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Guest blog: A Day in the Life of an AVoice Advocate

Posted: Thursday 6th October 2016
Blog: 2016

8.30am I log on and find a new referral waiting for me.  I check the rest of my emails and diary and schedule to call the new client later to introduce myself.

9am I get an urgent message from a client saying there had been another incident with her neighbour.  I call straight away as she sounded upset, but I only managed to get her voicemail. I left a message saying I’ll call again and asking if she has logged it for the housing association or called 101.

930 There was just time to prepare for a home visit to a client. I printed the information I needed about his case and checked my route.  I spend a lot of time travelling to meetings and to meet clients as Bristol is such a busy city.

10am I call the new client to introduce myself and suggest we meet.  He was just on his way out so agreed I would call again tomorrow.

11am As usual the traffic was bad and I only just arrive on time for the home visit, and called the office to check in that I had arrived.  The meeting was positive but stressful and it took a while to get all the details from the client as she became understandably upset describing the events that had happened to her.   It is hard seeing people struggling with what has happened to them, and makes me even more determined to do all I can to help. 

I explained what support I could offer and we found a way forward and agreed what we will do. When I left she said she felt better about things and glad of the help.

2pm After lunch I was off to Bristol Crown Court to meet a client. I got there on time but couldn’t see him.  After a while waiting I went through the security checks and made sure I was in the right place, but still no sign.    I was beginning to worry so called my client and found he had gone to the council offices by mistake.  This is a small mistake but easy to make as the system is complicated and when people are nervous they can make mistakes.  It is why having an advocate and support can be so important. 

3pm After travelling from the council offices we meet in the foyer and went through to court.  I introduced my client to the Police Liaison Officer and one of the witnesses.

3.30pm The defendant’s barrister arrived and asked if the client would accept a lesser plea.  He would still receive £50 as compensation (the value of the money allegedly stolen from him).   He accepted rather than go through the court process. 

4.30pm After the trial was over I went back to the office to complete paperwork and plan for the next day. 

For more information go to www.thecareforum.org/pageavoice .

To find out  about volunteering with AVoice, please contact Steffie Denton at steffiedenton@thecareforum.org.uk or on 0117 9589308.

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