The National Recovery Advocacy Network (NRAN) , funded by the National Development Fund, was created as means to combine the rights-based approach, advocacy and the skills and knowledge of people with lived experience. Rights, Respect and Recovery states ‘a human rights-based approach empowers people to know and claim their rights. It increases the ability of organisations, public bodies and businesses to fulfil their human rights obligations. It also creates solid accountability so people can seek remedies when their rights are violated.’
The SRC, in partnership with REACH Advocacy, committed to delivering 20 qualified (SQA Level 3 equivalent) rights-based advocates with lived experience embedded within independent advocacy organisations across Scotland over the lifetime of the project.
Progress to date has been excellent and we have only been limited in delivering the project in shorter time scales than originally envisaged due to limited staff capacity both within SRC and REACH. In addition we have seen demand far outstrip places that we have available or are unable to respond to as they are outwith the scope of the NRAN project.
4 trainee lived experience advocates in Argyll and Bute were recruited in September 2019 and began their training with an induction week at the end of October 2019. Participants are embedded within Lomond and Argyll Advocacy services and have now completed accreditation with ongoing support from REACH Advocacy and the SRC.
7 trainee advocates (2 NRAN lived experience and 1 NRAN Family member via SFAD, plus 2 additional places funded by SFAD and 2 by South Ayrshire ADP) completed their induction week on 6th March 2020. Embedded within Circles Advocacy and other services across South Ayrshire they are now working towards accreditation with ongoing support as above. The next cohort will be trained in December 2020 and will involve 2 lived experience trainees from Perth and Kinross (embedded in Perth and Kinross Independent Advocacy), 2 trainees from Angus (embedded in Angus Independent Advocacy) and 4 trainees are from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and will be embedded in AiR (Aberdeen in Recovery) and 2 trainees from Moray (embedded within Circles Advocacy).
In addition, SRC is working directly with advocacy partners to enhance their capacity to support recovery advocates. This has included training existing staff in the rights-based approach, addiction and recovery awareness training days and inviting advocacy partners to participate in recovery and rights-based related events. This capacity building has taken place in the Highlands, Aberdeen/ Aberdeenshire, Moray, South Ayrshire with similar activity taking place in Perth and Kinross and Angus in November and December 2020 and Argyll and Bute in September 2020.
The National Recovery Advocacy Network (NRAN) was funded by the National Development Project Fund (NDPF), part of the Scottish Government’s investment in services to reduce problem drug and alcohol use and reflects the priorities of the Rights, Respect and Recovery strategy published in November 2018. Ten projects were awarded NDPF funding in January 2019 to address gaps in advocacy services, family inclusive services, and start-up investment for new approaches to recovery. In October 2019, the Scottish Government commissioned Iconic Consulting to evaluate the Fund. This is the final report of the evaluation, which is intended to share learning from the projects and evidence their impact.