Advance is a national support provider and registered Housing Association, providing services to more than 4000 people across many parts of England, including more than 2000 people with mental health problems.
We provide places to live for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
We also provide support for people so they can live their lives the way they want.
We give employment advice for people with disabilities who want to get into work.
We have been closely involved with SISO since 2009 when Advance staff and customers brought it into being, have provided funding and guidance ever since, and are delighted that this exciting project has come so far.
We continue to be linked with SISO as a Community Interest Company, with several staff representing Advance at Board level; and we promote its activities on our website and at local and national events.
Both ‘Akwaaba’ and ‘Ayeh’ mean WELCOME in Akan (spoken in Ghana) and Hindi (spoken in South Asia).
Akwaaba Ayeh’s main purpose is to help and empower Black (a collective term used to describe client groups who originate from South Asia (i.e.India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) Africa and the Caribbean, and their carers experiencing/living with mental illness, from the very acute to a mild emotional imbalance.
Advocacy is provided to the client groups identified above living in the City. Other services provided include:
Representation at Mental Health Review Tribunals, providing sufficient information as to enable choice, liaising with other related agencies.
Providing information, advice and guidance in relation to employment, training, finances and support.
The People’s Forum is run by and for service users to consult with and represent the views of mental health service users across Leicestershire and Rutland.
Our aim is to ensure that you have a voice and that your views, opinions and ideas about mental health services are listened to. Through this we inform and influence the planning and delivery of mental health services.
We can keep you informed and involved through our quarterly newsletter, circulating consultation information and signposting engagement activities.
We meet every month to discuss current mental health issues and we visit wards, and meetings around the county to canvass views and share the work we are doing.
Members benefit from peer support and feel empowered.
To make sure your voice is heard contact the People’s Forum on:
In 2008 mental health service users from Genesis (Leicester City) and the People’s Forum (Leicestershire County and Rutland) embarked on a pilot research study – not only giving service users a voice but being that voice.
From the success of the study came the Service User and Carer Research Audit Network (SUCRAN), led by a Steering Group of service users and carers, with support from De Montfort University, the group now employs a Project Manager and a pool of more than 30 interviewers.
The ethos of the project is that all interviewers are service users and carers themselves. Survey participants feel supported and less intimidated being interviewed by peers and more people opt into the survey thus producing robust evidence based research and enhanced richness of results.
Our aim is to bring about, by our findings, a shift in culture toward service user centered care.
Those involved in the project derive huge benefit too. They are employed as research interviewers by De Montfort University having completed interviews, training, CRB and occupational health checks.
In additional to feeling empowered and gaining valuable work experience service users and carers are supported by peers, the project team, academics, welfare rights and have access to psychological support and interpreter services.
Every stage of the process from questionnaire design to data analysis and report writing is service user and carer led – real involvement.