Ian’s Story

Ian has a mild learning difficulty, physical difficulties, mental health issues and hearing problems. Ian finds it difficult to communicate with others, because he often misunderstands what people mean if they are not very clear. This can lead to extreme frustration, and Ian disengaging with professionals. Ian attends an activity group at a day centre, and had a disagreement with another person who attends. When Ian tried to explain his feelings to the day centre staff, he felt they did not understand him or take his views seriously.

Ian has a mild learning difficulty, physical difficulties, mental health issues and hearing problems. Ian finds it difficult to communicate with others, because he often misunderstands what people mean if they are not very clear. This can lead to extreme frustration, and Ian disengaging with professionals.

Ian attends an activity group at a day centre, and had a disagreement with another person who attends. When Ian tried to explain his feelings to the day centre staff, he felt they did not understand him or take his views seriously. Ian did not know how to get his point across clearly, so talked about his issue with a friend outside the day centre. The friend suggested he access Advocacy to support him to understand his rights.

Ian did some research into Advocacy on the Internet, and found the contact details of his local service. Ian then made a self-referral for support with his issue, as he felt he had no one else who could help him. Ian worked with his Advocate to make a complaint about the staff’s attitudes at the day centre, and following the complaint, the issue was resolved.

Ian continued accessing the group and, months later, a similar incident happened. Having learnt the skills to make a complaint previously, Ian used those skills to make another complaint on his own. This time, Ian’s complaint was ignored, leaving him feeling very upset and disempowered. Ian remembered how Advocacy had previously supported him, so he re-referred to his local service.

When Ian met with his new Advocate, he explained the skills he had previously learnt, and the difficulties he had experienced with this new situation. The Advocate supported Ian to research more about the day centre, and ask for a copy of the complaints procedure. With the Advocate’s support, Ian learnt the skills to research how to progress the complaint outside of the day centre, and how to find the relevant people to contact when complaining.

As a result of Advocacy involvement, Ian’s confidence grew as he learnt more skills to be able to progress with complaints himself. This increase in confidence meant that Ian was able to prepare and plan for the investigation that was conducted as part of his current complaint. Ian’s Advocate worked with him in the way that he needed, to fully ensure that he understood exactly what was happening and why.

After Ian’s second complaint had been resolved, Ian was able to return to the day centre with the additional support that he had asked for. This positive result led to Ian feeling much more positive about challenging things in his life that he wasn’t happy with. He felt able to ask Social Services for a new Assessment of Needs, as he believed his difficulties were increasing. Ian also developed the confidence to run his own annual review, inviting all the relevant professionals and asking them to contribute!

When coming to the end of the Advocacy involvement, Ian said that he felt that he didn’t need the support of his Advocate anymore to enable him to speak up for himself. Ian told his Advocate that he feels much more “in control” of things in his life now, as he feels able to take on the challenges that occur on a day-to-day basis. Ian also said that he felt “very proud” of himself for having achieved so much, and is now using his skills to support friends to take more control of their lives too!