Borders Independent Advocacy Service (BIAS)
Promoting the welfare for people with physical disabilities and sensory disabilities in the Scottish Borders.
- Exploring choices with you
- Helping you to be heard
- Safeguarding your rights
What is Advocacy?
It can be difficult to understand complex rues, or hard to get professionals to see your point of view. You may feel you are not getting the help you need or you may have concerns that the services you are getting are not good enough. You may end up feeling confused and that you hve not been treated fairly.
Advocates are trained volunteers. They are completely independent of any other services and will only put forward your point of view.
The Borders Independent Advocacy Service (BIAS) will:
- Listen to you
- Help to choose what is best for you
- Support you at important meetings
- Be on your side
- Safeguard you rights
You might not get the outcome you want but we can make sure your wishes and concerns are heard.
We also have specialist services for people with Mental Health problems, older people and for people who have a learning disability.
We are not a substitute for the help you may get from Social Workers, Doctors, Solicitors, Support Workers etc. But mwe might be able to make it easier for you to get the help you want.
What about people who need longer term or recurring support?
We also support long term partnerships between volunteer advocates and people who need through the Citizen Advocacy Network Borders (Can-B).
The two partners meet regularly to build up understanding and trust so that, when there is a problem for the person who needs support, they are confident that their advocate understands their point of view. This kind of advocacy works well with people who are isolated because they do not have friends or family living nearby or for people who find it hard to communicate and who need long term or recurring support.
Who can use BIAS or Can-B?
BIAS is a free service for anyone who lives or uses services in the Scottish Borders. We welcome people from all backgrounds. Interested in helping? We have both paide and volunteer advocates. All our advocates are trained and have regular support and are bound by codes of conduct and confidentiality. All our advocates have also had a Police check throught Disclosure Scotland to safeguard our clients. We are always looking for volunteer advocates. If you are interested in volunteering or supporting our work in any way please contact us.
How can Advocacy Help?
We can help with a number of different things. Some examples include:
Care & Support Services
- Help you to raise concerns or appeal if you feel you are not getting all the help you need.
- Challenge the amount you are being asked to pay for your care.
- Help you make a complaint if your care has not been good enough.
- Come with you to meetings with your doctor if you want to question aspects of your treatment.
- Help you raise concerns if things are not right at the Care Home.
- Make sure your wishes are taken into account if your Care Home has to close.
Tribunals or Appeals
- Support people at Mental Health Tribunals, Court or at Children's Panel hearing.
- Chase up your landlord if repairs are taking to long.
- Support people who are homeless.
Debt and Benefits
- Make sure you get the help you need with Benefit forms, appeals or if debts are getting on top of you.
Safeguarding peoples rights
- Speak up for people if they are not being allowed to do what they want because they are said to be vulnerable.
How to contact BIAS or Can-B?
Borders Independent Advocacy Service
Tel: 01896 752200