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A-ND Independent Advocacy Service

A-ND’s Independent Advocacy Service, planned to launch in September 2024, is dedicated to empowering individuals and families within the neurodiverse community of Aberdeenshire. 


Our service is designed for those aged 16 and older, providing crucial support funded by Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action through the mental health and wellbeing fund, currently for 12 months. We hope with the evidence of need, and outcomes measured from our service that further funding will be sought and awarded to enable us to continue after the initial 12 month period funded. 

What We Offer

Our Independent Advocacy Service offers a range of advocacy options tailored to meet the unique needs of neurodiverse individuals, their families, and carers. Here's what you can expect:


Individual Advocacy:

We provide one-on-one advocacy to ensure your voice is heard in decisions that affect your life. Our advocate will work directly with you to understand your needs, support your choices, and help you navigate various systems and services.


Group and Collective Advocacy:

We facilitate opportunities for collective advocacy, bringing together individuals and groups to address common issues and influence positive change. This approach fosters a sense of belonging and community, empowering participants to advocate for broader systemic changes.


Participation and Engagement:

We create platforms for meaningful participation and consultation, ensuring that your experiences and perspectives shape the services and policies that affect you. Our engagement activities are designed to build confidence, connection, and a sense of empowerment.


What You Can Expect from Our Advocates

Our advocate is committed to providing high-quality, independent support. Here’s what you can expect when you work with us:


Listening and Support:

Our advocate will listen to your concerns and work with you to ensure your voice is heard. They provide the support you need to express your views and make informed decisions.


Confidential and Respectful Service:

We respect your privacy and treat all information with the utmost confidentiality. Our service is non-judgmental and tailored to your specific needs.


Knowledgeable and Experienced:

Our team has a deep understanding of neurodiversity and the challenges faced by neurodiverse individuals and their families. They bring a wealth of experience in advocacy, ensuring you receive expert support.


Empowerment and Advocacy:

Our goal is to empower you to advocate for yourself. We provide tools, resources, and guidance to help you take control of your situation and achieve your goals.


Eligibility and Access

To benefit from our free Independent Advocacy Service, you must be:

  • 16 years of age or older

  • Based in Aberdeenshire


Our services are available to individuals, families, parents, and carers within the neurodiverse community. Whether you need help with personal matters, accessing services, or advocating for broader systemic changes, we are here to support you.


Please note that we have one Advocacy and Participation Worker funded and demand for our service is likely to be very high. We will take referrals on a first come, first basis.  


Should our service meet full capacity as we expect, you will be added to a waiting list.  Once our waiting list reaches 20 individuals, it will be closed to enable us to effectively manage expectations.  


Our team is here to assist you, providing the support and advocacy you need to make your voice heard and create positive change in your life and community.


What Independent Advocacy Is

Independent advocacy is a service designed to support individuals in having their voices heard and their rights respected. It is a process that empowers people to express their views, make informed decisions, and ensure those decisions are acted upon. 

independent advocacy entails:

  • Empowerment: Advocacy empowers individuals to speak up for themselves and make their own choices.

  • Representation: An advocate represents your views and wishes, especially in situations where you may find it difficult to be heard.

  • Confidentiality: The service is confidential, ensuring your privacy and respecting your personal information.

  • Independence: Advocates are independent and not influenced by the interests of other parties, including service providers or family members.

  • Guided by Principles: Our advocate work from and is guided by the principles of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA), which include independence, accountability, empowerment, equal opportunity, and clarity of purpose.


What Independent Advocacy Is Not

It is equally important to understand what independent advocacy does not encompass:

  • Decision-Making: Advocates do not make decisions for you; they support you in making your own choices.

  • Advice Giving: While advocates provide information, they do not offer advice or opinions. Their role is to support you in understanding your options.

  • Counselling or Therapy: Advocacy is not a counselling or therapy service. Advocates do not provide emotional or psychological therapy but can help you access these services if needed.

  • Direct Support: Unlike support workers, advocates do not perform tasks or provide direct care and support, but instead focus on ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are upheld.


Our independent advocacy service is guided by the principles of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA), which ensures our commitment to:


  • Independence: We operate free from conflicts of interest, ensuring unbiased support.

  • Empowerment: We focus on empowering individuals to take control of their lives and decisions.

  • Accountability: We are transparent and accountable in our actions and decisions.

  • Equal Opportunity: We ensure everyone has equal access to our services, regardless of their background.

  • Clarity of Purpose: Our advocates have a clear understanding of their role and the boundaries of their work.


If you need support ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are respected, our independent advocacy service is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you.

How do I make a referral?

Click on the 'REFER HERE' button below to download our referral form and send your completed form by email to, or call our Head Quarters on 01224 277 900.

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