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Our advocacy volunteer programme

We provide advocacy services across the North-East to help vulnerable people be involved in important decisions about their life and make sure their wishes are heard and their rights are upheld.

Many of the people supported by our service have a condition like dementia and live in residential care settings where they receive regular visits from their advocate to ensure they are involved in decisions about their care and where they live.

Over time however, many of our advocates noticed that some people weren’t receiving any other visitors and were expressing feelings of loneliness and isolation despite living a care home group setting.

To help with this, we established an advocacy volunteering programme that provides opportunities for people to become regular visitors to a care home so they can get to know the people we support and provide opportunities to raise questions or issues in between regular advocacy visits.

Edwina has over 30 years’ experience of working in the health and social care sector and became an advocacy volunteer in December 2022, regularly visiting Cestria care home in Newcastle to spend time with the people we support there and chat to them about where they live and any issues they might be experiencing.

She also takes some residents out for a walk around the local area so they can be part of the community, enjoy some fresh air and be supported to choose items at the local shop. She said:

“Having an outsider coming in to talk with residents to make sure they are happy with their placement and to discuss any issues that arise is an excellent idea. It has been good getting to know the staff and gaining a good relationship with them so they feel comfortable discussing any issues within the home. Cestria is a very stable and welcoming environment and I have never met a set of staff so dedicated and well-liked.

“What I get from volunteering is a feeling of belonging. A feeling I’m another part of the home.”

Kathy Burns, Cestria Care Home Manager, said:

“Residents have loved it. It’s nice for residents to see different people and have different interactions and nice to see different faces and it helps the staff by having extra people to chat to residents.”

Get involved

Being an advocacy volunteer is a fantastic opportunity to develop skills and experience of working with people with conditions like dementia in a residential care setting as well as providing much-needed support and company for people who are feeling lonely or isolated.

For more information about volunteering at Your Voice Counts, visit

For more information about our advocacy services, visit


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