Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

We’re delighted to introduce Advocacy in Barnet

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Advocacy in Barnet (AIB) has been delivering advocacy for the past 17 years in the London Borough of Barnet. AIB is an independent advocacy service supporting people age 50 and over through free, impartial and accessible advocacy.

barnet logo

AIB offers a range of advocacy services: Future Care Project raises awareness on the importance of future care planning and encourages people to complete advance care directives; Financial advocacy that offers support with financial matters and especially with financial abuse; Care homes advocacy where volunteer advocates visit elderly residents on a weekly basis and supports them with advocacy and care issues, AIB has received nationwide recognition by the NHS confederation and last but not the least, Ward embedded hospital advocacy that offers weekly visits by volunteer advocates on wards at Edgware Community and Finchley Memorial hospital, this service is unique nationally. In the last year, AIB supported over 6,000 residents across its various services. On an average AIB advocates (paid and unpaid) supports 120 older people per week.

AIB is a volunteer led organisation that has volunteers involved at various levels of the organisation’s operations including administration, recruitment, training, induction, promotion and publicity, press support, fundraising, media liaison, monitoring and evaluation and delivering advocacy.

AIB is thrilled to be getting the new Macmillan Cancer Support funded Barnet Macmillan Cancer Advocacy (BMCA) service off the ground. Betty Zulu our Senior Advocate will be supporting volunteer advocates with BMCA case referrals. We are in middle of recruiting Macmillan Volunteer Coordinator and new Volunteer Advocates. BMCA had its first LCCB meeting; with such passionate, resourceful and supportive LCCB members the meeting was very interesting and productive.

Janet Maddison and Jacqueline Wijewickreme

Janet Maddison and Jacqueline Wijewickreme

Reginald Glick and Asmina Remtulla

Reginald Glick and Asmina Remtulla

 

We have two active Macmillan Volunteer Cancer Advocates and one of them has been working with a cancer patient (who also has agoraphobia and anxiety issues) helping him with issues around housing repairs and housing benefit. The advocate supported this gentleman to get his flat repaired so that it is a safe place for him to live; he had tried for a year and half to access repairs and maintenance service at Barnet Homes but was not offered any help.

 

 

 

Whilst the advocate was supporting him with housing repairs, he informed the advocate that his housing benefit was cancelled but did not know why and wanted help with liaising with the housing benefit team. Our advocate liaised with the housing benefit team via emails, letters and phone calls and eventually, it was established that it was an error on their side and they resumed his housing benefit payments.

Renie Bowen and Betty Zulu

Renie Bowen and Betty Zulu

 

 

Betty with the help of the volunteer coordinator and volunteers’ team will soon plan outreach activities in the borough. Meanwhile, we are planning to organise our first ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ on 8th or 9th October 2015 with an aim to promote our service, gain referrals and for volunteer recruitment.

 

 

For more information please contact Heena Cornwell or Betty Zulu on 020 8201 3415 / 020 8201 3148. You can email us on bmca@advocacyinbarnet.org.uk .

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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