About ASA

ASA was founded in 1996 and provides an independent advocacy service for people in Aberdeen. We offer a free and confidential service. Find our more about independent advocacy. We are a local charity governed by a volunteer board of directors.

We have three offices in town but we can visit you in your home or at other convenient venues.

We have 17 members of staff and six volunteers. All staff and volunteers work to The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance’s (SIAA) Principles and Standards and Code of Practice. Find out more about SIAA by clicking here. We have specialist services for people with mental health issues, people with learning disabilities; older people, children with additional support needs; carers and for people who are victims of domestic abuse.

Find out how we work with

people with mental health issues

people with learning disabilities

older people

children with additional support needs


people who are victims of domestic abuse

These Principles form the foundation of our work.

1. An advocate aims to help clients to express their needs and wishes. An advocate accepts that clients are, whenever possible, always in control of the advocacy process.

2. If the client has difficulty expressing their needs and wishes in detail, the advocate has a responsibility to promote the client’s legal rights and what ASA believes to be in their interests.

3. An advocate will inform him/herself about clients’ legal and other rights. They will understand the systems operating in health, local authority or in other agencies.  An advocate seeks support and advice when they need it and is permitted to give information to clients, but does not give legal advice.

4. An advocate aims to provide objective information and will not intentionally raise clients’ expectations about what they can achieve.

5. An advocate keeps all information about clients confidential, other than in exceptional circumstances.*

6. An advocate will always check directly with clients before acting on their behalf, other than in exceptional circumstances.*

7. If clients want the advocate to speak on their behalf, the advocate makes sure that they understand what clients wish to say.

8. An advocate is completely loyal to clients. An advocate is independent of other services.  The advocate is not swayed by those who are more powerful or influential than they are.

9. If asked to speak for clients, the advocate does so without becoming angry or aggressive.

10. The advocate does not insist clients give any information that they do not want to give.

11. An advocate does not act if he or she has a conflict of interest, even if the client wants them to.

12. An advocate is always honest with clients.

13. An advocate will use language that is jargon free.

We are funded by various bodies, including Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Government, BBC Children in Need and The Big Lottery.  For information on donating to our charity click here.