A Shropshire charity which gives independent support and guidance to disabled and vulnerable people across the county has a new name and a new look.

Shropshire Peer Counselling and Advocacy Service, will now be operating as Person Centred Advocacy and Support – PCAS –  to reflect its widening role in ensuring those in need can access and receive all the support they are entitled to.

The charity, which is based in Oswestry, has been working for the last 29 years to provide a voice and support for disabled, vulnerable and elderly people and last year supported nearly 400 clients across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Chair of the trustees, Ben Payne, said that the charity was originally set up by the Shropshire Disability Consortium to provide free independent advocacy service for adults with any disability.

“Over the years PCAS has done fantastic work in providing advocates to support our clients. But in recent years we have found that our clients and the issues they face have changed. PCAS still provides an advocacy service but we also offer a much wider support service to help the most vulnerable achieve better lives.

“It means we have evolved as a charity to support a wider range of clients through new challenges and issues and we wanted a new name and logo to reflect our current mission and relationships,” he said.

PCAS, which is funded by grants and donations, carries out its independent role through its team of advocates overseen by a board of trustees. Advocates are all trained to listen, understand and act on the issues facing each individual client.

Ben Payne said that the advocates were able to build relationships and trust with clients to ensure they were able to understand and navigate often complex systems and processes.

He added that in its 29-year history PCAS had supported more than 10,800 people and in the past year alone had helped clients to access more than 2,000 new services.

“Without the support of a PCAS advocate some of the most vulnerable people across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are at risk of falling through the gaps in our ever more complicated society,” he said. Further information on Shropshire PCAS and its services are available at https://shropshirepcas.co.uk or by emailing the charity’s manager, Simon Arthur at simon@shropshirepcas.co.uk