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Why is advocacy important?

By speaking out on important issues pertaining to healthcare and choosing to be an advocate, an agent for change, your voice, can help to create a more just, equitable and fit for purpose health system and bring about meaningful change. Advocates can raise awareness about important issues, unmet needs, influence policy and decision-making, and mobilize a community voice to call for action.

What is advocacy?

Advocacy is an essential component of democracy and a cornerstone of a free and open society. It provides a means for people to express their opinions and to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

The patient voice is a most valuable tool in health advocacy. Patients, carer’s or those affected by heart disease or stroke are experts by virtue of their lived experience. In the context of Heart & Stroke Voice Ireland, advocacy can take many forms, eg:

  • Speaking up and calling for action in response to the needs and rights of patients, stroke survivors and their families.
  • Elevating the voice of the patient, stroke survivor or carer so that their needs or preferences are heard and represented in healthcare decision-making processes.
  • Raising public awareness of issues affecting patients, stroke survivors or carer’s and if necessary lobbying for policy changes.
  • Building a community of advocates who share a passion for making a difference in the lives of patients, stroke survivors and their carer’s.
  • Sharing your story of your lived experience with the media, policy makers or attending events to raise awareness of important health issues.
  • Representing the patient, survivor or carer’s perspective in advisory boards (industry, research or healthcare services)
  • Participating in PPI (Public Patient Involvement) initiatives across research, education, service design or service delivery.

As an affiliate of Heart & Stroke Voice Ireland you will have access to resources and training to help you to become a more effective advocate, firstly and foremost in your own healthcare but also as part of a wider alliance of advocates so that there is a strong and united voice in Ireland for those living with or affected by heart disease and stroke.

By becoming an affiliate of this alliance, you can play an important role in shaping the future of cardiovascular healthcare and contribute to improving outcomes for heart patients and stroke survivors as well as their families and carer’s across the country.

Ways to be involved

There are several ways in which you can be involved:
    • Affiliate to our network, it is free to do so
    • Sharing your story
    • Being available to do media interviews
    • Participate in our campaigns
    • Lobbying your local politicians as part of a strategic campaign
    • Speaking from a heart patient, stroke survivor or carer perspective at relevant conferences/events
    • Joining a project team on a specific campaign that is of particular interest to you
    • Joining our steering group
The amount of time that you have to give is completely up to you. You might like to work on a variety of  campaigns  or just on those that are of specific interest to you.  Give us a call today and  find out more about how you can be part of the HSV Ireland network. You can contact us via email info@heartandstrokevoice.ie or call 091 544310

How is an advocacy group different from a support group?

Heart & Stroke Voice is an Advocacy Group

The goal of an advocacy group is to effect change and improve the lives of those affected by a particular issue. Advocacy refers to the act of speaking out for a cause or issue on behalf of yourself or individuals/groups who may not have a voice or the means to advocate for themselves.




Support groups, on the other hand, are designed to provide emotional, social, and informational support to individuals facing a particular challenge or issue. Support groups can be focused on a wide range of issues, such as mental health, addiction, illness, and more. The goal of support groups is to provide a safe, supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences, provide mutual support, and gain practical advice and information. Croí, offers support to heart patients, stroke survivors and/or their families and caregivers through a free nurse support helpline:

Become a HSV Ireland Advocacy Champion

Join Heart & Stroke Voice Ireland network today and use your voice to advocate for change!
We are looking for heart patients, stroke survivors, family members, caregivers and anyone passionate about seeking to improve outcomes for heart and stroke patients in Ireland to join our HSV Ireland network. You can also register your interest and submit any questions by completing the form below, and we will contact you for a chat.

Heart & Stroke Voice Ireland


Address: Moyola Lane, Newcastle Galway H91 FF68, Ireland

Email: info@heartandstrokevoice.ie


Heart & Stroke Voice Ireland

Address: Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway H91 FF68, Ireland

Email: info@heartandstrokevoice.ie



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