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Become an Advocate for DAS

Volunteer Advocates

Who can volunteer?

Volunteering as an advocate is open to all sections of the community. There is no age limit and no previous experience is required. However, we are looking for a number of personal qualities. Some, but not all, of such qualities are outlined below:


We would expect volunteers to be able to empathise with their partner. This means to see the world through the eyes of their partner and understand how they are feeling. This empathy may come from having been a service user, carer themselves or from own life experience.


The advocacy relationship can sometimes be a difficult one to manage. The advocate will have their own opinions and ideas but must be able to put tem to one side in favour of their partner's. They must be able to refrain from imposing solutions on their partner.

Reliability and trustworthy

Partners must be able to rely on their advocate. This will include knowing that they will turn up when and where they say that they will and on time. It also means knowing that their advocate will keep their promises.


The advocate must be able to understand that the advocacy relationship is a special one and that the advocate owes a duty of confidence to their partner. The nature of that duty will be explained during training but volunteers should be able to demonstrate that they are able to keep a confidence.

Stress management

This includes knowing when to ask for support, being able to admit when things are not going well, being willing to participate in support sessions and training events.


The agenda for an advocacy partnership is set by the partner and the advocate must be able to adapt themselves to the changing wishes and aspirations of their partner. There can also be high and conflicting expectations of the advocate from the partner and, for example, people involved in their care. The advocate must be able to respond appropriately to these different situations.


Above all, the advocate should be friendly, able to relate to people well and be self-confident.

These are some of the qualities that we are looking for in a person who wants to become an advocate for Derbyshire Advocacy Service. We realise that there are lots of questions that prospective volunteers want answered before applying so we have put together a frequently asked questions page (FAQ) to help.