CASCAIDr Crusaders (Private Advocacy)

We’re very excited to launch our new private online legal framework ADVOCACY service, to ensure that the Care Act is complied with.  We’re calling it ‘CASCAIDr Crusaders’.

We think it will be helpful for all sorts of meetings:

  • Review and revision meetings, where a proportionate re-assessment is essential?
  • Care planning meetings, where a cut has been hinted at during the assessment?
  • Meetings to discuss the sufficiency of the budget, or the content of the package?
  • Meetings to discuss any ‘policy’ or ‘practice’ that a direct payment can only be spent on staffing, or in a particular way – or that the council doesn’t ever fund activities, for instance…
  • Meetings to discuss the local authority’s attitude to Disability Related Expenditure for a means assessment?
  • Meetings to resolve complaints about delay in the provision, contend for compensation, or avoid Court of Protection proceedings not yet started, but hinted at through safeguarding processes?
  • Meetings called CTRs, where the risk to the service user is admission to an in-patient psychiatric unit under the Mental Health Act

We charge £50 per hour for this, regardless of your means.

We envisage a couple of hours for preparation, and at least an hour in a meeting. We need to be paid for 2 hours’ work (£100), up-front, on PayPal or by card, using the button below, and will then bill for further work as appropriate. 

As soon as you have paid you will be emailed a link to fill in the form where you can fill in the details of your Advocacy request.

If you do not receive this email within 1hr please contact and

There is no point paying the fee and requesting advocacy if your meeting date has already been set and is less than 2 full weeks away. Please respect this condition – it’s for everyone’s sake, in what are very difficult times.

We will do the preparation and discussion for straightforward Advocacy on the phone, on Zoom, or on Microsoft Teams.

Please note that this service is not able to incorporate specialist legal advice about your issues at their widest – or going back a long way into the past: it’s just a restraining hand (or voice) on the turns and tangents that an online meeting can take, if we think that it’s not fair, rational or defensible on the day.

However, we have real experience in this field, and we therefore KNOW that some people’s concerns about meetings that have been scheduled turn out to be because of things that the council has said or done which do have serious legal issues running through them. Straightforward online advocacy cannot sort that out in a short meeting, without a good deal of probing, beforehand.

So –

  • We reserve the right to look at your advocacy aims and objectives or concerns, and tell you that what you’re really asking for, (or NEED) is legal advice.
  • If that’s the case, you need to make a referral in the normal way. The referral for advice, first, will mean you get our free Triage service on our normal charitable terms – and urgency will be taken into consideration, as always.
  • Our referral system involves communicating with us in writing and you need to cope with that or find help to do so – ie by email, after referral, unless you are someone for whom an online form or email is significantly harder by dint of your condition, than it would be for people without that condition.
  • Making a referral gets you up to 3 FREE hours of attention to your problem through our Triage service – and we send you details of how we operate, by return, so that you are always in charge.
  • There are some kinds of issue where one gets less than the maximum 3 hours’ free attention, because of the type of problem involved. Care Charges matters, or the detailed aspects of direct payments conditions or management, or help with progressing any kind of complaint, are always chargeable aspects of our ongoing service, after the Triage stage, so we do still give you a free steer, but we try to make the Triage decision more quickly in those areas.
  • IF THERE IS TIME BEFORE YOUR MEETING DATE and we have the resource available, we will use Triage for strengthening the preparation for the Advocacy you first asked for, and not charge for that time as part of the Advocacy fee.
  • If preparation for your advocacy request at a meeting is able to be covered through the free Triage time, and you do not need further fact-finding time from us, before the meeting, or any more formal advice in writing, afterwards, then you will get up to £50 back after the meeting has been completed. Of course, if it turns out to be a 2 hour meeting, the advocacy fee will have been used up on that service. 
  • Our decision on whether you really needed legal advice – and on whether we can resource that before the meeting – MUST be accepted as final. When this happened, recently, we provided the ADVICE by way of Triage, and asked whether that was good enough for now. We got this feedback by return: “This is very helpful. We are now able to speak up with our concerns.”
  • You can always try to get the date of the meeting put back, if the issue is that you’ve left it late and didn’t realise the legal nuances complicating or underlying your situation.
  • If your matter did turn out to be one that needed more fact-finding for preparation, beyond our maximum free three hours, or further written legal advice afterwards, we can offset some of the pre-paid advocacy fee against the charge for those services (the rates are £40ph for further fact-finding, £135 ph for legal advice beyond the initial applicable free period for our Triage service.) 
  • We will keep you informed at all times of whether we envisage any need to make a further charge and if so, at what rate and ask for your agreement in writing.


To benefit from this service, you need either

  • to have been given a booked date for a specific Care Act assessment or review/revision or care planning meeting, or a CHC or a s117 meeting,
  • or else, if that meeting has not been booked yet – but will be, soon – you should choose an advocate from the list below, by reference to their subject specialisms and then push the authority for a meeting date on that day of the week.
  • If the date is postponed for whatever reason, you can carry the payment over to the new date. If it’s cancelled, we will pay you half your fee back, to reflect the attention given to the matter thus far.

If you want to JOIN our Advocacy team, you need to be HOT on the Care Act and Continuing NHS healthcare law or s117 Mental Health Act.

Our stable of private advocates and the day of the week on which they are available:

  • Mondays
    • Katie Knight – a Care Act and CHC specialist
    • Adam Webb – our autism and ADHD issues specialist
  • Tuesdays – 
    • Samantha Palmer-Canyellas – our mental health and older people specialist
    • Cayce Ibbotson – our family carer ‘expert by experience’
    • Michelle Nice – our MCA and DoLS specialist advocate on all things care plan-related (not safeguarding or CoP work)
  • Wednesdays
    • David Ashley – a Care Act and direct payments specialist
  • Thursdays  
    • Samantha Palmer-Canyellas – our mental health and older people specialist
    • Sharon Lamerton –  our Care Act, top-ups and CHC expert
  • Fridays
    • Adam Webb – our autism and ADHD issues specialist

By arrangement:

  • Belinda Schwehr – complaints meetings of any kind, meetings between family carers and heads of service, or Safeguarding Leads prior to any decision has been taken about Court of Protection proceedings; or meetings with the legal department or lawyers.
  • Please note that safeguarding advice work is not something that this Charity offers. So you cannot reasonably expect more than a very little help, by coming through ‘the side door’ of Advocacy for £150. Legal advice about safeguarding and the remit of the Court of Protection are, if anything, the kind of work our Trading Company can offer a service in, using outside contractors or members of the Bar, and it is charged at a different and higher rate.
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