If you have resources you would like to share with the wider advocacy community or you think we should include here then let us know. Please contact OPAAL’s Director of Development.

Human Rights and Advocacy: A Short-guide

This short guide aims to help people know more about human rights when they are accessing health, care and other services, or supporting someone who is (either as an advocate or as a carer/family member/friend). This guide should help people understand how human rights are relevant to the issues you or your clients/family member/friend’s experience when accessing services. The resource also includes flowcharts to help readers decide if their issue is a human rights issue, and what to do next.

Human Rights and Advocacy

Society’s Return on Investment in Advocacy

Reflections of an advocate

These ‘reflections of an advocate’ were shared at the National Advocacy Conference 2016 and struck a chord, OPAAL feels these words will be encouraging to advocates and so reproduces this text here with thanks to Age UK Cambridge and Peterborough.

Reflections of an advocate

Get ready for GDPR

OPAAL has produced information and a template action plan to support members prepare for the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) on 25.05.18.

OPAAL GDPR readiness information for members Jan 17

General Data Protection Regulation (from 25 May 2018)

Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme – Health Engagement Strategy March 2017

Effective communication and engagement with health professionals is key to optimising the potential for the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy (COPA) programme to reach and support as many older people affected by cancer (OPABC) as possible.

The Health Engagement Strategy has recently been produced and is available here.

Time: Our Gift to You

Our new online publication, Time: Our Gift to You explains why cancer advocacy volunteers support their peers.

Time our gift to you

Equalities monitoring data

OPAAL have produced a short guide to explain the rationale for why we collect equalities data and why it’s important that we do.

The document can be found here for viewing and downloading if needed and it may be useful for use locally.

Why do we ask equalities monitoring questions for SAM

The FSI – Small Charities, Trends and Income generation

At the last OPAAL Partnership Development Hub meeting on 8th December, the FSI gave a presentation to attendees.

The presentation from them can be found here.

Further information about the FSI and what they do can be found on their website – about the FSI.

Using person centred thinking tools

This toolkit is an overview of some of the person-centred thinking tools that you can use with volunteers, staff and clients to find out what matters to them and ways that they can be well supported.

The toolkit can be found here. Each section describes the tool, how it can be used and includes a template for your use.

More information about the person-centred thinking tools can be found at www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk.




Facing Cancer Together

OPAAL’s latest publication demonstrating the power of independent advocacy.

Download now


Defining advocacy cases as complex

OPAAL have produced a discussion paper to set out the wide range of issues that might give rise to an advocacy case being defined as a ‘complex case’ drawing on academic research, advocacy casework in action and a recent training pack commissioned by OPAAL from Dorset Advocacy (2016) on complex cases.

Some of the issues discussed here pertain particularly to cancer advocacy service delivery, though many apply to generic older people’s advocacy too.

The document can be found here.

If you have any comments or queries then get in touch with us via Angela Broadbridge.

OPAAL Responses to NICE Consultations

We recently told members that we’d start sharing any consultation responses OPAAL do.

Below you will find a list of consultations we have responded to:

Response to an engagement exercise on multi-morbidity – closed 6th October 2016

Response to consultation on Quality Standards for head and neck cancer – closed 14th October 2016

Adults in the final days – closed 25th October 2016

Haematological Cancers – closed 7th February 2017

Multimorbidity – closed 25th February 2017. OPAAL has contributed to the review of the NICE Quality Standard on multi-morbidity. We’re absolutely delighted that for the first time and following our input, a role is included for advocacy. You can find the full standard on the NICE website here.

Older People’s Advocacy Manifesto 2016

Ahead of last year’s General Election OPAAL produced a set of 5 key asks which members contributed to.  We have consulted with members again to develop an up to date set of five key asks of UK government and devolved parliaments/assemblies in the form of our Older People’s Advocacy Manifesto 2016.

We encourage members to read the full Manifesto document, as this includes materials you may wish to use in the promotion of advocacy for older people to decision makers.

We have tried to make this a short but visual document which can be shared with decision makers directly to make a call for the promotion and support of advocacy for older people.

We encourage members to share the Manifesto via their own networks, and if you use social media we also ask that you share this alongside the #advocacyworks hashtag to help us to keep the conversation going about advocacy for older people (our twitter handle is @OPAALUK).

Revised Standard Model of Advocacy Costs 2016

The latest Standard Model of Advocacy Costs produced by OPAAL UK can be found here.

This has been produced by Peter Stone Consulting and will be used by OPAAL for future bids.

We need your advocacy case studies

OPAAL is working hard to raise the national profile of advocacy for older people but we can only do that with your support.

If you have any generic older people’s advocacy case study that is a good example of the impact of advocacy then we’d love you to share it with us so we can share it with a wider audience.

A template to help in producing case studies can be accessed here.

Please send all case studies to Gary.


Older people’s perspectives on shared decision-making, social support, and the role of independent advocates during cancer journeys

This is the final report from Patty Doran of the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research at the University of Manchester.

Research for the Advocacy and Cancer Study was funded by a Research Impact PhD Scholarship from the University of Manchester Alumni Office, and completed with support and collaboration from Macmillan Cancer Support and the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance.

OPAAL would like to thank our partners who managed to find the time to support this study, which detracts from direct service delivery however is nonetheless very important as part of the wider work in promoting our work and getting it to a wider audience.

The report is available to see here.




Independent Advocacy: How to ensure the patient’s voice, choice and control are part of the service design.

Below is a presentation by Kath Parson which was given at the British Geriatrics Society conference in September 2015.


Final SIG presentation OPAAL 18 09 15

Commissioning independent advocacy under the Care Act 2014

The Advocacy Action Alliance’s monitoring report found:  63% of contracts for independent advocacy were for 12 months or less. Some local authorities that had not commissioned any Care Act advocacy in time for April 2015 required “nudging” by advocacy providers to set up a commissioning process.

In the majority of reported cases (17 local authorities out of 21) the spend on independent advocacy was less than 60% of what the Local Government Association’s Care Act ‘Ready Reckoner’ had indicated it should be for 2015-16, and the average was less than 50%.

15 out of 29 responses reported that their contracts and contracts held by other organisations to provide advocacy had been reduced or ended since April 2015, suggesting a reduction in the provision of advocacy in many local authority areas.

Amplifying Older People’s Cancer Voices through film

Our Older People’s Cancer Voices project is funded by Department of Health to September 2017. This project is about amplifying older people’s cancer voices into a wide range of settings to bring to life the effectiveness of independent advocacy support for older people affected by cancer.

Watch our films now:

Generic introduction to Cancer, Older People and Advocacy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSpcpmEoR3Q

Encouraging Health Professionals to make referrals for older people affected by cancer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47EW16mkRYQ

Supporting commissioners to see the value of advocacy for older people affected by cancer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-hK6Mi3sl0

Encouraging new volunteer peer advocates to join us – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMV_FosMWwo

Every Step of The Way

OPAAL’s new Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project publication “Every Step of the Way”: 13 stories illustrating the difference that independent advocacy makes to older people affected by cancer was launched on March 25th 2014.

Download a copy here.

Every Step of the Way

What am I afraid of?

A short documentary film available here highlighting the views of some of the LGBT ‘baby boomers’ whose life stories began during and just after World War II. Their experiences of how society has perceived them over the years now colours their expectations and fears about when they may no longer be in full control of their lives.

Isolation and ageing in the UK

A new report produced by the Big Lottery Fund has just been published and looks at our ageing population, the challenges this poses to different services and how the projects we fund now and in the future can offer the best support.You can find out further information on the Big Lottery Blog – http://bigblog.org.uk/2015/08/03/isolation/
and view a copy of the report here.

Briefing Paper on People Ageing Without Children