Independent advice and support


'Advocacy' means having someone to speak on your behalf. It means having someone to help you express your views and wishes, secure your rights and represent your interests. It helps anyone with a physical or learning disability, mental health needs or older people to make choices and decisions about their own health and social care.

In Peterborough all commissioned statutory and non-statutory advocacy services are delivered by a new partnership of specialist advocacy organisations and co-ordinated through one central team.  The service is called Total Voice and brings together advocates from VoiceAbility, Cambridgeshire Deaf Association and NYAS.  

A social worker will ensure you can access a specialist advocate as this is required under the Mental Health Act or in relation to mental capacity.    

How to contact Total Voice

Referral Helpline:  0300 222 5704   
Address: Total Voice Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
C/O VoiceAbility
The Old Granary
CB24 3AR

Children and Young People can contact a NYAS advisor directly by calling 0808 808 1001 or via email at

Advocacy types

Types of advocacy available:

  • self advocacy - helping people speak up for themselves 
  • citizen advocacy - matches people with volunteer partners in their local community
  • formal, professional or crisis advocacy - paid advocates focus on a task over a specific period of time
  • family and friend advocacy - happens on a daily basis by family members or support workers
  • legal advocates – lawyers or advice workers with specialist knowledge and training who represent people in courts, tribunals or complaint processes
  • best interests (non-instructed) advocacy - a person representing what he or she feels a person's wishes would be, if they were able to express them. Some mental health advocates are trained to do 'best interests' work for people with dementia
  • circle of support - a group of friends and a facilitator work together to ensure a person in need of support has a good and full life.

Online independent advice and support 

  • Info4Care - is a free internet based information and advice service designed to help older people and their families understand the English care system in a simple and logical way. Its primary aim is to signpost them to the most relevant sources of help and advice both locally and nationally.
  • socialcareinfo - socialcareinfo is designed to help you find details of the support available to you locally; national information about your rights and entitlements; and details of independent advice organisations in your area who can help you get the help that you need.