The Engage Programme NCB Northern Ireland - advocacy & lobbying workshop


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As part of the ENGAGE programme, NCB Northern Ireland facilitated workshops on advocacy and lobbying for organisations funded under the Big Lottery’s Reaching Out Empowering Young People Programme (ROEYP).

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The Engage Programme NCB Northern Ireland - advocacy & lobbying workshop

  1. 1. The Engage ProgrammeAdvocacy & LobbyingWorkshop
  2. 2. Workshop Aims• To clarify the difference between advocacy and lobbying• To share examples of practice from both advocacy and lobbying• To gain a deeper understanding of what works in relation to advocacy and lobbying on behalf of children and young people
  3. 3. Workshop format• Definitions & clarification of terms• Advocacy & lobbying work examples VOYPIC Hope Centre NEXUS
  4. 4. Workshop format• The view from the other side – being lobbied• Summing up, resources and evaluation• Lunch
  5. 5. Definitions - Advocacy• Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the services they need (Action for Advocacy, 2012).• Advocacy can be defined as an individual being supported to express views, communicate choices and receive services or participation as a result (Advocacy Resource Exchange, 2012).• Advocacy may be within services (e.g. mental health) or independent
  6. 6. Definitions - Lobbying• Lobbying is the practice of individuals and organisations trying to influence the opinions of MPs and Lords. Methods of lobbying vary and can range from sending letters, making presentations, providing briefing material to Members and organised rallies (• Lobbying means, in a professional capacity, attempting to influence, or advising those who wish to influence, the UK Government, Parliament, the devolved legislatures or administrations, regional or local government or other public bodies on any matter within their competence (Public Affairs Council, 2012)
  7. 7. Summing up• Advocacy & lobbying – definitions & distinctions• Barriers and enablers to effective practice• The expertise that is in the ROEYP family• Resources
  8. 8. NCB Northern IrelandAlbany House73-75 Great Victoria StreetBelfast BT2 7AFTel : 0208 9089 1730Email : :
  9. 9. The Nexus Institute 1984 - NEXUS works to respond to the needs of adults who have experienced sexual abuse and violence by:•Providing an effective professional counsellingservice for everyone 16+•Providing high quality training to key individuals•Increasing awareness of the issue of sexual violence andits consequences throughout the community throughresearch, public awareness and information services.
  10. 10. What we do• One to one counselling – 1100 sessions monthly across NI• Education and Awareness programme (lottery funded) 4 Regional Offices/34 Outreach Sites Belfast Portadown Derry Enniskillen Currently over 404 men and women on our waiting list
  11. 11. Definition of Sexual Abuse“Actual or likely exploitation of a child. The involvementof children and adolescents in sexual activities they donot truly comprehend to which they are unable to give informed consent or that violate the social taboo’s of family roles (Children’s Order NI 1995)
  12. 12. Why did we lobby???• Experience and knowledge• Survivors of sexual violence didn’t have a voice• To ensure that sexual violence would remain at the top of the health agenda• To ensure that we could continue to provide our specialist service to survivors
  13. 13. What we did• Met with all influential stakeholders, ie, councillors, MP’s, MLAs REGULARLY• Gained a lot of exposure via media, (tv, radio,newspapers etc) responding to high profile cases• Included the voice of the survivors whenever we could.
  14. 14. The Icing on the Cake• A meeting was held between our Director and the then Minister of Health, Des Brown in July 2003.• A promise was secured (in writing) to commission research to determine the extent of sexual violence throughout Northern Ireland.• Persistent lobbying with successive MLAs and health ministers in the interim• Sympathetic ministers
  15. 15. Development of Strategy• Nexus and other relevant Groups met to discuss the shape of the Strategy:• What it should do• Who it would target• Draw up an Action plan• Establish Sub groups to work on the various topics such as support, prevention, justice
  16. 16. Launch of Strategy• Nexus presented at the official launch of the Sexual Violence Strategy 2008.• It was launched by Minister McGimpsey and Minister Goggins in Stormont
  17. 17. The Real Work begins…..• Strategy sub-Groups set up to agree the way forward• Time commitment to meet monthly and work on implementing the actions• Nexus is represented in all the sub-groups
  18. 18. Benefits of Strategy• Opportunity to make a difference to lives of survivors of sexual abuse and violence• More awareness of issue• More funding• Opportunity to work closely with similar groups• Opportunity to keep sexual violence at the top of the health agenda
  19. 19. Where we are at currently• Coming to end of four year strategy• Many things have been achieved: sarc, changes to law, directory of services, pr campaign• Strategy now merging with DV strategy in 2013• Nexus will continue to remain involved and ensure the victims of seuxal violence have a voice
  20. 20. OUR MISSIONo VOYPIC is an independent regional voice that seeks to empower and enable children and young people with an experience of care to participate fully decisions affecting their lives.o Our aim is to improve their life chances, through working in partnership with children, young people, staff, managers, agencies and government.o We do this through listening and learning and facilitating change which impacts and influences legislation, policy and practice.
  21. 21. WHO WE AREo VOYPIC is a charity that was set up by 50 young people and professionals in 1993o It is an organisation that works throughout Northern Ireland, independent of social services and works with children and young people in residential care, foster care, leaving and aftercare or any child or young person who has an experience of care.o We as an organisation, want to help children and young people with an experience of being in care, have their voices heard and to have impact on the issues and decisions that affect them.
  22. 22. WHAT DOES VOYPIC DO?o Advocacyo Mentoringo Participationo Policyo Research
  23. 23. VOYPIC’s Advocacy ServiceVOYPIC provide an independent and skilledservice to represent the rights of children andyoung people in Care.
  24. 24. VOYPIC Advocacy“Advocacy” means providing an independent and skilled service to represent the rights of children and young people in care. It involves helping children and young people to:• Learn about their rights• Learn about the services to which they are entitled• Make informed choices• Ask for services and adherence of their rights• Ensure that the services they receive are appropriate and take account of their age, gender, race, religion, culture, language, physical or mental health, or sexual orientation
  25. 25. Components and Services within the Advocacy project AccessibilityIndependence Promoting good Setting standards & practice reviewing practice Training advice Advocacy Project Individual/ Representation Group Support Awareness raising Consultation Support Confidentiality
  26. 26. Advocacy the service ADVOCACY GROUP INDIVIDUAL CAMPAIGNIssue based Case work Challenge •Regional proactive Regional -all profiling of an issue Action based elements •Recommendations group work of care •Implementation
  27. 27. Individual Advocacy
  28. 28. Active Cases by HSCT Area at 19th March 2012 Active cases by HSCT End of year 2012 180 155 160 140 120 100 80 60 43 36 32 40mNab 22coeu 20srf 20 2 0 Belfast Northern Regional South Southern Western total Eastern HSCT Area
  29. 29. Individual Advocacy in Practice Foster Care Supported Residential Accommodation Care Leaving Secure Care Care Advocate Mental Woodlands Health JJC Hydebank Hospitals YOC
  30. 30. Issues in Individual Advocacy– Leaving care – No accommodation– Pocket money – Contact with parents/siblings– Sanctions – Post adoptive– Financial support contact– Mental Health – LAC Review Tribunals – Education– Concerns about – Support in legal placement process– Appropriate adult
  31. 31. Diversity of Issues Care Plan 10Active Cases by Issue Complaint 5 End of Year 2012 Contact 15 Education 5 Family Group Conference 3 22 3 10 JJC 3 11 5 1 LAC Support 13 15 Leaving Care 10 Legal 9 5 3 Mental Health 540 3 Other 10 13 Placement 40 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker 1 10 10 9 Young Parents 11 5 Youth Conference 2 Advice, Information and Support 2 N/A 3
  32. 32. Speak Out Be Heard! Advocacy Line
  33. 33. Process Overview Referral is MadeAdvocate Assigned Initial Meeting Action Planning Resolution Support Options
  34. 34. Individual Advocacy in PracticeLooked After Child ReviewsChild Protection Case ConferencesCore Group MeetingsCourt SettingsPre-proceedings meetingsYouth ConferencesRisk Assessment MeetingsSafety in Partnership Meetings
  35. 35. Speak Out Be Heard! Visiting Advocacy
  36. 36. Speak Out Be Heard! Advocacy Surgeries
  37. 37. Resource - Listen To Me • A workbook that records personal information about the child or young person • Can be used to complete a Person Centred Plan
  38. 38. Our Advocacy Advice pack Leaflets entitled ‘A young person’s guide to:- • Mental Health Review tribunals • Care Orders • Secure accommodation • Article 8 orders • Emergency Protection Orders • The Gillick Principle
  39. 39. Resource - Talking Tools
  40. 40. THE BIG RED BOOK
  41. 41. Our care guides• Series of 3 guides• Available to download from our website• Interactive guides accessible via our website
  42. 42. Other publications• What to do guides• Leaving Care? Lost?
  43. 43. Young People’s Comments The Best Thing about VOYPIC’S Advocacy Service is?• You feel like you are being listened to.• They listen to you and assist your needs. They help you when help is needed.• Having someone there to listen to me and getting end results.• It gives you relevant information and ensures your views are represented.• I always had someone I could contact and discuss any concerns I had.
  44. 44. QUESTIONS
  45. 45. Lobbying & AdvocacyAn LGB&T Perspective Matthew McDermott – Equality Officer Harriet Long - Advocacy Officer
  46. 46. What is Sexual Orientation? Sexual Orientation is a person’s attraction, whether emotional, psychological and/or sexual, to people of the opposite or same gender. This includes Feelings Behaviour Identity
  47. 47. Gender IdentityGender Identity describes people’s expression ofthemselves as male or female. This is different tosexual orientation.Gender Dysphoria is when someone feels as thoughtheir visible gender does not match how they feel insideto some degree. It can also be called gender variance(from social norms), or gender variant behaviour. It is nota mental illness but a biological condition influenced bypre-natal development.
  48. 48. What is Transgender?Transgender or Trans is the umbrella term given todescribe individuals, behaviours and groups whosegender identity is different from the sex assigned to themat birth and/or describes individuals, behaviours andgroups whose gender identity does not conform toconventional notions of male and female.Gender Identity describes people’s expression ofthemselves as male or female. This is different tosexual orientation.
  49. 49. How many LGB&T people are there?• It is estimated that between 6% - 10% of the UK population are Bisexual, Gay or Lesbian.• This would mean that between 168,500 and 101,100 people in Northern Ireland fit into this groupBased on National Statistics 2006, estimated population for NI of 1,685,000.• There are between 80-100 people who identify as trans that are accessing support services. Many are invisible and/or isolated.
  50. 50. Lobbying • Influencing government• Opposing government policy
  51. 51. Advocacy• Two way street – between individuals/groups/communities and public services etc• Awareness raising• Emotional support but distance• Important relationship between experience and societal systems/structures
  52. 52. Aims of Advocacy scheme: To support LGB & T people in Belfast to reduce the fear of crime and discrimination.To improve communication between services to help people live safely, free from abuse and discrimination.To inform and raise awareness of issues, barriers faced and sensitivities for LGB&T people and their families. Who can use this service?This service is available to all people who identify as LGB & T and their families and partners.
  53. 53. Questions?
  54. 54. Youth work being political Campaigning on......  Improved public transport services for young people Gathering evidence about need and identifying recommendations to improve services Presenting evidence to politicians Working in partnership with politicians and service providers to implement recommendations
  55. 55. How did it come about?In 2010 the Consumer Council approached YouthActionNI about carrying out research on young peoplesexperiences and attitudes of public transport and howthey felt it could be improved.Recognising YouthAction’s previous research ‘Sense of Belonging’
  56. 56. The aim of the research?The aim of the research was to:∗Identify young people’s attitudes, views andexperiences of using public transport∗Ensure the needs of young people are considered inthe development of public transport policy andprovision
  57. 57. How was the research carried out?Involving young people was central to the research methodology. The research was carried out through YouthAction NI’s Community Leadership Programme in Greater Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Fermanagh. 38 young people in the Community Leadership Programme piloted, developed and completed questionnaires which they then carried out within their work placements. Young Farmer’s Clubs were also invited to participate in the research to allow for further input for young people in other rural area’s. In total 189 young people completed the questionnaires.
  58. 58. Key findings Young People Want To Use Public Transport!57% of young people replied that public transport wasimportant to them55% stated that using public transport was their first choice “I drive to college but trains would be much handier” “Make the Rural Lift service available to everyone”
  59. 59. Key findings Young people face barriers which prevent them from accessing suitable transport provisionAvailability of public transportLack of choiceCost of public transport“To get to Enniskillen from Garrison you have to go 7 miles backwards before travelling 24 miles to Enniskillen” “Getting the bus is ok but the prices are getting really dear” “There are no buses after 6pm”
  60. 60. Key findings Lack of public transport limits young people in what they can do85% of young people were aware of how the lack of publictransport impacted on their lives whether this was takingpart in after school activities, accessing job opportunities orbeing able to socialise with friends“I feel I have no independence and my plans always have to fit round my parents to give me a lift” “Your parents decide when and how often you go out”
  61. 61. What happened next?Young adults who were involved in the transportresearch worked with YouthAction to devise a fifteenminute drama sketch which was presented to theDepartment of Regional Development Committee in theLong Gallery, Parliament Buildings.
  62. 62. Off to Stormont we go!All of the young adults who were involved in theresearch got the opportunity to visit Stormont to watchthe drama sketch, see the finished publication and tovoice their opinions to the DRD committee. “I cant believe we did it” “I am so proud of myself”
  63. 63. What happened next? Translink talk business..∗ Translink contacted us to help them trial a Young Person’s Travel Discount Card∗ 144 young people throughout Northern Ireland took part∗ 8 week trial – 2 weeks without the card and 6 weeks with using the card∗ This card entitled them to 30% off Metro and Ulsterbus charges as well as 33% off NI Railways∗ This required regular contact with young people via Facebook, phone calls and the use of our texting service
  64. 64. We also helped the Consumer Council with the launch of a Young Person’s Travel Guide
  65. 65. Findings from the trial....∗ Very positive comments from young people on savings∗ 58% young people still using card with increase to 64% able to use it until December 2011∗ 29% experienced problems using card∗ 48% of those not using card cited the reason as passing their driving test. ∗ ‘It’s helped saving money on way to work or activities that I do that are far away.’
  66. 66. Keeping it on the agenda....∗ We met with the DRD Committee to contribute to their own inquiry into public transport∗ We gave a presentation to the DRD Committee on updating them on the recommendations from the ‘Transport Matters’ report.
  67. 67. Success!∗ Translink approached us in February 2012 to complete a survey with young people to identify a name for the young person’s discount card.∗ 300 young people were consulted through Facebook, Survey Monkey and through filling in questionnaires .
  68. 68. The Consumer Counciland Translink alsogained a “HighlyCommended” fromNICCY’s ParticipationAwards for “Supportingyoung people toparticipate in decisionswhich affect their lives.’
  69. 69. Watch this Space... Translink hope to launch the young person’s discount card during the summer period. We are also working again with the Consumer Council around implementing other recommendations from the “Transport Matters” research. One of them which is particularly important to us is ‘ensuring that young people continue to be engaged in how public transport is designed and delivered. ‘ To this end..  We will be utilising our youth poll system to gain current views of young people on public transport.  We are requesting a meeting with DRD Minister and local MLA’s to seek their support to implementing the recommendations.