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Aims & Objectives

1

Enable and empower people to make informed choices and express their views.

2

Support people to access appropriate information and services.

3

Defend and promote the rights and responsibilities of our clients in the community.

4

Work in partnership with vulnerable individuals and give them a voice in the decisions that affect their daily lives.

  • We believe in the rights of people with disabilities to make choices and understand those choices.

  • We are committed to the principles of the right of people with disabilities to live as valued individuals in the community providing additional support as necessary.

  • We recognise our greatest assets are the people who work for Your Voice Advocacy and we continue to value our staff.

We recognise the value of abilities that play a part in the organisation and focus on the importance of individuals.

History

Origins

Your Voice Advocacy Project was originally called the West Glamorgan Forum and was set up in 1984 in response to a document produced by the Welsh Office entitled ‘All Wales Strategy for Learning Disability Services’.

This document set out new ways of working in the Learning Disability field. It recognised for the first time that people with learning disabilities had the right to ordinary patterns of life in the community and the right to be included in the decisions made which affected their lives.

Development and Progress

As a result of the findings in this document, a group of parents of children and adults with learning disabilities came together and established the West Glamorgan Forum.

Its aim was to ensure that the All Wales Strategy was to be implemented in the then county of West Glamorgan (now encompassing unitary authority areas of Neath Port Talbot and Swansea) and that parents were involved in planning how new services would develop.

West Glamorgan Forum

As the forum grew it became a powerful campaigning group representing parents and people with learning disabilities. By the mid 1990s the Forum was also responsible for working with adults who attended local day centres and their work aimed to include people with learning disabilities in the running of those centres.

These groups were also involved in recommending changes to the services and were supported to express their views by the Forum which was paid for by the Local Authority.

Your Voice Advocacy

After 1996, West Glamorgan no long existed as a county and the organisation took steps towards establishing itself as an independent advocacy project. By doing this the organisation had to apply for funding and was successful in getting National Lottery Funding from 1996 – 2002.

In 2007 the Forum changed its name to Your Voice Advocacy Project and today is going from strength to strength with the procurement of new funding for exciting new projects to support people with a range of disabilities.

Until January 2018 YVA was funded to deliver advocacy by the Big Lottery and Lloyds Foundations, but changes in the law made it difficult to get funding for advocates this way.  Local Authorities were expected to provide their clients with an advocate, so YVA became almost wholly funded by contracts with Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

Unfortunately, YVA was not able to continue providing high quality Independent Advocacy and returned to its founding principle of promoting self-advocacy.  The YOLO project was established in 2018 (funded by the local Health Board) to combat loneliness and isolation by providing opportunities for socialising like discos, daytrips and other regular activities.

West Glamorgan People First

In July 2019 YVA merged with Swansea People First.  SPF’s members joined up with members from Neath Port Talbot and in October 2019 we launched West Glamorgan People First with the aim of campaigning and working co-productively with local councils to give people with a learning disability more control over their care and support. 

 

Legal Status

Your Voice Advocacy is a registered Charity (No 1001271) and a Private Limited Company by guarantee without share capital use of ‘Limited’ exemption (incorporated 30th October 1990).