If you find it difficult to be fully involved in decisions that affect your life and do not have a family member or friend who can speak up for you, you may find an advocate useful.

An advocate is a person who can support you to express your needs and wishes when having assessments and planning support.

They can also help you

  • understand your rights
  • understand the decisions being made
  • challenge decisions you do not agree with
  • make sure you are treated fairly.

You may find an advocate helpful if you:

  • have a learning disability
  • have a mental health difficulty
  • have a physical health issue
  • are elderly

Advocates for decisions about social care

We have a legal duty to involve you in decisions about your care and support, and to ensure that you have an advocate during a social care assessment, appeal or safeguarding process, if you need one. This is called Care Act advocacy.

We will provide an independent advocate from the charity VoiceAbility, if you are eligible. You are eligible if you do not have family or friends who can help, and you have difficulty:

  • understanding or remembering information
  • communicating your views
  • understanding the pros and cons of different options

The advocates are independent of the council - they are not council employees. They can help you to get the best result for you.

For more information, and to find out if you are eligible, see the VoiceAbility Merton website.

VoiceAbility also has Easy Read information on how to get your views heard in lots of different situations.

Other advocacy services from VoiceAbility

VoiceAbility provides other advocacy services which are free to Merton residents who are eligible, including support for:

  • issues relating to your care and treatment when you have been detained (sectioned) under the Mental Health Act
  • decisions about your long-term accommodation or serious medical treatment
  • if you are or may be deprived of your liberty
  • complaining about the treatment or care you have received from an NHS service

Other advocacy services in Merton

You can also find other types of advocacy from specific charities and support groups at:

Advocacy services directory