Advocacy Support Cymru - a potted history.

In April 2012, Advocacy Support Cymru (ASC) become incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Aims. It took over all of the existing contracts and services of its predecessor, South Wales Mental Health Advocacy (SWMHA).

South Wales Mental Health Advocacy began life as the ‘Hospital Advocacy Service’ in 1995, providing independent inpatient mental health advocacy in Whitchurch hospital in Cardiff. In 1998 it gained charitable status and became known as SWMHA.

Between 1995 and 2008 the charity expanded its operation to work in ten local authority areas; Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Caerphilly.

In 2003 SWMHA set up a community advocacy model in Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly. This model required the provision of advocacy to patients supported by secondary mental health services in the community. This included patients who being supported by Community Mental Health Teams, Assertive Outreach Teams, Crisis Teams, and Community Intervention Teams.

From November 2008, SWMHA provided the statutory IMHA service across three Health Boards areas in South Wales; ABMU Health Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cwm Taf Health Board.

In 2011 the IMHA service in Wales was expanded as a result of Welsh Government legislation. SWMHA was successful in winning the ABMU tender for this service, as well as a new Community Advocacy service in this area. The organisation also negotiated delivery of the IMHA service in Cardiff & Vale and Cwm Taf, pending a competitive tendering process. In Cardiff and Vale this also included a new Community Advocacy service.

In 2014 ASC successfully tendered for the South East Wales consortium IMCA contract and the Aneurin Bevan IMHA contract. This involved a process of welcoming Mental Health Matters advocates into the organisation in 2015 and has significantly increased our staff group and service delivery area.

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