Independent advocacy is facing an increase in demand and reducing resources according to new research.
The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance’s Map of Advocacy across Scotland 2015–2016 notes a 4% drop in funding overall at the same time as an increase in demand totalling around 11.5%.
Across Scotland NHS and local authority funding for independent advocacy is just over £11 million, although some projects are also funded from other grant and trust sources.
In 2015-16, advocacy organisations supported 30,500 people across Scotland, despite a reduction in the number of paid advocates and volunteers. Many advocacy organisations report that they are prioritising people who are in crisis and operating extensive waiting lists. Some groups who should be able to access independent advocacy due to mental health issues are still not able to do so, including children and young people.