In this post we hear a volunteer’s perspective on managing the unexpected and developing a Plan B: Linda Forrest is a volunteer advocate at Oxfordshire Advocacy
I have felt a growing awareness of the responsibility of the peer advocate role when the advocacy moves into the unplanned and unexpected. This has now happened on three occasions and for two of them there has been a clash with my family commitments. The concern that I won’t be available and how to deal with it has been preying on my mind. I feel a big responsibility as an advocate to my client, more so when a crisis occurs. I am aware what a difference my support makes to her, especially at these times.
I want to share this because it can be overcome, as they say, a problem shared…….., and so I have discussed this with my supervising advocate (the Independent Cancer Support Advocate) and we have agreed that I will share all appointment dates with her and she will step in at moments of crisis if necessary; sort of a job share but with me in the front seat, she will be my back up. More importantly my client agrees because it means she will not have to face uncertainty at these difficult times and I can set aside my guilty feelings in the knowledge that we will both be well supported.
Are you a volunteer advocate? What are your thoughts on how responsible you feel about your advocacy partner?
Do comment and let us know. We’re genuinely interested to hear from you.
May 6, 2015 at 9:16 am
How very open, honest and brave of Linda to share her concerns. I hope the plans work out and she continues to volunteer. Like most things in life, you think you have covered every angle and then the unexpected happens. Reflecting and learning from these situations make us more prepared for next time ………. so they say.