Our Strategy

POhWER has been working to effect change in British society since 1996. Our strategy describes where we are heading to and how we will achieve our aims and objectives. For charities like POhWER who are driving rights-led change through advocacy, a Theory of Change defines the long-term goals, influences, interventions and factors involved in achieving them.

Our strategy outlines the changes POhWER would like to see for our beneficiaries across the United Kingdom and to describe how we can make this happen.

Who POhWER is here to support

An older man sitting in a chair with his dog. The man is using his mobile phone.

We look at everyone who needs a helping hand through advocacy to lead independent lives and to uphold their rights.

Given POhWER’s broad reach, it is not possible to always use language that perfectly describes every single one of the lived experiences that our beneficiaries identify or relate with. In the present day, the Charity not only focuses on people living with mental health, impairment or disability but also anyone who benefits from advocacy and the helping hand it provides. The lived experiences and circumstances covered are too wide to be able to use a set of vocabulary that applies to everyone’s circumstances. There is no “typical” POhWER beneficiary.

By vulnerable, we mean people who are at risk of abuse or harm due to threat to life or deprivation of liberty. We don’t use this word in a disempowering way. Vulnerable is also a legal term. In this country, under the protections of safeguarding law, service users and beneficiaries are afforded a different set of rights, protections and safeguards. It is our duty to uphold these where people do not have mental capacity to make their own decisions.

By marginalised, we refer to people who have been relegated to the fringes of society who are not part of the mainstream.

By socially excluded or isolated, we are referring to systemic practices or attitudes that have made certain groups of people within a society feel isolated and unimportant.

Where we empower people living with mental health and disability, our long-term commitment is to a social model of disability where we will continuously seek sustainable changes to seek true equality and empowerment.

A social model of disability is different than a medical model. The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, derogatory attitudes, and social exclusion (intentional or inadvertent), which make it difficult or impossible for individuals with impairments to attain their valued.

Anyone at any point in their lives can benefit from advocacy – we support people, not labels.

Problem Statement

Disempowerment isolation and discrimination towards people who are socially excluded, marginalised or vulnerable from individuals, institutions and communities limits their ability to participate fully in British society as independent and equal people.

Independent rights-led advocacy is not accessible to most who need it when they need it – supporting their life’s pathways through childhood, parenthood, social care, health, education, employment, criminal justice, local community engagement, family life, financial health and dying.

Guiding Principles to Change

With the end-goal in mind of empowerment, we seek to implement change through a number of guiding principles:

  • Informing, empowering and advocating with impact
  • Transforming societal attitudes and practices
  • Challenging laws and upholding human rights
  • Adapting to beneficiary unmet needs with timeliness and agility
  • Embracing difference and recognising intersectionality and lived experience
  • Finding holistic solutions which are ‘people-centred’ not task-driven
  • Creating and investing in new innovative advocacy models
  • Promoting Charity sustainability and stability
  • Balancing bold expression with available resources & risk appetite
  • Imbedding co-production into our service design and development
  • Protecting core existing services, while entering new markets
  • Respecting, investing in and supporting our staff and volunteers through change

Vision & Mission

Our vision is to empower all people to have a voice and make a real difference in their lives.  

Our mission is to empower people to have a voice and make a real difference to their lives. We do this by speaking for them when they can't and supporting them to speak for themselves when they can.

POhWER aims to enable all who need it to have a voice, to achieve empowerment and self-help so they win respect, uphold their rights and get their essential needs met.  We focus on the most excluded members of society, so they are listened to when decisions are being made about them or the services that they need.

We will move further towards achieving our vision through six areas of focused activity during 2020-2025:

  1. Deliver more to each client through greater expertise, efficiency and digital development
  2. Grow income through mutually beneficial partnerships, fundraising and commercial enterprise
  3. Influence policy, public attitudes and legislation through campaigning, lobbying and influencing
  4. Grow client reach through new models of impact-led advocacy and geographical expansion
  5. Further embed co-production within the design & development of our services
  6. Strengthen culture, skills, finances, governance and infrastructure

Our strategic themes

The new strategy is built upon six foundations or strategic themes we want to realise through POhWER’s charitable work in the next 5 years.