Words and photo by Dave Barry
GP services, parking, computer access and public transport are among the main issues facing Filey residents.
This emerged at an event organised and hosted by Advocacy Alliance at the Methodist church hall in Station Avenue, Filey.
The charity’s chief executive, Helen Beevers, said the Advocacy Café was attended by around 20 people, who were treated to a free hot drink and a slice of cake.
“We were able to tell them about the services Advocacy Alliance offers and ways they can get involved by helping us provide free, independent and confidential advocacy support to people living in their local community”.
It was the first of five Advocacy Cafés funded by Tesco’s Bags for Help scheme. The others will be on 11 April, 13 June, 12 September and 14 November, from 10am to noon.
Founded in 1991, Advocacy Alliance is a small independent charity that believes in respect, equality and choice. Its motto is You speak, I listen, together we do.
Helen says: “We are based in Scarborough which is the most deprived district in North Yorkshire. Some areas of the borough are within the most deprived 1% in England.
“Our aims are to ensure that people are heard, understood and their choices respected; to provide an independent voice for people; to see people being treated fairly; and to see a society and services that respect individuals.
“The people who use our services are often the most vulnerable in society”, Helen adds. “They are the people who do not have a voice in the system. They are people who are older or have a learning disability, mental-health issue, sensory impairment or another vulnerability”.
The charity receives funding from the county council, the big lottery and the police and crime commissioner’s community fund. The latter ends on 31 March. "We are looking for £15,000 to be able to continue offering the training in 2019 to 2020”, Helen says.
Advocacy Alliance is based at the Street, off Dean Road, in Scarborough.
Its website is at www.advocacyallianceyorkshire.org.uk.