Empowerment Matters was set up in 2012 by Jakki Cowley and Sue Lee having worked together managing the National IMCA Support Project at Action for Advocacy from 2009 – 2011 having previously both managed busy and successful IMCA services in Manchester and Cambridge. The IMCA Support Project was funded by the Department of Health for 2 years as part of the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). During this time Sue and Jakki created a range of guidance on the Act for health and social care professionals and IMCAs.
We recognised the continued need for the work we’d done with regards the MCA and therefore launched Empowerment Matters to ensure that up to date guidance provision, information, resources and training opportunities are continued to be devised, updated and available for anyone including advocates, health and social care professionals and family members that are part of MCA decision making.
In 2016 Sue took early retirement to pursue wider interests but her passion for upholding the rights of others and ensuring their voice is heard remains a core value of the organisation. Empowerment Matters has a range of associates that support the continued work of the organisation including researchers and advocates in the wider sense of the MCA.
Jakki Cowley, Director
Jakki began working as a support worker in the mental health field 20 years ago which led to her going on to work in various community teams including a home support project at Mind and NHS community mental health teams. On embarking on a career in counselling, Jakki became interested in advocacy and began working in the field in 2003 and has worked across a range of units including medium and low secure, a regional mother and baby unit as well as delivering community advocacy both in mental health and learning difficulties, providing instructed and non instructed advocacy.
Jakki is Vice Chair on the committee of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA) and speaks at a range of conferences on the subject of Deprivation of Liberty, Advocacy and the Mental Capacity Act. Jakki was part of the Department of Health training team on the mental health advocacy qualification and has experience of delivering training on safeguarding, mental capacity, deprivation of liberty and advocacy. Jakki continues to practice as an independent mental capacity advocate specialising in working with individuals that are in a permanent vegetative or minimally conscious state (prolonged disorders of consciousness – PDOC) and their families as well as those with dementia.