May 24, 2019

Women’s Institute


This month our speaker was Mick Oliver, a volunteer with Older Citizens Advocacy York (OCAY). OCAY are a small local charity whose main aim is to provide a free & independent advocacy service for all citizens of York aged 50 and over.

Mick explained that the charity (based in Towend Street York) comprising 2 paid staff and 20 or so volunteers, deal with a variety of requests including Benefits assistance, Disability or Mental Health issues, Consumer issues, Personal Finance and Social Services matters. No issue is too small. It can take minutes to resolve (for example help with completion of a form) or longer term problems might take months to resolve. Throughout this time the volunteer advocate provides confidential support and guidance.

Whilst OCAY is partly funded by the Big Lottery and Ward Committees, they also need to continually find ways to raise funds for ongoing running costs.

We heard that OCAY are always looking for additional volunteers to train as advocates. No special qualifications are required other than common sense, the ability to actively listen, the ability to get on with people and a willingness to help right wrongs. Should anyone be interested in volunteering they can contact Office Manager Linda Tester in the first instance.

One final point that Mick mentioned was that the free service only extends to those living within the York Boundary. Ryedale residents should contact Scarborough Advocacy (01723 363910) who cover our area.

Next Month’s Speaker will be the ever popular Chris Beavers talking about dolls. Visitors are most welcome and there will be a raffle and sales table available too.