All Wales People First have been aware that our local groups have faced difficult times.
It is not just Self-Advocacy that has struggled but all forms of advocacy have been threatened.
There are many reasons for this.
Some reasons are because of the problems with local authority funding.
This has been made worse by the cost-of-living crisis and Covid recovery.
Local authority regions are under a lot of strain trying to get back to normal after Covid.
During Covid 19 we have shared our members stories.
And the experiences of local groups.
Local groups played a critical part in helping people with learning disabilities during Covid.
We have made it clear at the Learning Disability Ministerial Advisory Group (LD MAG) that advocacy is under threat.
We were supported by the co-chairs of LD MAG and the members of the group.
The co-chairs wrote a letter to the Welsh Government explaining their concerns.
The Welsh Government have asked the ADSS (Associated Directors of Social Services) to work on a plan to help protect all forms of advocacy.
They have asked All Wales People First to work with them on this.
I have met the ADSS a couple of times.
They have also spoken to our Board of Directors and our former National Council Chair James Tyler.
I have sent them a lot of information for their desktop review.
A desktop review looks at what work has already been done about advocacy.
I am going to meet with the ADSS on Wednesday the 22nd March to discuss the desktop review.
They are very keen to work with members and groups.
And have a very positive attitude towards protecting all forms of advocacy.
The findings of their work will be published in a report.
This report will make recommendations to the Welsh Government about what needs to happen to protect all forms of advocacy.
I have shared my views.
We want you to share yours.
We hope that the ADSS will join us at AdFest 2023 in June.
And we hope to connect them to groups across Wales.
This work only lasts one year.
Let’s take our chance to safeguard all forms of advocacy.
We will keep you updated.
VICTORY FOR SELF (AND ALL FORMS) OF ADVOCACY!