Independent Advocacy Service

Who is service programme for?

Bryson Independent Advocacy Service supports some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  We aim to empower those who need help speaking up for themselves, so they may be heard by those entrusted with their well-being and the protection of their rights.

About the Service

Our service is commissioned by the Belfast and South Eastern Health & Social Care Trusts.  We also accept referrals for discrete pieces of work on a spot purchased basis from all Trusts and other external agencies throughout Northern Ireland.  Primarily we support adults with a learning disability living at home in their own community.  We also have an important role in supporting those living in Muckamore Abbey and their Carers.  Our Advocates have expertise and experience in Children and Family work;   supporting those involved in Court or Legal proceedings and helping  those who have issues within their Care Home.  Our personalised service  provides short or long term support to meet individual need.

In Bryson Care we promote and encourage other forms of advocacy, for example, we have been involved in establishing Day Care and Residential Group Advocacy and the facilitation of service user forums.  Our aim is to amplify the collective voice of individuals with similar issues and to empower them to articulate their needs and wishes.


Service Aims

Bryson's Advocacy Service is person centred and our well trained and experienced team of advocates take time with each person  in order to understand their particular situation.  Each individual  is encouraged to speak for themselves, but where this is not possible the advocate  in the presence of the person will speak on their behalf.


Service Objectives:

  • To have a person centred approach, that uses either instructed advocacy, or non- instructed advocacy models depending on the needs, wishes and capacity of the service user.
  • To provide a service that wherever possible empowers the service user to speak up for themselves (self-advocacy), and support them to voice their own needs and wishes.
  • To inform service users of all information regarding their options and choices relating to their individual issues in a non-biased way and using language that is clearly understood.
  • To work within the boundaries of confidentiality, and ensure that service users and other agencies are aware of the confidentiality policies.
  • To provide an independent service putting the interests of the service user first.


Referral Process

The service is available in the Greater Belfast area which encompasses Muckamore Abbey Hospital, and also throughout the South Eastern Trust Area. 

Referrals are made through professionals working within Adult Learning Disability Programmes of care.  Self-referrals are also accepted from individuals who are in receipt of support or care from the Adult Learning Disability Teams.  The standard referral form is available online, by request from the Advocacy Service or via email.  Each service user will have a named advocate that will manage their case confidentially, impartially and respectfully.  Referrals on a spot purchase basis are made through the same process as commissioned services; however an hourly charge is made.  The referral process for group advocacy is through the same process as individual referrals. 


More details regarding costs can be provided on requestusing the form or contacts below

Key Contact

Una Torrens

(028) 9032 5835
2 Rivers Edge 13-15 Ravenhill Road Belfast BT6 8DN
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