Letter: On the side of the isolated

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The Independent Online
ALTHOUGH pleased to see Citizen Advocacy described in a national newspaper, I was saddened at the way it was presented ('Speaking up for John', 7 November).

To begin an article about a movement which values people society isolates and stigmatises with a description of someone 'like a gigantic crow' and 'hunched', completely dehumanised John.

Also, the headlines over the article give an impression that Citizen Advocates do for their partners. Advocates are there to enable people to have a voice when advocating for themselves is difficult or that voice is not listened to.

We all have times in our lives when we need someone to help us cope and put our point of view. That is where a citizen advocate can make a difference for people who have perhaps no one in their lives just for them other than their advocate. It is about bringing ordinariness to the lives of people who are institutionalised and isolated from their communities.

Shelagh Gleeson and Diana Charles

Sheffield Citizen Advocacy