“The principles hold your feet to the fire”.
In June the Trust provided a grant to support Capricorn Citizen Advocacy committee member, Sharon Lowe, to attend the 2018 Social Role Valorization Conference and pre conference day on Citizen Advocacy held in Canada. This provided an opportunity for her to meet and discuss issues with a wide range of people around the world and bring her learnings back to the program. We asked Sharon what she learnt about the practice of Citizen Advocacy that added to her understanding as well as things she can apply to benefit Capricorn Citizen Advocacy:
“How important the Program staff are in the setting up of the match. The need to create a Board that is loyal to the Principles of Citizen Advocacy, and that have deep connections in the community. I loved the quote that was used in one presentation: “the principles hold your feet to the fire”. It is very easy to be swayed from the purpose of Citizen Advocacy, to be wooed by easier options, service that seems more appealing, or go where the dollars direct.”
She also said it provoked thinking on “how to enable the Board & new advocates to identify with the proteges as a way of providing a quality safeguard. Other safeguards to implement include maintaining contact and connections with like-minded programs and key people – the importance of not isolating ourselves, especially given our geographical location. Also to not cut corners when it comes to matching or following the Key Office Activities. The component of investing in other Citizen Advocacy Programs was touched on, and this is something I would be interested in fostering.”
The Citizen Advocacy Trust is pleased to support outcomes like these that strengthen the grant recipient’s own program as well as the citizen advocacy field generally.