Annual Report2015

ContentsChair’s Report1Manager’s Report2-8Tribute to Priya Rao MacLennan9-10Advocacy Issues11Caithness & Sutherland12-14Ross & Cromarty15-16Inverness & Nairn17Mental Health Advocacy18Skye & Lochalsh19-20Lochaber21On Your Side & Citizen Advocacy22-23Statistics24Finance Report25-26Appendices27-33

Chair’s ReportShirley BannisterChairmanAdvocacy Highland has had a year of continued success in theprovision of advocacy and deep sadness at the loss of PriyaMacLennan, who unexpectedly passed away in October 2014.Priya along with Sheilis Mackay were the first two staff members andset up the company in 2003, establishing many of the systems we stilluse today. A tribute to Priya is on pages 9-10.I would like to thank all the Directors on the Board of AdvocacyHighland, the staff and volunteers for their commitment and support.I would like to thank all the people who kindly donated to our funds thisyear. Thanks also to CNSF, Highland Cross and Lloyds TSB for theirgenerous grants. Finally thank you to NHS Highland and HighlandCouncil for their continued core funding until 2017 and for theirongoing support.Shirley BannisterChairman1

Manager’s ReportSheilis MackayAdvocacy Highland ManagerThis has been an extraordinary year of change for Advocacy Highlandand, as ever, the organisation has risen to the challenges.Sadly in October 2014 Priya MacLennan passed away unexpectedly.Priya had been with Advocacy Highland since the beginning of theorganisation and the team was profoundly affected by her loss.Please see pages 9 & 10 for our tribute to Priya.Priya Rao Maclennan(21st July 1976 – 13th October 2014)Advocacy Highland has an outstanding team of volunteers and paidstaff, who serve on the Board of Directors, providing advocacy ororganisational support to our team. Yet again, thank you all for makingAdvocacy Highland a truly wonderful organisation and for continuing toprovide an excellent service, particularly during some exceptionallydifficult times this year.2

StaffingWe were sorry to say goodbye and thank you to Mary Mackay andShena Wardrope who both retired in October last year.Mary and Shena were part of the original team who shaped AdvocacyHighland from the start in 2003 as Advocacy Area Co-ordinator’s.Mary in Caithness & Sutherland and Shena in Badenoch & Strathspeyand Lochaber.Mary Mackay(Caithness & Sutherland Area Co-ordinator)&Shena Wardrope(Badenoch &Strathspey Area Co-ordinator)At last year’s AGM, September 2014Allison Cowie has taken over from Mary as the Advocacy Area Coordinator in Caithness & Sutherland and Val Bremner is now theAdvocacy Area Co-ordinator in Lochaber.Congratulations to both Allison and Val on their new posts.At present there is a vacancy in Badenoch & Strathspey which isbeing covered by both Val in Lochaber and Linda in Inverness, alongwith Shena who has been kindly assisting us with some advocacyprovision.3

Debs Small movedback to England inJuly. Debs has beenwith us since January2007 and worked inRoss & Cromarty as anAdvocate initially andmore recently as theAdvocacy Area Coordinator. Our goodwishes to Debs andher family in the future.Debs Small(Ross & Cromarty Area Co-ordinator)“Leaving do” – July 2015Shannon Sweeney, who has been our AdminAssistant for almost 2 years, also left us in July,all the best with your university course Shannon.Shannon Sweeney(Admin Assistant)Frances Nixseaman who joined us last year asProject Manager, left us at the end of August towork abroad. Our good wishes go to Francesand her husband for the future.Frances Nixseaman(Project Manager)4

This year we were delighted to provide training for thirteen newvolunteers to Advocacy Highland, which included six new CitizensAdvocacy volunteers.Our thanks to you all our volunteers, for your time and commitment toadvocacy partners and to Advocacy Highland.We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Wallace ournew Administrator – already Rebecca has beenthrown in at the deep end heavily organising ouroffice move and the AGM in September, thank youRebecca.Rebecca Wallace(Administrator)Finally after many years looking for accessible premises we havemoved to our new offices as of 1st September 2015:Advocacy Highland2 Seafield RoadInvernessIV1 1SG5

AdvocacyThis year we have had 712 issue based referrals in total. This includeswork funded through CNSF in Caithness and North Sutherland. Moredetailed information on the type of issues we have supported peoplewith this year is on pages 11 to 21 and also under each Area Coordinators sectionIn particular I would want to highlight that Advocacy Highland hasbeen actively involved in several large scale investigations which havebeen initiated under the Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act2007. We have also seen an increase in our advocacy support foradult survivors of childhood abuse this year.TrainingTraining was held for our new volunteer advocates from Inverness &Nairn, Skye & Lochalsh and Caithness & Sutherland.We have also provided or attended training on the following: Person Centred Planning Financial Exploitation – Adult Support & Protection Act 2007 Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 Police Scotland - training days across the Highlands whichstaff found very helpful Care Programme Approach (CPA) Training Child Protection trainingCarers AdvocacyHighland Carers Advocacy asked if we would assist them to provideissue based advocacy in Caithness & Sutherland from February toSeptember 2015. Over a 7 month period 19 referrals were supported.6

Young People’s Advocacy – “On Your Side”Frances successfully secured Lloyds TSB funding to establish a youngperson steering group to support the development of fundingapplications to enable the progress of advocacy for young people.Unfortunately, despite hours of work, applications to Children in Needand Young Start have been unsuccessful.Thanks also to the outgoing Highland Youth Convener ShaunFinlayson and all the young people who have assisted us this year onthe Steering Group and with the production of a short video which iscurrently in the making.Groups & NetworkingAttending meetings, developmental groups and networking is anessential part of our work and Advocacy Highland has participated in anumber of working groups and networking meetings this yearincluding:Adult Support & ProtectionAdvocacy Highland sits on the Adult Support & Protection Committeewhich has a strategic overview of the Adult Support & Protection(Scotland) Act 2007.In addition we have been actively involved in sub groups on raisingawareness on Financial Harm and linking with vulnerable people whomay be subjected to financial exploitation, through a Users NetworkForum.New Craigs – Group on the redesign of Rehab ServicesAdult Social Care Practice Forum - NHS Highland social carepractice forum.Transition Information Day Dingwall Academy – information day foryoung people and their family/carers.NetworkingHUG, SPEAK, People 1st, Highland Carers Advocacy, Highland YouthVoice, Highland Senior Citizens Network, Cantraybridge, Health &Happiness, Civil Legal Assistance, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland(CHSS), Police Scotland and many other organisations Highland wide7

FinanceAdvocacy Highland would like to thank our main funders, NHSHighland and the Highland Council for funding both AdvocacyHighland issue based advocacy and also Citizen Advocacy until 2017.We are grateful to the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund for theirongoing funding for the 10 hour advocate post in Caithness until June2015. It has enabled us to provide so much advocacy support, thankyou so much.In addition to ‘Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland – Henry DuncanAward’ for 3000 towards the cost of a steering group of young peopleto help shape ‘On Your Side’ and promotional materialsTheHighland Cross for 4,500 which enabled us to purchase new tablets,laptops and computers.Thank you to number of people who have kindly donated money toAdvocacy Highland this year and who wish to remain anonymous. Wereally appreciate your generosity.Thanks to the staff at Eagle Consulting for all their support again thisyear with payroll and audit. A brief statement of the audited accountsis included with this report on pages 25-26 and a full set of the auditedaccounts is available at our head office.Thank youOn a final note, I would like to thank Janet Spence, NHS Highland, forher ongoing support and advice this year.Sheilis MackayManager8

Priya Rao MacLennanPriya started as Administrator with Advocacy Highlandin May 2003, she was the second member of staff to beappointed and together with Sheilis Mackay theyestablished the charity, which has now beensuccessfully running and growing for over 12 years.Priya set up many of the systems which are still inplace today and her knowledge of finance has ensuredthat the financial procedures are excellent - the externalauditors have always commented on this each year.When Priya returned to work after her second child was born, she took ona new role as the Advocacy Co-ordinator for the area she lived in; Ross &Cromarty, whilst also retaining a few hours for finance each week.Her role was to provide some advocacy support for people with mental illhealth and learning disabilities, and also to supervise Debs (advocate)and many volunteer advocates over the years. In her advocacy role, Priyahelped people to have their voice heard and to have their rightssafeguarded. Priya loved advocating on behalf of people who werevulnerable and had troubled lives; she was passionate about helpingpeople to speak up and giving people a stronger voice in a range ofdifferent settings. So many people have contacted us to say how goodshe was in both her advocacy and finance role.9

Priya was only 38, too young. Her work colleagues and friends have beenshocked by the news of her passing. We will remember beautiful Priya forher vitality, her laugh, her humour, her love of music and dance, her abilityto talk 19 to the dozen and her commitment to working for people whoselives were enriched by her involvement.Priya was a wonderful Mum, she loved her children more than anythingelse and our thoughts are with her family. Priya was great fun, she wascompassionate and caring. Priya touched so many people in her short life– we were privileged to know her at Advocacy Highland and will all missher. Priya, sleep well and rest in peace.Priya21st July 1976 – 13th October 201410

Advocacy IssuesAdvocacy is about speaking up for people who are not beingheard. Here is a small sample of the work we have done this year:We worked with one person who has been diagnosed with BorderlinePersonality Disorder. She has stopped drinking and wants to have herchildren back home to live with her.An advocate went with a woman with mental ill health who had issues withEmployment Support Allowance (ESA) to meet with the Disability Advisor.We supported a man with learning disabilities who is on the sex offenders list– he needed support to get a solicitor.Residents in several care homes offered advocacy support to help them togive their views on a number of issues including: the care home, standards ofcare provided, level of care hours provided or simply to complete a generalquestionnaire on their views.An older man who cannot read and write asked for assistance to help himaccess his medical records.Three formal complaints made about one provider by an advocate prompted alarge scale investigation of a facility.There is still an issue about the lack of suitable accommodation for peoplewith learning disabilities and/or ASD resulting in people remaining in hospital,lin some cases for years. We are delighted to have one person movesuccessfully back into a tenancy and we continue to work with other people inthis situation.A very successful person centred plan was done with a man who has ASD,this has been very helpful to care staff who provide him with support.Financial exploitation - a person with a learning disability spoke up withassistance from an advocate – over 10000 was recovered.The advocate assisted a person with mental ill health to get a second opinionfrom another psychiatrist.We supported a person with borderline personality disorder who was abusedas a child to get additional psychiatric support.An Advocate supported a person to speak at the Adult Survivors Forum abouttheir childhood abuse.11

Caithness & SutherlandAllison CowieAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorCaithness & SutherlandWe have had a really busy year this year, we said goodbye to MaryMackay who was our Co-ordinator in October after 11 years. I took overand had to try to step into big shoes following Mary’s excellent work andsupport. Referrals remain high in the area but we manage to keep up withthe demand. Hazel Curran works 10 hours in Caithness so we are kept onour toes.We are dealing with a range of issues including: housing, hospitaldischarge, care at home, respite, access to services, mental healthtribunals, medication, writing letters and reading letters or documents withadvocacy partners and helping them understand the content. While thework can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding, helping toempower vulnerable people to be heard.Our area has also helped Highland Carer’s Advocacy to support advocacypartners in the last 6 months, this has been challenging and rewarding.Carer’s are often exhausted with services and meetings while caring for aloved one. This has increased our workload but we have been fortunate tohave Joanne Hammond provide 5 hours a week alongside Hazel Curranand myself.Joanne HammondAdvocate12

We currently only have 1 volunteer in Sutherland but would welcomeanyone looking to spend a few hours a month helping others. If you live inCaithness or Sutherland and you are interested or know anyone whowould like to know more please get in touch. We would love to hear fromyou.Thank you to CNSF for the funding until June 2015, which has enabled usto employ Hazel Curran.Finally I must say a big thank you to our Manager Sheilis Mackay who hasseen many changes in the staff this year, supported us all and welcomedall the new members. We have a fantastic team who work tremendouslywell together.Allison CowieAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorHazel CurranAdvocateIt has been another busy year for Advocacy Highland in the far North. Ihave mainly covered the Caithness area where the majority of our work isin Wick and Thurso. A whole range of issues have arisen across allsectors of the community: older adults living at home or in residential care;younger people with a range of needs; people with learning disabilitiesand mental health issues; people who need access to services or havechildren in the care system.13

A couple of examples (with details changed in order to maintainconfidentiality) give a flavour of some of the issues we have come across: Lynn is a young woman with physical disabilities who wants to takepart in more community activities – social events, use of publictransport, swimming lessons. Her current support hours did not giveenough time to fit these in. At a time when health and social carefunding is stretched Lynn asked us to request on her behalf anincrease in her support. She has had additional hours funded so thatshe can participate in more activities. Graham is an elderly man who has a recent diagnosis of dementiaand other health needs. It was clear to his son that Graham would notbe able to return home after being in hospital and will need residentialcare – a decision Graham had always opposed. I met Graham anumber of times and he did recognise he now needs support andcan’t cope at home. He agreed for me, on his behalf, to pass on hisviews to his social worker.On a personal note I would like to thank Mary Mackay, Advocacy AreaCo-ordinator for Caithness and Sutherland, who retired in 2014, for all hersupport and guidance when she was our Co-ordinator and wish her wellfor the future. I very much look forward to working with our new Coordinator, Allison Cowie; in what I am sure will be an equally busy timeahead for us!Hazel CurranAdvocate14

Ross & CromartyDebs SmallAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorRoss & CromartyRoss & Cromarty has been a busy area over the past year, with a steadyflow of referrals and issue based advocacy being carried out from Avochto Tain, and Alness to Ullapool.As always, it has been rewarding to provide Advocacy to people who needthat extra voice at a time when things are difficult for them.I’ve particularly enjoyed working with people with learning disabilities,improving their lives and hopefully, in the process, empowering individualsto speak out for themselves at times when they may have felt thatservices had taken over.Once again I have covered a lot of miles working in Wester Ross - it hasbeen good to get over there and make Advocacy Highland’s presenceknown in some remote places.It has been a mixed bag with regards to referral issues this year, but weare certainly now receiving more referrals where guardianship isconsidered when dementia has been diagnosed.Advocacy has such an important place, to ascertain views and wishes ofthose affected by dementia and to pass on, to all involved in that person’slife, those wishes, before any further progression of their condition. It hasproved very successful with a number of people recently.We all miss Priya MacLennan who worked in Ross & Cromarty, sadlyPriya had an undiagnosed heart condition and she passed away inOctober 2014.Advocacy Highland has continued to provide support to many people thisyear. The volunteers in Ross and Cromarty have been much appreciated,particularly as it has been a difficult and sad year in this area. Big thanksto you all!15

SELF DIRECTED SUPPORT – WHEN IT WORKS WELLI recently had the pleasure of working alongside a lovely young lady whotold me about how her Self Directed Support (SDS) was doing what itshould be doing and really making a difference to her care and quality oflife (after a few hiccups).Rona is a 30 something lady living in a very remote and rural part ofWester Ross, which she says is her most favourite place in the wholeworld!Despite having the lifelong condition of cerebral palsy, Rona has a very“can do” attitude and has a very supportive family with whom she liveswith.Rona likes routine and structure. She relies on a wheelchair and otheraids to assist her in her life, some of which her SDS package have beenable to pay for. Recently Rona purchased a state of the art standingframe, which allows her to weight bear and improves posture and generalwellbeing.Part of Rona’s package has allowed her to employ two personalassistants. Adverts were placed in the local community and two suitablecandidates were given the jobs. This has allowed Rona to attend a local“strupag” (cuppa & blether ), a trip to the screen machine and future tripsplanned to Eden Court and Badaguish.Fortunately, with her families help and assistance, Rona has been able todesign and instigate a package which although in it’s early days is workingwell with the right people on board. Long may it continue!Debs SmallAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorRoss & Cromarty16

Inverness & NairnLinda RentonArea Co-ordinatorInverness & NairnWe have had another busy year in Inverness with both volunteer trainingand advocacy. We have however been very lucky to recruit another parttime mental health and general advocate in Inverness, Dawn Kotschujew.She is a very welcome addition to the team.The Inverness volunteers are working hard as usual with a wide variety ofissues which people bring to us and this is much appreciated both byourselves and by our advocacy partners. We could not manage withoutthem. I plan to re-start the volunteer meetings in the near future whenpeople are available. The summer is a time when we usually have a breakas volunteers are busy with gardens and holidays but I am aware that it issome time since we all met up and I know that these meetings have beenmissed. Another change this year has come with the retirement of bothShena and Mary. Due to Shena retiring I have been covering the coordination of Badenoch and Strathspey which has made things busier andhas proved challenging at times but it has also been enjoyable.Two advocacy issues which stand out for me this year are the cutting ofsupport hours and also what seems like an increase in the number ofguardianship cases. With the need for Health and Social Care to balancedecreasing budgets and cater for an increasing demand for their servicescare packages are being scrutinised and any hours which appear to beunder utilised are being cut. One advocacy partner who had her hours cutfor this reason was unable to take full advantage of the hours provideddue to the nature of her disability and the provision of new staff who didnot know her well enough to be able to prompt her when required. We arein the process of helping her take this forward and hopefully have herreassessed. Even a small cut in some peoples support hours can be thedifference between someone doing well and struggling, especially whenthere are unexpected life events. We will carry on helping people highlightany difficulties which they face with the relevant department during theyear ahead.Linda RentonArea Co-ordinatorInverness & Nairn17

Mental Health AdvocacyMaya UddinMental Health AdvocateDawn KotschujewMental Health AdvocateA year ago I started in the post of mental health advocate for AdvocacyHighland. This has been the most rewarding year of my professionalcareer; managing a very busy case load and working as part of a teamwhere there is an obvious passion to ensure that people who have novoice are heard.Prior to my post with Advocacy Highland, I worked in a number of jobssupporting people with mental health problems. I didn’t expect to besurprised by the nature of the referrals in this job but what has struck memore than anything during my first year are the number of people thatAdvocacy Highland supports who are in the position they are as a result of“legal highs” and the severity of their illnesses.A welcomed outcome of the Queen’s speech was news that thegovernment have recognised the issues that these substances cause inour society. As difficult as it may be to adequately legislate against thesesubstances, I for one welcome at least the opportunity for an opendiscussion. And as always, when we have an opportunity for discussion,we must not forget that not everyone has the same ability to participate:that’s why organisations such as Advocacy Highland are so importantThis has been an amazing year for me and I feel truly blessed to be a partof such a wonderful team.Dawn KotschujewMental Health Advocate18

Skye & LochalshJudy FoottitAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorSkye & LochalshThe Person Centred ApproachFrom our work in Skye & Lochalsh this year it’s been evident thatwhen schools take a person-centred approach it can make a world ofdifference to children and young people with Autistic SpectrumDisorders.Donald was having a tough time of it in school, he really wasn’tcoping. Meltdowns and running away from class became a dailyfeature of his school life. Things started to change when teachers andsupport staff took a different approach; understanding that Donaldneeded emotional support to help him deal with feeling upset, and away to cope when he was feeling overwhelmed.Donald’s timetable was adjusted. His school day now begins and endswith a favourite teacher in a quiet room where he feels safe. This isDonald’s time to talk about anything and everything he wants; he’sable to let off steam and his teacher helps him relax and feel moreconfident.Katie was going into 6th year in High School. Problems with fitting inhad always impacted on her life at school and now seemed to limit anypossibility of going into further education. Planning for transition tookthe approach that put Katie first rather than focus on the difficultiesand allowed others to see her talents and potential.Katie was successful in her college application and will start after thesummer. Her college course will take account of her needs and allowher the time she needs to complete the modules.19

Robbie struggled to get on with his peers in school. High levels ofanxiety when working with others or joining in group activities wasbecoming overwhelming for him. A new plan helped people to seethings from Robbie’s point of view; understanding the stress he wasunder and helping him take time to de-pressurise.Robbie can now work at his own pace and gets support in all hisrelationships; he’s joining in more and is much happier and moresettled. He chooses to spend more time in class and is enjoyingworking on a group project.For each of these pupils it’s been the approach which has made all thedifference. Teachers and support staff have made real emotionalcommitments; there is a common vision and a willingness tounderstand the pupils’ wellbeing and find new directions for change.Clear, explicit plans which put the pupils first and allow them to leadthe way have all been sustained to the great benefit of Donald, Katieand Robbie.The person-centred approach is used to great effect by our volunteerswho have consistently taken the time and effort to really get to knowtheir advocacy partners and to see things from their point of view, thenwork steadfastly alongside them, encouraging professionals andservice-providers to take the same approach.Judy FoottitAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorSkye & Lochalsh20

LochaberVal BremnerArea Co-ordinatorLochaberAn interesting issue has arisen for an advocacy partner in Lochaber.Tina was at the Highland launch event for Direct Payments and was oneof the first people in the area to have support services funded in this way.Direct Payments offered Tina flexibility and control over her care andsupport. For 17 years Tina’s mum has successfully managed herpackage of care. This has involved the recruitment and training of staff,dealing with HR matters, completing timesheets and financial information.Tina’s mum is now retired and due to other family circumstances hasreluctantly decided that she can no longer do the day-to-day managementof Tina’s care package.Meantime Self Directed Support has become the funding mechanism forcare and support. So Tina is likely to be one of the first people to changefrom Direct Payments to Self Directed Support with an agency taking overthe management and provision of care. For example, this has raisedinteresting questions about the rights of the existing care staff underTransfer of Undertaking legislation.The role of advocacy has been to ensure that the transition to SelfDirected Support through an agency is person centred with Tina’s viewsreflected in the change process. Tina is an inspirational lady who hasmany interests and commitments. Ensuring that all of these are capturedwithin the Self Directed Support forms has been a challenge for allconcerned.At this time it remains to be seen what Tina’s Self Directed package ofcare will be Val BremnerAdvocacy Area Co-ordinatorLochaber21

On Your Side & Citizen AdvocacyFrances NixseamanProject Manager andCitizen Advocacy Co-ordinatorThis year we got funding from Lloyds TSB Henry Duncan Awards toestablish a steering group for On Your Side and to buy promotionalmaterials. We continue to seek funding for the project to develop morewidely and fulfil our wish to provide advocacy for children and youngpeople across Highland.We also received a very kind donation from Calum Munro, a voucher for afilm maker to help us to create a promotional film about On Your Side.Four young people were involved in the making of this film and we hope itwill strengthen our position when applying for funding.‘On Your Side’ - Filming Day (August 2015)Featuring: Bec Nicholson, Rebecca McClymont, JohnLeslie & James Goodwin22

Strong Together have recruited and trained six volunteers this year. Dueto volunteers' own personal commitments changing we have matched fourvolunteers with partners in Inverness. Adult Protection and Support andharm, in all its forms, is becoming more widely understood and the valueof Citizen's Advocates in standing by vulnerable people and helping themto lead ordinary lives is becoming ever more apparent.I will be returning to volunteer with Voluntary Services Overseas for thenext two years but will take some wonderful memories of the people Ihave met through Advocacy Highland. Staff, volunteers, supporters andadvocacy partners alike have inspired me to continue working forempowerment and equality for all people. It's a vision at the heart ofeverything Advocacy Highland does and, as we see the negative impactof growing inequality on people's daily lives, a vision worth fighting for. Iwish Advocacy Highland continued success in their invaluable work.As from September 2015 Maya Uddin will be acting Citizens AdvocacyCo-ordinator.Frances NixseamanProject Manager andCitizen Advocacy Co-ordinator23

Graphs 2014/201524



AppendicesObjectives28Principles and Values29-30Volunteering31Who’s Who32Organisational Structure3327

ObjectivesThe principle aim of Advocacy Highland is to provide free andconfidential independent advocacy in the Highlands for individuals ofall ages, including children, who need to be supported to speak upabout specific issues. This, whilst not exclusive, will focus on keypriority groups including those with mental ill-health, learningdisabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and people who are frail andelderly. Due recognition is always given to diverse and marginalizedgroups.We do this by: Supporting and facilitating individuals to speak up for themselves. Providing advocacy for individuals who are unwilling or unable toself-advocate. Enabling people to make informed choices and to make theirviews and wishes known. Developing links with service providers, professionals, appropriatesupport agencies and other advocacy providers. Recruiting, training and supporting paid and volunteer advocates. Participatin

2 Seafield Road Inverness IV1 1SG . 6 Advocacy This year we have had 712 issue based referrals in total. This includes work funded through CNSF in Caithness and North Sutherland. More detailed infor