Friday, 12 February 2010


Speaking Up’s Carers Advocacy Service has been up and running in Cambridgeshire since September 2009. The service, which is free, independent and confidential, is for unpaid adult carers who care for another adult living in Cambridgeshire. Claire Mathieu covers Cambridge City and South and East Cambridgeshire, and Mick Gurney covers Fenland and Huntingdonshire.

Both Claire and Mick have attended a number of carers support meetings and other carers’ events and are working closely with Crossroads Care Cambridgeshire. The recognition that carers have rights, and in particular a right to have a life outside of their caring role, has been an important development in social care.

Using ‘One to One advocacy’, the aim is to generally empower carers to have greater control over their lives. Some of the issues Claire and Mick are involved in with carers include, challenging cuts in services, assisting carers to secure their rights as carers and helping carers to prepare for meetings and accompanying them to meetings with professionals etc.
For further information about carers advocacy contact:

Claire Mathieu, by phone on 01223 555800, email: , or write to:
Carers Advocacy, Speaking Up, Mount Pleasant House, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0RN

Mick Gurney, by phone on 01354 651222, email: , or write to: Carers Advocacy, Speaking up, 25 Queens Street, March, PE15 8SN.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Young people’s Next Steps Nottingham

Next Steps member Liam was featured in a BBC news article regarding his work experience placement at the Queens medical centre in Nottingham.

The BBC spent a day with Next Steps and filmed our group out and about on the travel skills course. Liam was filmed supporting other Next Steps members to use public transport and the short film was shown on BBC East Midlands Today.

All our members enjoyed the experience and have been invited on a tour of the BBC studios in May 2010.

You can see the film here.

For more information please email

Friday, 30 October 2009

Speaking Up - over the phone!

We're delighted to announce that we're launching our brand new phone line, dedicated to providing parents with learning difficulties and/or mental health illness with direct advocacy support.

Research has shown that a disproportionately high number of parents with learning difficulties have their children removed for adoption, This is deeply distressing for both parents and children and something the law sees as a last resort. In many such cases, removals could have been avoided if the parent had had access to the right level of support.
Advocacy support is central to creating a positive experience of parenting for people with learning difficulties, and Speaking Up currently provides such services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Our 1-to-1 advocacy support, crisis advocacy and signposting to the appropriate sources of support and information ensure that parents have their voices heard and know their rights.

The new telephone line will be open to parents in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough no matter how small or how complex their query is. Our experienced advocates can provide information to parents about their rights, local services and support groups in the area. They can also provide parents with the range of options open to them, and problem solving techniques to enable them to take control of their situation. If parents require further advocacy support, they can then make a self referral to the Speaking Up for Families service over the phone. The service is completely free, confidential and independent.

We'd also like to encourage professionals and services involved with families to use the telephone service to discuss queries and issues, and to refer parents to our advocacy service.

Pictured: Our Family Advocates Rachel, Tim and Rebecca

The line will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10am-12pm. The number to call is 01223555888 - so if you have any queries please give us a call and have a chat with Rachel, Tim or Rebecca, our Family Advocates.