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For Friendly Support
& Information:
01325 776 554

For Friendly Support
& Information:
01325 776 554

For Friendly Support
& Information:
01325 776 554

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Advent Advocacy offer a full range of Independent Advocacy Services

All Advent Advocacy services offer the same quality Independent Advocacy support to service users, ensuring their views, wishes and beliefs are listened to and taken into consideration when decisions are made about them. An Independent Advocate can support service users with:

    • Representation
    • Decision making
    • Comprehension of key information: e.g., section rights, care plans
    • Providing non-instructed support where appropriate
    • Collective advocacy
    • Improving living conditions and environments
    • Seeking financial assistance
    • Informal and formal complaints
    • Safeguarding matters

Our Independent Advocates are permanent, qualified members of staff, who undergo extensive internal and external training. We never use agency staff and believe that the best type of Independent Advocacy is the ‘opt-out model’, where all service users have regular contact with a familiar face, no matter which form of advocacy delivered.

Advent Advocacy hold the Advocacy QPM, awarded by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) for all our services and we advocate in accordance with The Advocacy Charter. Our Independent Advocates will not make decisions for individuals, nor offer legal advice, counsel individuals or tell them what to do.

Advocacy is free to users who are eligible for support.  This includes individuals who:

    • Are detained under the Mental Health Act
    • Would find it difficult to make their own decisions about care or support and do not have any friends or family available to support them to make these
    • Do not have the capacity to make decisions about their accommodation or treatment
    • Are deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home


Read more about our services, eligibility and how to access an advocate below:

Independent Generic Advocates work as independent professionals within care settings and are commissioned to provide support to service users in much the same way that an IMHA does.  Whilst not statutory, the Generic Advocate can represent individuals at important meetings or can support people to represent themselves effectively by assisting with agenda points, opening statements and exploring questions regarding their wishes and views. Generic Advocates can also help service users to understand how to take steps to resolve a problem or signpost them to the correct service or department and assist with formal or informal complaints.

To commission a Generic Advocate
Find out more


An IMHA is a specialist advocate who provides a statutory service to qualifying individuals set out in the Mental Health Act 1983. An IMHA provides an additional safeguard for eligible individuals.  IMHAs are independent from the professionals involved in the care and treatment of the patients.

An IMHA will explain:

  • The service user’s rights under the Mental Health Act and the rights given to others, (e.g., Nearest Relative)
  • Any restrictions they are under
  • The treatment a service user is receiving or may be given, together with the reasons and the legal authority for providing treatment

Qualifying Patients eligible for an IMHA include: 

Service users detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) including:

    • People on leave from hospital
    • Conditionally discharged restricted patients
    • People subject to guardianship
    • People ‘liable to be detained’
    • People on supervised community treatment (SCT)

And Informal Patients if:

    • They are being considered for Section 57 treatment (neurosurgery)
    • They are under the age of 18 and are being considered for Section 58a treatment (electro-convulsive therapy known as ECT)

If you are eligible for an IMHA they can help you by:

  • Ensuring their views shared and understood
  • Speaking on their behalf
  • Supporting them to access information
  • Helping them raise concerns
  • Supporting them to make informal decisions
  • Helping them to be involved in decisions about their future
  • Talking with them in private
To commission an IMHA
Find out more


Our Independent CYP Advocates work with children and young people to ensure they are supported and heard when decisions are made about them. Appreciating the views and feelings of the young person helps them feel involved and can help everyone make better decisions. Working like this is not just good practice, it’s a legal requirement.

Advocates will work to ensure the children and young people they support are aware of their rights as part of the Children’s Act (1989, 2004), such as a right to privacy or a right to being listened to.

If a local authority is deciding what should happen to a child or young person, they must find out how they feel and what they want, they must tell them what is happening and why. An advocate will ensure this happens, supporting the child or young person throughout the process.

If you are a child or young person, an Independent CYP Advocate can help you by:

    • Helping you to say what you want
    • Making sure your voice, wishes, aspirations and feelings are heard
    • Listening to you
    • Helping you make a complaint
    • Making sure you understand your rights and that your rights are being respected
    • Ensuring you receive the services you are entitled to
    • Supporting you before, during and after important meetings that concern you

Our Advocates work independently and confidentially with children and young people in a variety of settings such as residential homes and CAMHS services, as well as SEND tribunals.

To commission a CYP’s Advocate
Find out more


The Care Act (2014) outlines a statutory requirement for Independent Advocacy for individuals who have no appropriate person to help facilitate their involvement and who would have substantial difficulty being involved without an independent advocate. Care Act Advocates help support the person to understand processes and their rights, make decisions, understand plans, challenge decisions, access records and communicate views, wishes and feelings.

Who is an appropriate person?

    • A representative able to provide support for the purpose of facilitating the individual’s involvement
    • A person who is not providing care, support or treatment in a professional capacity, nor must they be paid
    • A person that satisfies the local authority that they are able to represent the individual’s best interest, or the individual (having capacity and competency to consent) must agree to the person being involved

What is ‘substantial difficulty’?

Where the individual, without an advocate, would be unable to:

    • Understand the relevant information
    • Retain the information
    • Use or weigh the information
    • Communicate views, wishes, feelings
To commission a Care Act Advocate


If a person cannot consent to their living and care arrangements and they do not have someone in their lives with whom it is appropriate for professionals to consult, they will be assessed and authorised as having a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards/Liberty Protection Safeguards and have the right to a Paid Relevant Person’s Representative (Paid RPR).

Advent Advocacy can provide Local Authorities and Partner Care Providers with RPRs, who will:

    • Observe their living arrangements
    • Raise questions on behalf of the person
    • Liaise with IMCAs and other stakeholders
    • Support the person with a complaint or an appeal against DoLS/LPS
    • Visit their clients on a monthly basis
    • Produce a visit report after every session
To commission a Paid Relevant Person’s Representative
Find out more


The Mental Capacity Act (2005) introduced IMCA services to support people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves. This might be due to the result of brain injury, dementia, stroke, learning difficulties or mental health needs.

An IMCA must be instructed in the following circumstances:

    • When a decision is being made about serious medical treatments or a change of accommodation
    • AND the person has no family or friends to support them and represent their views
    • AND the Decision Maker has deemed that the individual lacks the capacity to make the decision as outlined in The Mental Capacity Act (2005)

IMCAs may also be instructed for Care Reviews or decisions relating to Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults. We supply IMCAs to clients when instructed by Local Authorities and Partner Care Providers.


All our Independent Advocates provide Advocacy Awareness training to staff and service users in our commissioned services on a regular basis. ensuring that all parties fully understand the important role undertaken by the advocate and scope of their work.

If you work for an organisation that would like to understand how Independent Mental Health Advocacy supports services users, and better understand the importance of non-adversarial, statutory and non-statutory advocacy, please get in touch.


Uniadvocates logo

Practical help to enable student choice and support action.


Our UniAdvocates Service

Independent Generic Advocacy Service offered to all University Students.

Our team of professional advocates offer an additional support service to students studying at university.  As an independent service we offer impartial and non-adversarial independent advocacy to students facing difficulties.  For many students, accessing a professional mental health advocate is an alternative and safe resource that is timely and bespoke to each referral.

Our UniAdvocates can support with:

    • Helping the student’s voice be heard, especially during difficult periods and when suffering with mental health problems
    • Preparing students for meetings and providing support during and after
    • Making decisions about managing workload, deadlines, attendance and academic issues
    • Engaging in social and cultural life, including accommodation worries
    • Communicating with funding authorities and assisting with employment issues
    • Making complaints, internal or external
    • Advocating on behalf of students when appropriate

Our focus is to help students to help themselves – we actively support them to find the right help.

We are committed to Listening, Representing and Empowering


If you are a student looking to Request a UniAdvocate – Use the link to complete and return the Student Form. You can contact us a, or call our office on 01325 776 554

If you are a university that would like to commission our advocacy service:
Please email us at  or call our office on 01325 776 554

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