took part in her sessions:

‘It was a great couple of days at the Action for Advocacy Conference and I particularly enjoyed the Safeguarding workshop. I loved the style of training as it was inclusive and flowed well.  It was also a good opportunity for us to share ideas and views on a topic which has not traditionally been within the remit of advocates (in terms of client instruction, best interests etc) and which can, therefore, feel uncomfortable. I agreed with one of the popular outcomes which came from the group – i.e. that of the importance of supervision (or support) for advocates who become involved in such decisions. It was good food for thought and I’m glad I attended the workshop.’

Robin Jamil, Independent Mental Health Advocate,Salford Mental Health Services CAB

‘Myself and my colleague found the Safeguarding workshop very thought provoking and inspiring. It’s always good to meet other advocates and share experiences as we don’t get the chance to do it very often. I personally like having to ‘get on my feet’ during a workshop as I feel it keeps you awake, but also leaves a lasting memory of what you actually did in during the session. We both enjoyed it and would like to thank you for your advice on setting up Peer Supervision – the first date is booked!!’

Zoe Krawczyk, United Voices

To view the presentations from the conference or to read Action for Advocacy’s conference blog please visit: http://www.actionforadvocacy.org.uk/articleServlet?action=display&article=2050&articletype=81