The North-West’s Biggest Advocacy Conference is back for Health and Social Care Professionals

The North-West’s Biggest Advocacy Conference is back for Health and Social Care Professionals

The North-West’s Biggest Advocacy Conference is back for Health and Social Care Professionals

Posted: 08/09/2021

Breaking Barriers brings industry leading experts and professionals together in one place.

The conference, hosted by award winning advocacy charity, Advocacy Focus, is back after a successful event in 2018 which was attended by over 120 senior health and social care professionals.

This year’s event will take place on 14th October at the Hallmark Hotel, Preston.

Justine Hodgkinson, CEO of Advocacy Focus, says: “The response in 2018 was amazing. We knew that this was needed back then, but I think we - and a lot of people in the industry - underestimated by just how much. Now, as we have all navigated our way through a pandemic and face the easing of restrictions, the event is more needed than ever – there has been a lot of changes and we have a lot of potential barriers and challenges ahead.”

Breaking Barriers aims to bridge the gaps between health and social care services to achieve better outcomes for the people who access advocacy support. 

Justine continues: “Breaking Barriers will provide an informative, interesting and interactive day for health and social care professionals, with a real focus on working in partnership. We know advocacy can be difficult to understand and that there are many barriers to accessing health and social care services, we want to help make things easier.”

Advocacy Focus has over 23 years’ experience in the health and social care sector. Since 1998, the charity has doubled in size and holds advocacy contracts with Lancashire, Bradford, Rochdale, St Helens and Trafford, as well as private contracts across the UK.

Justine continues: “Advocacy is our bread and butter. It is a vital part of the health and social care process and an integral part of society. After the year we’ve had, we urge professionals to join us to learn more about how advocacy can support people as we deal with the aftereffects of the pandemic.”

“Over the last year, we have seen peoples’ rights infringed and important decisions about their care and treatment taken away from them. Now, we need to work together to protect and support those who need it the most.  By working together, we can help people to live the lives they want to live.”

Speakers at the event include Advocacy Focus’ Patron, Jake Mills, Comedian and Founder of Chasing the Stigma and the Hub of Hope, Kirsty Stuart, Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, Alexis Quinn, Campaigner and Author of ground-breaking memoir, Unbroken, Francesca Gardner, Barrister at Kings Chambers, Philippa Curren, MD of Odonnells Solictors and more. Topics covered will include Principle 2 of the Mental Capacity Act, Sex and Relationships, Children’s Rights, Autism and Learning Difficulties, Judicial Reviews, Leaving Care and more.

Tickets cost £45 and include refreshments and lunch. Early bird tickets are available until 14th September and cost £35[JH1] . We offer a small number of free tickets for people with lived experience and their carers to join us.

To find out more and book your tickets, visit   

Breaking Barriers 2021 is sponsored by O’Donnell Solicitors, Peter Edwards Law and Cygnet.