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Our History


We can all need help and support coping with difficult changes, choices or situations. For people who have no one who is either willing or able to help, being alone with their problem is daunting. It is worse for vulnerable groups and those society commonly ignores, who struggle to speak on their own behalf. This includes young and older people, people with mental health problems, those with learning or physical disabilities. 

North Yorkshire Advocacy (Advocacy) ensures that people are able to speak out, to express their views and defend their rights.  An advocate gives time and commitment, standing alongside someone who is struggling to deal with a change, choice or challenge, helping them to understand their options, make decisions, be heard and have their say.

Advocacy has provided services to vulnerable adults since 1994; we re-branded and became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in 2015. Advocacy employs experienced and qualified paid advocates who work alongside and supervise a team of trained volunteers. Volunteers are drawn from the local community and bring to the charity specialist knowledge, e.g. of the criminal justice system. 

Our large geography, rurality and the isolation of numerous rural villages and farms present particular delivery challenges. Our volunteers enable Advocacy to support more people than would be possible with just paid staff and particularly to reach into these rural areas.  With this team of locally based Advocates, and a strong and active Board of Trustees from county wide private and public business sectors, we combine a professional service with knowledge of the obstacles and difficulties that face people in North Yorkshire.

Advocacy currently supports 707 new clients a year.

The issues we deal with are becoming increasingly more complex. Support can last many months. Clients commonly need help to access legal rights, challenge services providers, tackle complicated family issues or secure income and opportunities to which they are entitled.  Common issues include:

  • Financial Issues
  • Problems Accessing Services
  • Housing Problems
  • Care Issues
  • Complaint Resolution
  • Problems coping with or resulting from changes to Welfare Benefits

Advocacy works in partnership with a range of organisations, statutory and voluntary, bringing relevant services together to create tailored and holistic support packages which maximise positive outcomes.

North Yorkshire Advocacy is funded by the Big Lottery, Reaching Communities and Community Engagement Funds.

North Yorkshire Advocacy is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, charitable number 1160069.