Equal Lives is a user-led organisation providing services to enable people to live more independently and have choice and control in their lives.
Information, Advice and Advocacy Service - for disabled people and people with mental health issues, their partners, family members and carers. This service provides information and advice in a range of ways including:
- Fact sheets and self-help toolkits, available online and in hard copy
- Responding to telephone and email enquires on the day where it can
- Holding ‘drop in’ sessions across the county
- Offering face-to-face appointments where people need this level of support in order to understand the information and advice that is being given
Where people require more than information and advice, its adviser-advocates are able to provide advocacy case work and representation on a range of issues including:
- Supporting someone who wants to challenge their diagnosis or care package
- Attending meetings with Social Workers, where people feel intimidated and unable to speak up for themselves
- Supporting disabled parents who are subject to child protection proceedings, including at court hearings and conferences
- Providing representation at benefit and employment tribunals
- Supporting people to challenge unfair discrimination
- Providing financial advocacy in order to support people to regain control over their financial situation and regain their independence (‘Money Matters’)
- Providing non-instructed advocacy where people have complex communication needs, and are deemed to lack capacity to make decisions for themselves
Support Services - can help people by supporting with:
- Planning care and support
- Recruiting and managing carers or personal assistants
- Managing care money and paying wages/invoices
Get Involved - you can join Equal Lives as a member and get involved in projects, campaigns, local groups, sharing your experiences and volunteering.
The service can be contacted by telephone, textphone or through its website. Alternatively you can go to one of its open sessions or a 'drop-in' Information and Advice session in the local community.
From Monday 6 January 2014 it will be running an appointment-based ‘Information and Advice’ service at the Riversdale Centre, Thetford, between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. To book an appointment or to find out more about the open sessions, please contact Equal Lives.