Parent Advocate

Plymouth Highbury Trust

Name: Parent Advocate
Organisation: Plymouth Highbury Trust
Location: 207 Outland Road, Peverell, Plymouth, Devon, PL2 3PF
Type: Part Time
We envisage this to be a long term position. However we do not expect it to take up much more than 2 to 4 hours per week depending on your availability.


Parents with a learning disability often feel isolated or have additional problems such as poor housing, living in poverty, child protection concerns, managing children’s behaviour or poor reading and writing skills. Having a volunteer advocate to assist with some of these can make a huge difference to the life of a whole family.
There is a huge variety of roles available. Examples of which are:-

Helping to facilitate peer support groups
Groups are held monthly where parents with a common interest can get together and share experiences and form friendships

Working with parents where there child is ‘in need’
Supporting parents to understand and respond to the concerns of the local authority and therefore avoid an escalation into child protection.

Working with parents who have little support for example those with school age children
Supporting parents with school meetings for example

Offer ongoing assistance where other support has been withdrawn
Help reduce isolation and offer emotional support

Provide practical support
Such as applying for funding for carpets, help with housing or benefits or even finding a vet to neuter the cat.

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Organisation Description

The Plymouth Highbury Trust was established in 1956 under the name of Plymouth Mencap Society by parents of 30 children with a learning disability. The Trust has grown over 58 years and now caters for over 500 adults with a learning disability.

The Services we currently provide include:
• a supported tenancy scheme on site for 12 adults
• an evening social club in our recently refurbished community hall, twice a week, for over 100 people
• twice-weekly daytime activity group for over 30 people
• day service for approximately 30 people
• community enabling service
• DWP Appointee service for over 160 people unable to manage their own finances
• our own charity shop
• independent mental capacity advocacy
• independent mental health advocacy
• issue-based (representational) advocacy
• long-term citizen advocacy
• self-advocacy groups.


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Cause / Interests

  • Disability
  • Families
  • Human and Civil Rights
  • Mentoring
  • Women's Groups

Types of Activity

  • Advice, Information and Support
  • Befriending and Buddying
  • Mentoring

Skills and Qualifications


We are looking for people who have been parents themselves and understand the challenges of bringing up children or who have experience of working with families.

You will need to have excellent communication skills, patience and be non judgemental.


You will be offered full training – both internal and external courses are available.
Volunteers are fully supported and offered regular supervision and invited to team meetings and social events.
You will gain experience in working with families – ideal for anyone seeking a career in Health and Social care.
Hours are flexible and can be arranged to suit you.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 25
Maximum Age: 75
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Expenses: Yes
Restrictions: NA
Induction: Yes
Insurance Cover: Yes
Special Needs: Yes
Offer: Support
Training: Yes
Other: NA

Recruitment Method

Application form, Informal discussion, References, DBS Check