Peer Advocacy/Group Advocacy
Peer Advocacy refers to ‘experts by experience’, and is used to describe advocacy relationships where both the advocate and the advocacy partner share similar experiences, difficulties or discrimination. This could include people with a learning disability, mental ill health, the elderly or people from minority ethnic groups.
Peer advocacy often happens naturally where groups of people are together, for example in residential homes, hospital wards, self advocacy groups, or self help groups. Often it happens because one person feels more able to speak up than others and people feel united because of a common cause. The relationship between the group members is one of mutual support and empowerment. The primary qualification is their own experience of disability, exclusion or using services.
Some people may prefer to have an advocate who has had similar experiences; they are then supported by someone who “understands” by experience and will not be judgmental about their circumstances.