VoiceAbility was formed of two leading advocacy organisations; Advocacy Partners and Speaking Up. We merged in April 2010 and changed our name in December of that year.
That’s the short story.
As with all mergers, there was a lot of back story and before a merger could take place both organisations needed to make sure that the other was the right partner for them, that they valued the same things.
Today we work with 18,000 people to help them speak up about issues, concerns and questions they have about their lives. Read more about our impact.
We’re extremely proud of the work that we do, but to us it’s not enough. Especially at the moment, with Government cuts impacting on so many vulnerable people, it’s more important than ever for people to have a strong voice, rights that are respected and to have greater choice and control over their own lives.
With two organisations that have such strong foundations and illustrious histories, this section could be quite long. Since the past is the past and the present is what’s important to the people we work with, we’ll keep it short.
Jonathan Senker and Craig Dearden-Phillips (respective CEOs of Advocacy Partners and Speaking Up) both realised that social care policies were changing, fast. And organisations had to change with them, embracing innovation and challenge, in order to survive in the new world. Both had ambitions for their organisations as well, both wanted to reach more people, in more areas, with a greater set of services to offer. With this in mind, a merger – which allowed the experience and expertise of each organisation to be complemented and improved – was the perfect solution.
As one organisation, VoiceAbility has been able to do more together than we could do apart. We have been able to continuously improve all of our services, develop the skills of our staff members so that they can support the people they work with more effectively. We’ve been able to work with new client groups in new areas, using the skills shared across our existing services.
But our vision is of a society in which everyone’s voice, views and hopes can be heard loudly and clearly, in which our rights are understood and respected, and in which each of us is able to lead a full and enjoyable life.
That’s not the case at the moment. We know that the work that VoiceAbility does is invaluable to the people we support; its impact is life changing and long lasting.
Making sure that all around the country, people who are vulnerable or marginalised have access to the services that we provide and the life changing opportunities we present is imperative.
That’s our aim for the people that need us the most.