Advocacy service

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HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright will be on hand to officially launch a new service that will point people in the right direction in getting help to speak up for themselves.

Mr Wright will be at the Stranton Centre, in Southburn Terrace, Hartlepool, to unveil the new Stranton Generic Advocacy Service.

It is a new voluntary organisation which can offer support to people on a wide range of issues such as housing, employment, health and social care.

The organisation is run by volunteers who have been trained by Mary Diver, of the Generic Advocacy Training and Consultancy Service (GATACS) Community Interest Company.

Joanne Mason from the new service said: “Sometimes people find it difficult to speak up for what they want. Advocacy is helping to make sure your voice and views are heard.

“It’s about giving you more control and support in your situation and helping you explore what options you have.”

She added: “We can make phone calls, write letters, attend meetings and make sure any agreements are followed up.

“We encourage people to try and speak up for themselves with our support and help them to look at what choices and options they have.

“We listen to what you want and work together with you in expressing your views and opinions as if they were our own.”

The group is hosting an open day from 10am-1pm on Saturday, May 4, which will see Mr Wright officially open the new service.

The event will also feature representatives from Epilepsy Outlook, Tilly, Bailey and Irvine solicitors and Hartlepool Carers, a card stall, tombola, cakes, biscuits, face-painting a cosmetics stall and lots more. The group operates on an appointments-only basis.

Write to Stranton Generic Advocacy Service, c/o Mary Diver, 39 Southburn Terrace, Hartlepool TS25 1SQ, call (01429) 297099 or email