Who we are

Advocacy Support Cymru (ASC) is a registered charity based in Wales, with offices in Cardiff and Llandarcy, Neath. In 2012, it became incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Aims and took over all the contracts and services of its predecessor ‘South Wales Mental Health Advocacy (SWMHA)’.

For more information on the 20-year history of ASC and the evolution of its services click on the link below.

History of ASC

Independent advocacy is important. It seeks to give a voice to people who can't make themselves heard. Advocacy helps to ensure that people are as involved as they can be in the things that affect them and are able to communicate their needs and wishes to others who may have influence or power over their lives.

With 20 years of experience, ASC is a trusted and respected advocacy service that repeatedly delivers invaluable advocacy to those in mental health need. We have a large team of experienced advocates, a senior management team and invaluable support staff, enabling us to provide advocacy across much of South Wales.

Our Vision

Our vision is to consistently provide the highest possible quality of Independent Advocacy in Wales.

We do this by valuing, supporting and give a voice to people who need to be heard by providing advocacy to people with mental illness within both a statutory and community setting.

Our Advocates

Our advocates are drawn from a range of professional backgrounds and were recruited as they have demonstrated appropriate and robust experience and / or training, as well as evidence of a commitment to the principles of Independent Advocacy.

All of our advocates receive enhanced DBS checks, a comprehensive induction process, regular supervision and ongoing training and personal development. Many of the advocate team have successfully completed the City & Guilds Certificate in Independent Advocacy. Those that haven’t are working towards doing so.

Our Approach

As an organisation, we are proud to have achieved the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark which evidences the high standard of our advocacy provision. ASC provides advocacy in line with the guiding principles of the Advocacy Charter.

This means that our advocates do not give advice, offer counselling, provide mediation or befriending. It also means that they will not judge the wishes of the people they support or seek to persuade a person into a particular course of action. Wherever possible, advocates will listen to the views and wishes of the individual and act on their instruction, i.e. take the course of action that they request.

Advocates can provide information to people to help them understand what options might be available, but advocates do not decide or advise which one to take.

Some of the ways that our Advocates can help include:

  • Providing information to help people understand their choices and  the circumstances they find themselves in
  • Explaining legal rights
  • Helping people prepare what they want to say to decision makers
  • Speaking on behalf of the client, if that is what they request
  • Representing and supporting people at difficult meetings
  • Offering support in making complaints
  • Giving help in accessing records
  • Offering representation at appeals
  • Signposting to others that may be able to help

Non-instructed advocacy

For a sizeable proportion of our work, we take instruction from the client.

Sometimes, people may have difficulty understanding what the advocacy role is and / or may be unable to communicate their wishes and instructions. Typically, these people are the most vulnerable to having their wishes over-ridden or overlooked but have the same rights as everyone else.

In this situation, our Advocates are able to employ a Non-instructed advocacy approach. A number of approaches to non-instructed advocacy have been used successfully.

All approaches aim to ensure that the individual is kept at the centre of all discussions and that decisions are made taking the individuals wishes, where known or ascertained, into consideration.

Although we would like our advocacy to be available to as many people as possible, our services have certain limits which prevent us from working with all those who may want or need an advocate.

Call us on 029 2054 0444 and we will be happy to let you know whether you have eligibility.