Advocacy Services

New referrals please call:

Well Aware (freephone number) 0808 808 5252


Our Advocacy Services deliver an empowerment model of advocacy and provide issue based client-led support and assistance. We offer a wide range of services, from self-help, signposting and information through to full advocacy casework.  Our Advocacy is a free and independent service.


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 and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.

What advocacy does The Care Forum provide?

We have the following projects:

  • Complaints Procedure Advocacy – advocacy for people who wish to make a complaint to Social Services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and BANES.
  • Drugs and Alcohol Advocacy Services – for adults who use, or wish to use, Bristol’s drugs and alcohol services.
  • Generic Advocacy – advocacy for adults in South Gloucestershire around social care issues. Eligible service users are from the following categories; older people, people with physical and sensory impairments, people with learning difficulty, people with mental health issues, and carers.
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) – for adults in South Gloucestershire who are facing a decision regarding accommodation, serious medical treatment, safeguarding or care review, who are assessed to lack capacity to this decision and who have no family or friends who are appropriate to consult. This project includes the South Gloucestershire IMCA DOLS service.
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) - to represent and support people who meet the eligibility criteria under the Mental Health Act 1983 in South Gloucestershire.
  • Mental Health Advocacy – for adults who use mental health services in South Gloucestershire.
  • NHS Complaints Advocacy – for people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who wish to make a complaint about NHS services.
  • Avoice AdvocacyAVoice - provides free, independent and confidential advocacy for vulnerable adults affected by crime and antisocial behaviour in the Avon and Somerset area.

In order to provide an Advocacy service that has people and their needs at its core, we work within the Advocacy Charter. This offers us guidance on:

  • Independence
  • Clarity of Purpose
  • Putting people first
  • Empowerment
  • Equal opportunity
  • Accessibility
  • Accountability
  • Supporting Advocates
  • Confidentiality and complaints


If there is not a project which meets your advocacy need, it may be possible to spot purchase advocacy. This is when statutory services fund an individual piece of work, for instance we have advocated for an older person when their care home was closed and they had no family to help them chose a new home.

How do we do it?

Advocacy Services at The Care Forum base their service on the nationally recognised Advocacy Charter and we have been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark. This quality assurance standard scrutinises advocacy practice against the Advocacy Charter’s principles and verifies that our service provides advocacy meeting these principles.

Signposting for further information

Bath and North East Somerset County Council

Bath MIND provide advocacy in the city of Bath area.

Bristol MIND provide mental health related advocacy services for people in Bristol.

Bristol City Council 

CCP – provide advocacy in Gloucestershire for a number of different groups of people.

Local Government Ombudsman is an independent, impartial and free service. The Ombudsmen can investigate complaints about how councils’ social services have undertaken something. If you are unhappy with the way your complaint has progressed you can consult the LGO. Advice Line 0845 602 1983

SEAP provide advocacy for people making a complaint about the NHS in the wider Avon area, not including South Gloucestershire.

South Gloucestershire County Council

SWAN – provide advocacy in Wiltshire and Bath for vulnerable adults.

To read more about the Advocacy Charter, please download.


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Work for us

Our vacancies page has all positions currently available here at The Care Forum and also has a link to jobs within other Health and Social Care organisations when available