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October-December 2019
Inside the new, quarterly e-newsletter from Advonet, we have updates on:
  • Our Annual Stakeholder Survey for 2019
  • Our values and how they shape our advocacy work
  • A feedback event for the Restraint, Seclusion and Segregation (RSS) Project
  • What's happening with our advocacy outreach surgeries
  • Advonet office Christmas/New Year opening times
  • Volunteer Citizen Advocates needed
  • Peer support and sessions from the LGBTQ+ Health Inclusion Project
  • Leeds Autism AIM's #XmasAutisticLifeHacks
  • A new skills course at Cafe Leep
Have your say in our annual Stakeholder Survey
We invite service users, professionals and citizens of Leeds to take part in our annual Stakeholder Survey. This provides you with an opportunity to have your say on what we do well, where we can improve and what you would like Advonet to do going forward.
It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete and your responses will be used to make changes.
After last year’s Stakeholder Survey, we set up a client involvement forum, have strived to improve waiting times for referrals and have increased our social media presence with new accounts for different parts of our organisation, based on what respondents wanted us to improve.
If you would like to take the survey, please click on the link below. The deadline for responses is Monday 6th January 2020.
2019 Stakeholder Survey >>
Advonet's values: How they help us in what we do
We have taken a look at how we can represent our values in what we do. Over the past 12 months, we have been developing our expectations as an organisation, which are:
  • Independence and empowerment
  • Integrity
  • Equality and diversity
We are now looking at how we embed them into our appraisals, stakeholder questionnaires and some of our communications work.
We want our values to mean something about how we are with each other and what our clients, referrers and the public can expect of us.
They are not intended to be something that is just written on a piece of paper – we intend to have our values be at the forefront of everything we do.
RSS Project feedback event: Thursday 12th December

The Restraint, Seclusion and Segregation (RSS) Project, led by Advonet and CHANGE, is holding a free event to look at the feedback given to it via their questionnaires. There are two questionnaires asking people to anonymously share their stories about receiving RSS. One is for people who have experienced RSS; the other is for their parents/carers.
It is on Thursday 12th December from 1:15pm-4:15pm at the Leeds Playhouse. To book a place, please register at the link below – if you do not register, you cannot attend. There is still time to contribute to the questionnaires – there are links to both below.

RSS Feedback Event >>
RSS Questionnaire - Lived Experience >>
RSS Questionnaire - Parents/Carers >>
Outreach surgery changes

For the next couple of months, our Advocacy Outreach Surgeries will be changing. We will now be running four surgeries per week:
•    At the Reginald Centre on Mondays from 12:30pm-3:30pm
•    At the Reginald Centre on Tuesdays from 9am-12pm
•    At the Hamara Healthy Living Centre on Tuesdays from 1pm-4pm
•    At the Leeds Refugee Forum, One Community Centre on Wednesdays from 10am-Noon
For more information, please contact our team by phone on 0113 244 0606 or by email at

Office Christmas/New Year opening times

For the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, the Advonet office will be closed on these dates:
•    Wednesday 25th December 2019 (Christmas Day)
•    Thursday 26th December 2019 (Boxing Day)
•    Wednesday 1st January 2020 (New Year’s Day)
On some of the weekdays around those dates, the office will be open. However, on some days, we will only have a skeleton staff team available, as many staff will be on annual leave.
We will be back open as normal on Thursday 2nd January from 9am-5pm. Please note that as usual, we will be closed on weekends.

Volunteer Citizen Advocates needed
Advonet are looking for Volunteer Citizen Advocates to help adults with learning disabilities in Leeds. Citizen Advocates are fully-trained volunteers who support adults with learning disabilities with a range of things, including preparing for meetings and knowing their rights and choices.
If you would like to be a Citizen Advocate, please read our role description by clicking on the link below. For more information, you can call us on 0113 244 0606 or email Miranda at
Citizen Advocates needed >>

LGBTQ+ Project’s Peer Support sessions

The Leeds LGBTQ+ Health Inclusion Project, led by Advonet, CHANGE and Yorkshire MESMAC, are running a set of peer support sessions. These are open to LGBTQ+ people who are also autistic, have a learning disability and/or mental health difficulties.
They start on Monday 6th January 2020 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at Yorkshire MESMAC’s office in Leeds City Centre. Please click on the link below for more.

Peer Support Workshops >>
Leep1 to host free media skills course for adults with learning disabilities
Leep1, in partnership with Vera Media are running a free 12-week course for adults with learning disabilities. The course aims to teach creative media skills like photography, film-making and IT to help people on the course into employment or further education/training. The course starts on Tuesday 7th January 2020 from 10am-12 Noon and will be at those times every Tuesday until Tuesday 24th March. It takes place at Cafe Leep, Unity Business Centre, 26 Roundhay Road, Leeds LS7 1AB.
To book a place, please email or call 07711 000 599.
Media skills course >>
Leeds Autism AIM: Hubs at Christmas / #XmasAutisticLifeHacks
Our Leeds Autism AIM service’s Autism Hub sessions will be closed during the Christmas and New Year period. The last Hub session before Christmas will be on Tuesday 17th December at the Lovell Park Hub from 3:30pm-7pm. It will be back open on Tuesday 7th January from 3:30pm-7pm and will be open as normal from that date onwards.
The AIM team have also started their #XmasAutisticLifeHacks series of tips from autistic people on surviving the often hectic festive period. Search for the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook to see what the team have shared.
#XmasAutisticLifeHacks >>
News in Brief
Our Irene's award nomination
Irene Crawshaw, who has been working as an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) for Advonet for 20 years, was nominated in the Outstanding Advocate category in the 2019 Advocacy Awards.
She just missed out, but Irene was thrilled to be nominated for her many years of excellent service and passion for making people's voices heard.
Irene >>
involved in Xmas Fair

In the run-up to Christmas, Leep1, People Matters, Aspire CBS, the Hamara Centre and Health For All will be running a Christmas Fair. There will be all kinds of seasonal gifts for sale made by each group's members, who have learning disabilities.
It is taking place on Thursday 12th December at Cross Flatts Park in Beeston, Leeds from 10am-2pm.
Fayre >>
Celebrating disabled volunteers
To mark International Day of Disabled People and Disability History Month, we made a few videos interviewing disabled volunteers about what they do.
We spoke to five volunteers working with the Asking You!, Cafe Leep and Leeds Autism AIM projects; one volunteer spoke about how skills gained helped her into a paid job elsewhere! 
Please goto our Volunteering Twitter account if you would like to watch them all in full.
Videos >>

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Our mailing address is: Unity Business Centre, 26 Roundhay Road, Leeds LS7 1AB

Tel: 0113 244 0606 | Email: | Text: Name then 07397 939 820

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