Covid 19

We are all being challenged by the Covid 19 crisis. Many of you will be stuck at home with no one to talk to or your usual support groups have been closed for the time being. This affects our well being and especially our mental health.

During this time, if you are feeling lonely or isolated please feel like you can ring us, even if it is just for a chat. We will get through this difficult time together.

Digital Champions really make a difference!

The daughter of Resident D attended a community café drop-in session and became aware of the support we could offer utilising the skills of the Independent Advocacy volunteer, Peter [who operates once a week providing a Digital Champion service to support IT needs].

Resident D suffers from mental ill-health and following recent a recent break-up in his relationship with a partner, needed to inform the relevant agencies of his changes to circumstances and apply for Universal Credit online.

His daughter encouraged him to attend a community café drop in event which runs parallel to the delivery of the Digital Champion session. The framing of the support as an addition to the café appealed to Resident D, who [according to the daughter and backed up by observation] lacked confidence and was reluctant to contact and update authorities independently.

The Digital Champion assisted Resident D with an online application for Universal Credit. The process took nearly 1.5 hours using the Packmores Community PC.

There was a visible change to the body language of Resident D following the completion and the daughter has fed back that he ‘slept well that night’.

“It’s gone really well for my dad he had his follow up appointment last week which went good he feels a lot better now he has an appointment on Friday as well thank you again”

Our Mental Health Peer Support Group in Solihull

John says “he was having difficulty with Universal credit and Dave helped him to fill in the form”

Debbie says “I love coming to the group, to meet people and have tea and cakes”

Noreen says “the group is a great support and she looks forward to group meetings”

Julie says “I wanted somewhere to go to meet people and get support. I actually met my husband through the group. The group really helps when you are feeling down”

Quotes from users/carers

“I would just like to add that the Independent Advocacy team based at Stoneleigh, have been absolutely wonderful in supporting my daughter over the past ten years.”

Quote from client’s mother, April 2018.

“You’ve been hope at the other end of the phone.” 

Quote from Declan, April 2018

“You’ve been absolutely amazing”

Quote from client’s mother, May 2018

“You have listened to me like no one else has”

Quote from client, June 2018

“Thank you so much for your help in fighting DSS/DWP re withdrawal of PIP and therefore severe disablement premium too. After a nightmarish 4 months, I’m pleased to say they have reversed the decision at mandatory reconsideration and I’m told my next payment will be in full and back pay will be sent. I’m so relieved I can’t express it. 

I have no doubt that your assistance and letter was one of the critical factors in their changed decision. In addition, your support and reassurance was a great help at the most stressful period. 
I greatly appreciate the work you do for me and others in a similar situation” 

Quote from client email to Advocate Peter Smith December 2018

Independent Advocacy helped me to get my life back on track

Eight years ago I was suffering severe mental health problems which were compounded by Asperger’s Syndrome and mild ADHD, as a result I couldn’t manage my benefit money properly as I was far away from a good place mentally. Working with Independent Advocacy as my appointee I slowly began to regain control of my life. Two years ago I conquered depression, then towards the end of last year, I felt that I had got back sufficient control to start to look after my own finances. Independent Advocacy supported me in this decision and I am now almost financially independent and my appointee service has been diminished to an advisory support role. Last year I was well enough to run the London Marathon and this year I am looking for employment. I would like to thank Independent Advocacy for all their support in helping get my life back on track.