A NORTHWICH-based service has been recognised as an essential facility offering expert support to those who need it.

Disability Positive has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi).

The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to say what matters to them and understand their rights.

To gain the QPM, Disability Positive, based in Denton Drive, had to undergo a thorough self-assessment process and review of its policies.

Advocates and people it supports also met with the NDTi assessor to talk about their experiences.

Disability Positive offers a range of independent advocacy services for anyone with lived experience of disability or long-term health conditions, including for people being treated under the Mental Health Act, for people who are assessed as not able to make important decisions (often called ‘lacking capacity’) and for people who just need support to say what matters to them and understand their rights.

Lynne Turnbull, chief executive of Disability Positive said: “I am incredibly proud of our advocacy service and delighted that we have been awarded the QPM.

“We provide an outstanding service listening to and helping people say what matters to them and understand their rights, often in difficult situations.

“Disability Positive is committed to upholding the rights of people with lived experience of disability and long-term health conditions and so, the QPM is great recognition of the hard work of our team and a fantastic measure of the quality of our independent advocacy services.’

Gail Petty, QPM manager and lead for advocacy and rights at NDTi added: “The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives.

“It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”