The right to have your voice heard and to participate in making decisions which affect you is a fundamental principle in a democratic society. It is a principle simply stated as: Nothing about you / without you.
Many people face challenges to their independence due to physical or mental illness, intellectual, physical or sensory disability, lack of family and community supports or an inability to access public services that meet their needs. Some people communicate differently and with difficulty. Some people may lose their ability to make and communicate decisions as a condition, such as dementia, develops over time. Some are abused and exploited because of their vulnerability.
In circumstances where people may be vulnerable, or have to depend on others, there is a need to ensure that their rights, freedoms and dignity are promoted and protected. Through support and advocacy the will and preference of a person can be heard and acted on; independently of family, service provider or systems interests.
Sage has an inclusive approach to the development of our service and we will involve anyone who has a useful contribution to make. Whether voluntary or paid, the only questions that will be asked of someone representing Sage is whether they have the necessary qualities of competence and compassion to address a particular issue or situation and if they have the availability to provide a consistent and quality service.
We need volunteers who can work with us to promote awareness and use of our services and help people who may be vulnerable when they are still living in their local communities and while they still have the capacity to make their voice heard; with support where necessary. Creating awareness among GPs, Public Health Nurses, day-care centres, nursing homes, community centres, and legal and financial professionals, is therefore vitally important. Sage also provides support and advocacy to people who may be particularly vulnerable and / or have particularly complex needs and Support Persons may be asked to become involved with these clients when it is felt they have sufficient skills and experience.
This is important work and it will require volunteers who are able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people. We are particularly interested in volunteers who have a good understanding of the issues that vulnerable adults and older people can face in areas such as health and social care, housing, law or financial services. We need people to provide ‘a voice’ within local communities for their experiences and their needs; people with courage, creativity, competence, compassion and commitment.