About us

People First is an independent customer-led organisation that has worked in the North of England for over 30 years. We have a deep understanding of the region, our communities and the unique challenges.

We are the largest provider of Advocacy in Cumbria, supporting thousands of people every year to have their voices heard and helping them to live their best lives. Our independence is very important to us, we are not run or controlled by any other service.

We are a passionate organisation which dedicates itself to representing people’s views, we are dynamic and courageous and not afraid to stand up and be counted.

Our Vision

We believe in, and actively seek to create, a society where each and every individual is treated equally, fairly, and where their rights, choices and beliefs are respected.


Our Mission

We exist in order to support every customer to live their Best Life:

  • We speak out fearlessly, for those who cannot speak out for themselves
  • We stand shoulder to shoulder with people as they work through their most challenging times
  • We challenge services to improve based on people’s real experiences
  • We build people’s skills so that they can lead healthier and fulfilled lives
  • We Connect people to communities, so that they feel included


Our Independence

Our independence is important to us at People First. We follow the Advocacy Charter which ensures that we maintain our independence at all times.

We have a Board of Directors made up of industry experts, people that currently use our services, or have done in the past.

Whilst we work with Local Authorities and the NHS we are not part of them and we have very specific rules in place when carrying out work for any other organisation.


Our History

People First was founded 30 years ago; our original focus was on providing self advocacy groups and empowering people with learning disabilities to gain confidence in a supportive setting.

We have helped to set up a self advocacy network across Cumbria and in 2009 joined together to create a single voice in the form of People First.