Advocacy Awareness Week 2023 – What is advocacy?

Posted on: November 10th, 2023 by Amy

6 – 11 November 2023 is Advocacy Awareness Week and across the UK organisations have been getting involved by running events, producing resources, and opening up important conversations on the topic.

At Beacon we’ve been reflecting on what we understand by the term ‘advocacy’ – what it is, why it’s important, and what its role is in relation to NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC).

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTI), organisers of the Advocacy Awareness Week initiative, say:

“Independent advocacy is a powerful mechanism of support that enables people to say what they want, secure their rights, pursue their interests and obtain the services they need. Advocacy providers and advocates work in partnership with the people they support and take their side, promoting inclusion, equality and social justice.

“Independent advocacy is an essential component of local services and support for people who are at risk of exclusion. Having access to advocacy support will be important to many people in order to help them say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need – in relation to the health, social care, education systems and beyond.”

The NDTI surveyed 80 people to find out what they think advocacy is. There were a wide range of responses from advocates, self-advocates, commissioners of advocacy and others who work alongside advocates.

The below video collates just some of the responses they received.

#AAW23 What is advocacy to you?

Beacon CHC

Advocacy is a fundamental part of what Beacon does. We asked our team what advocacy means (to them) and here are some of their responses:

‘Listening and providing support to enable people to apply [the Framework] and express their views’

Bella, Business Development Manager

‘Acting, not for those we represent, but as a conduit for them to be able to express what is important to them and to empower them with the expertise they need to do that’

Gemma, Caseworker

‘Advocacy support for people with a chronic illness or disability means having someone on your side, supporting an individual through their journey to highlight what is important to them. For some people it can be the first or only time they have felt truly listened to’


‘Advocacy is needed to help individuals to communicate what matters to them and for them to be fully involved in key decisions. This helps enable them to achieve greater autonomy in their lives’

Gina, Caseworker

‘Advocacy is support, delivered through a variety of means, which equips people with the knowledge and confidence they need, empowering them to pursue their objective and secure what they are entitled to’

Amy, Marketing & Communications Executive


As CHC advocates, how can Beacon help you?

Beacon’s mission is to provide high quality and independent advice, information and casework for vulnerable people and those who represent them, empowering and supporting them through the complexities of Continuing Healthcare to achieve a fair outcome.

We do this in 2 ways:

  • We operate the NHS England Free Information & Advice service for CHC
  • We deliver paid casework services across England

Click here to read more about us and what we do.


We want to hear from you. What do you know about advocacy? What do you know about advocacy for CHC? And what do you understand about how Beacon can help you?

Join the conversation via Facebook or Twitter @BeaconCHC using the hashtags #AAW23 #AdvocacyAwarenessWeek #WhatIsAdvocacy.

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