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  1. Advocacy Focus Retains Mind Gold Award for Workplace Wellbeing

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    Advocacy Focus is proud to once again be recognised by Mind in their annual Workplace Wellbeing Index, ranking second place overall for our wellbeing initiatives out of 114 organisations.

    The Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice for supporting mental health at work. As part of the index our staff completed Mind’s anonymous wellbeing survey to assess our culture, initiatives, and overall attitude to mental health, plus how we’re responding to the COVID19 pandemic.

    Justine Hodgkinson, CEO, says:

    “It’s been a tough year for our team, having to completely change the way they work, not being able to physically be there for the people they support, having to learn new technologies and juggle home, family and work life, so it was vital that we had robust support procedures in place.

    “We are delighted to see that our team are happy with our approach and are confident in our ability to support them. When our team feels supported, they are in a much better position to support the people in our communities. We are extremely pleased to be recognised by Mind and to come second overall out of 114 organisations is a real testament to the work we have put in behind the scenes.

    “But our work is never done. Now, as we face the easing of restrictions, resume face to face meetings and bring people back to the office, we know we’re going to have to ensure we tailor these policies and procedures for a new working world.

    Over the next 12 months we want to give other workplaces across the North West the opportunity to achieve gold standard, workplace wellbeing. Which is where our mental health training comes in and how this will give every organisation that works with us, the opportunity to support their team to turn up to work as the best versions of themselves.

    “I am so proud to be in a workplace that challenges mental health stigma and work alongside a team that feel comfortable and confident to normalise the conversation about mental health. Over the next 12 months we want to give other workplaces across the North West the opportunity to achieve gold standard, workplace wellbeing. Which is where our mental health training comes in and how this will give every organisation that works with us, the opportunity to support their team to turn up to work as the best versions of themselves.”

    • To find out more about the Mind Wellbeing Index, click here.
    • To view Advocacy Focus workplace mental health training courses, click here.
  2. Awards Season Kicks off with a Bang for Advocacy Focus

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    It’s been a challenging year for many charities and we know first-hand just how many of us have had to adapt quickly to support more people than ever during constantly changing restrictions and guidelines.

    Many in our sector have done an amazing job, quickly adapting processes, procedures and embracing technology, whilst absorbing large operating costs, to continue to support those who need us.  Embracing new technology to ensure that our team were agile and responsive, and out in the communities that needed us the most.

    That’s why this year’s awards season is going to be extremely tough; with many charities and businesses alike deserving to be recognised for the way they have faced and handled the pandemic.

    We are so proud to be one of those charities.

    We have been shortlisted for three awards at this year’s Hyndburn Business Awards and one award at this year’s BIBAs.

    Our CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, says: “The awards season is always so impressive, with many amazing businesses and charities from our area; we absolutely love seeing all the success stories in Lancashire and Hyndburn.

    “After the last year, more stories begin to emerge about all those amazing businesses and charities who have weathered a difficult 12 months and who deserve to be recognised. We are extremely proud of our team for the way they have faced this pandemic and continued to support those who needed us, and they too deserve to be up there.”

    We are shortlisted for Large Business of the Year, the Non-Profit Award and the Workplace Development Award at this year’s Hyndburn Business Awards and the Community Business of the Year at this year’s BIBAs.

    We have made many changes in our charity over the last 12 months, including launching new projects in response to the pandemic, supporting people with and via technology, working with professionals to ensure wrap-around support and looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our own team whilst they adapt to working more flexibly.

    Justine finishes: “We are excited to be able to celebrate with everyone face to face and network with all these amazing professionals in one room once again. We wish all those shortlisted good luck for the awards and all the best for the year ahead.”

    • The Hyndburn Business Awards celebrates the achievements, quality and diversity of local businesses and people in Hyndburn.
    • The BIBAs are Lancashire’s longest running business awards programme and run by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. The awards celebrate businesses and entrepreneurs across the county.
  3. Our Advocacy Service is classed as ‘Outstanding’ at the National Advocacy Awards 2016

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    The National Advocacy Awards celebrates outstanding people, organisations and practice in the field of Independent Advocacy. The ‘Outstanding Service’ category recognises services that are making a difference locally by providing creative and innovative ways of evolving their support. Katrina Kelly, Service Delivery Director at Advocacy Focus has always maintained that her committed team of Senior Advocates and Advocates is top class, but now the recognition at a national level and beating off stiff competition just goes to prove it.

    Advocacy Focus’s winning strand of advocacy is based on our IMHA activities following the publication of ‘A Right to be Heard. We worked hard with our multi-agency partners to establish a new ‘opt out’ policy.

    In addition to tackling the real life hurdles of Information Governance, Caldicott Policies, the relocation of 19 wards to one specialist unit, and amalgamating 6 different Mental Health Act Administrators ways of working, an opt out policy for automatic referral at the point of Section was finally introduced after a long period of dedication by the team. As a result of the initiative, IMHA referrals increased by over 400% in the first year and on average we continue to work with 268 detained patients per month.

    In addition, our very own Advocate Leanne Barber was a shortlisted finalist and voted Highly Commended in the ‘Outstanding advocate’ category, which recognises people who truly make a difference to the world through their advocacy practice. Well done Leanne! The Awards Ceremony was held on October 12th in Birmingham, for more details, see http://www.advocacyawards.co.uk/

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