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Advocacy services

The City of London funds independent advocacy services for people who are not sure of their rights and who may need someone to speak for them.

Advocates can help people who use our services to:

  • Say what they want and make sure they are listened to
  • Make sure they have equal rights
  • Help make choices to get support and services they need
  • Make a complaint if something goes wrong
  • Become more independent and to speak up for themselves.

Advocacy safeguards people who are vulnerable by speaking up for them. It enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people, young people and those with mental health needs to make informed choices about their own health and social care.

Frequently asked questions

What is advocacy and how can it help me?

Advocacy is where someone helps you to express your views, wishes and choices. An advocate can help you

  • To get support and services
  • Express your views about what support your receive
  • Challenge or make a complaint about any service or support you are not happy with.

How much will an advocate cost?

Advocacy is free for all City of London residents and service users with a social care, health or special educational need

What do advocates usually do?

  • Help you know your rights, and make sure they are respected;
  • Help you get support and services for you to live independently;
  • Help you find out information and about the choices you can make;
  • Support you to make a complaint;
  • Express your views at meetings or to professionals.

What should an advocate do?

  • Listen to what you say and pass on those wishes to the person or service needed
  • Be non-judgmental, act honestly and with respect at all times. Offer a confidential and independent service
  • Explain their role, including when they cannot keep something confidential and their Code of Ethics or Code of Practice;
  • Let you choose which Advocate will help you (where possible).

Advocacy services

Please see below for advice on how to get an advocate.

Independent advocacy service for families and young people - Reconstruct

​Reconstruct provides advocacy services for children and young people in the City of London. Reconstruct offers advocacy support to children and young people who are resident in the City of London with a health, social care or special educational need.

You can make a self-referral or referrals can be made by friends, family members, professionals etc.

If you want to know more or you would like to make a referral to the service, please use the following details;

T 0800 389 1571
Text 01225 780145

By post
Unit 4 Earlsfield Business Centre,
9 Lydden Road, Wandsworth London, SW18 4LT

Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm

Skye’s story

Fifteen year old Skye had been living in a kinship placement with her maternal grandparents for 13 years. Following an incident in the home, she was removed and placed in emergency foster placement. She thought this was temporary but was told by Social Care she could not return home to her grandparents.

Skye and her grandparents were not happy about this and it was unclear why she could not stay with her grandparents.

Skye asked an advocate to help challenge the decision made by Social Care. There was a planning meeting the following week. In the meeting, an advocate made it a priority that Skye’s views about wanting to remain with her grandparents were expressed and later helper her make a complaint about how Social Care had handled the situation.


Skye was returned to her grandparents care. Skye and her grandparents were happy with this outcome.

Independent mental health advocacy - VoiceAbility

VoiceAbility is the provider of Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMCA) for the City of London. The IMCA Service is for people who are not able to make decisions for their own life and need help to express their views.

Visit the VoiceAbility website here

From 2 April 2007, Local Authorities and NHS bodies have had a duty to instruct an IMCA to support an individual if they meet the criteria as laid out in the Mental Capacity Act (2005). This can include

  • People with dementia or mental ill health
  • People with learning disabilities
  • People with physical disabilities
  • People who have had a stroke
  • People with acquired brain injuries
  • People who are unconscious or in a coma

An IMCA must be instructed where:

There is a decision to be made regarding either serious medical treatment or change of accommodation.


The person has no close family or friends to represent their views


The person has been deemed by the Decision Maker not to have capacity to make that decision in accordance with the assessment of capacity as defined in the Act.​