We run a number of projects that work directly with community and advocacy groups across the country.

Mental Health and Human Rights Advocacy School

 

During 2018 we ran our two day course to enable people to better understand and use human rights to secure positive outcomes for their clients

“This course has helped me to understand human rights law, giving me a stronger starting point when advocating on behalf of someone else.”

We ran a parallel summer school for people using mental health services, read about it here. Through this projects we empowered over 50 advocates, practitioners, peer supporters, carers and service users with an estimated indirect reach of over 700 people. Empowering this group contributes to the long term shifting of power imbalances, enabling communities to benefit from the law to get better decisions and outcomes that respect their dignity. In a time of declining legal aid and access to justice, it is vital that advocates are able to use the language of the law to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect.

 

This work was kindly funded by the Allen and Overy Grants Programme.

Human rights and well-being

During 2019 we held sessions with local CVS groups to reach over 40 local community advocates and support workers to make the connections between the issues faced by people they are supporting and human rights as a language for achieving change. 

This work was kindly funded by the Law Society Charity.


Human rights and advocacy: a short guide 

During 2017 we worked with a range of advocates and community activists in North East England to build their capacity to use human rights help address issues local people face when accessing public services.

 "BIHR resources are used by all my advocates - booklets come out in meetings and are strategically placed to remind other professionals of client's human rights."

Through this work we developed our short guide for human rights and advocacy, which is available here. This work was kindly funded by The Evan Cornish Foundation.

 

Care and Support: A human rights approach to advocacy 

Between 2014-17 we ran a national project working in partnership with 6 advocacy and community support groups across England to achieve change through human rights.

“This work has changed the frame of discussions. The language of human rights changes the conversation and dynamics.”

We worked with BHA Leeds Skyline (a local HIV support and prevention group), Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen (the local independent voice on health and care) Mind in Brighton and Hove (promoting good mental health locally including through advocacy, information and support), n|compass, (an advocacy, information and support organisation working across the Northwest), NSUN (National Service User Network, an England-wide network of people and groups with experience of mental distress seeking to change things) and WISH (the national user-led charity working with women with mental health needs in prison, hospital and the community). 

Through this project we:

  • developed a capacity building programme for 143 staff in partner organisations
  • delivered learning sessions for 324 people who use mental health or mental capacity services, including people detained in hospitals and care homes, young people and people with learning disabilities
  • Held 43 open access learning events with 568 advocates and practitioners across England
  • Co-produced 3 practical advocacy booklets, which were road-tested, with over 5000 copies directly distributed (and since reprinted). You can access the resources here 

 

You can access the independent evaluation of this programme here, which includes a range of stories of change, some of which you can find in our Impact Section

This work was kindly funded by the former Department of Health's Third Sector Excellence Fund.