"Help and Support is there - Advocacy Cymru"

About: Advocacy Support Cymru

(as the patient),

My return to work isn't happening. My legal rights are being crushed under the heel of big business. And my interactions with my company have been disappointing to say the least.

So you may think that my time with Advocacy Support has been a failure but the opposite has happened.

After having a mental breakdown I had lost large parts of my long and short term memory, I found it difficult to walk without shaking uncontrollably, I stutter and could sweat though a clean shirt in a half hour meeting. But still the company I worked for took pleasure in poking me with a stick every once in a while to see if they had finished the job.

At this low point my mental health team, including a very patient and underappreciated (by me (another low point)) CPN, recommend that I use an advocate when interacting with work.

At that time work was offering help with their right hand only to snatch it back with the left. And were now ready to wash their hands of me, recommending that I go quietly and retire permanently from any type of work.

I couldn't see the light any more and now doubted myself (bad thing happen to bad people).

My Advocacy was Ellie Barrow, within 5 minutes of our first meeting I'd stopped painting myself as the bad person, and felt that we now had someone on our side.

Our first meeting with the company lasted over 5 hours, the first half of which was an heated debate about why everything was my fault. Ellie suggested a break, fresh air, drink of water. I was ready to go home. When we return 5 minutes later I was expecting it to devolve into a shouting match. Ellie who had been mostly quiet till that point opened with the law and although they would go back on a lot of the thing that were discussed the atmosphere at all subsequent meetings that Ellie attended changed.

I could write a book on the ups and downs, the fights won and lost with my struggle to have rights to be treated fairly but I'm afraid now that will be a job for the courts to decide. The Advocacy Service are not miracle workers they can do the best that they can in the realms of the law.

But my walking is pretty good now, I only sweat when I exercise and my stuttering is getting there and I'm confident about the future.

I may not of got all that I hoped for but I do now have hope for the future and the confidence that I'm not alone.

Help and support is there

So Thank you Advocacy Support Cymru. And Thank you Ellie

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Responses

Response from Advocacy Support Cymru

Thank you so much for posting this story, we appreciate the time you have taken with it. It is a great example of how advocacy can feel supportive even if it can't achieve everything our clients want. We have made sure that Ellie has seen your comments and we all wish you the best for the future.

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