People ‘POhWER’

POhWERLorraine Kelly will be at the Town Hall in Birmingham City Centre tomorrow evening, Tuesday 28 June, to join celebrations for the 15th anniversary of the creation of the national advocacy charity, POhWER.  In her first official engagement as the charity’s patron, Lorraine will meet with Trustees and 200 staff of the charity and host a ceremony that will see the achievements of a number of individuals and teams recognised.

Lorraine recently talked about how POhWER helps thousands of people every year when they feel let down by the NHS or some other vital service.  She said “It is not easy to confront authority.  You may lack confidence or skills.  You may not know the right question to ask.  You may have a disability or language problem.  Or you may just want information and support to help you get the services you need, but are finding it impossibly difficult.  This is why I am proud to be a Patron of POhWER, a charity which helps people to find their voice, make their case, get the care and support they need and see wrongs put right.”

In a recent landmark case in the Court of Protection, one of POhWER’s professional advocates, Cilla Wright, supported Mark Neary to get his 21 year old autistic son Steven back home again after a year’s struggle with Hillingdon Council.  The judge in this case, The Honourable Mr Justice Peter Jackson, praised Cilla’s work and made the point that had a professional advocate been involved earlier then Steven would have returned home much sooner.

The charity has 120 highly trained advocates like Cilla ready to provide support.  Valerie Harrison, Chief Executive of POhWER said, “Our professional advocates support people to have a voice when faced with the daunting prospect of dealing with essential services who sometimes find it difficult to really understand what they want.  Steven Neary’s case, that struggle, would never have happened if Steven and his father had been central to decision-making”.