SHEP has been involved in advocacy since the year 2000 and was to the forefront in the development of advocacy for vulnerable older people through a project called Cork Older People’s Advocacy Service. A defining feature of SHEP’s model of advocacy has been pioneering the training and deployment of volunteer advocates.

We participated very successfully in the pilot Advocacy Project for People with Disabilities which was funded by the Citizen Information Board (CIB). This allowed SHEP to offer a high level of representative advocacy through a full-time professional advocate between 2008 and 2010

More recently, at the request of the HSE, SHEP has deployed volunteer advocates to provide advocacy for vulnerable older people in residential settings. This consists of regular visits to Nursing Homes, getting to know the residents and, where needed, providing them with group and individual advocacy.

Currently the Cork Advocacy Service consists of a small team of volunteer advocates and continues to provide independent, confidential, free advocacy to vulnerable people in their own settings. To support the Advocacy team SHEP provides regular supervision, garda clearance, and on-going support and guidance from SHEP’s Advocacy Development Worker.