Advocacy is the process of supporting and enabling people to:
- Express their views and concerns
- Access information and services
- Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
- Explore choices and options.
Advocacy also seeks to ensure that people, especially those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to:
- Have their voices heard on issues that are important to them
- Defend and safeguard their rights
- Have their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives.
An advocate is someone who provides support when you need it; for example, helping you to access information, or supporting you with funding requests for the drugs you need to treat kidney cancer.
Advocates support people based on their own personal experience. To enable them to carry out this role, they need to be able to:
- Tell their own personal story in their own words and comfort level
- Establish and foster a mutually beneficial relationship with those who have the ability to effect change.
Advocacy is important because the alternative, not doing anything, is really no alternative at all; it never leads to change or progress.