Upholding the rights of the people POhWER supports is at the heart of everything we do. Campaigning and Parliamentary Influencing will be a key focus for POhWER going forward.

Two of POhWER’s strategic themes over the next five years focus on ensuring we address the root cause of disadvantage and discrimination our beneficiaries face so it doesn’t happen again and to influence the attitudes, choices and actions powerful people and institutions make to promote fair society.

It is our aspiration to ensure we regularly submit written evidence which shares the anonymised experiences of our beneficiaries/ service users to make sure their voices are heard and recognised within law making, parliament and societal influencing.


POhWER’s Strategic Themes 2020-2025

1. A level playing field – true equity and empowerment. 2 Advocacy accessible to everyone who needs it. 3 People-centred advocacy delivered to an individual’s own circumstances and not limited by commissioning boundaries. 4 Address the root cause of


Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) Inquiry

During March 2020, the Joint Committee on Human Rights launched an inquiry into the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government was specifically seeking feedback to examine the Government’s actions to ensure that its approach was compliant with human rights – not least the right to life (Article 2 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)), the right to liberty (Article 5 ECHR) and the right to respect for family life (Article 8 ECHR).  It was felt that the impact of these measures would be widely felt, and some groups will be affected more than others. POhWER made the decision to submit written evidence as it observed significant inequalities and human rights breaches between March and July 2020.


POhWER’s Written Evidence Submission to Parliament

During May, June and July 2020, we gathered evidence to submit to the inquiry through our direct case work and contacts across the UK.

Our written evidence responses are directly informed by our beneficiaries lived experiences of the circumstances and problems impacting their human rights and quality of life.  We gather this evidence from five groups: Partners, Service Users, Members, Community Stakeholders and Independent Advocates working directly on these cases.

As the largest national Charity leading this type of independent advocacy work in the UK we could draw upon a large case set and data which spanned multiple regions, lived experiences and situations. During the COVID-19 first phase of lockdown March – July 2020, POhWER supported an average of 7,500 per month with 1:1 cases and saw an increase of 275% in our Help Hubs which supported 71,000 cases for those who were in crisis and seeking support to uphold their rights.

This written evidence to Parliament has formed the basis for our recommendations to the Joint Committee of Human Rights and the changes we would like to see.  POhWER’s submission was published to the general public by Parliament on July 21st 2020 as part of this inquiry.

POhWER’s full written evidence submission published by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights can be found here