The Adept Living Foundation (ALF) enables others to handle life stress, enhance work, develop and improve social skills and to gain qualifications in the process.
ALF believe that peer support skills can be developed and used throughout the community, so that peers support each other to stabilise, contain, cope, and thrive through difficult times, and build brighter futures at all times.
ALF is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC), people and service-based organisation, who reinvests its profits back into its services on behalf of the community.
ALF has continued to deliver the following programmes in Luton & Bedford:
- Moving Towards Work
- Progressing Towards Work
- Volunteering Course
- IT for Confidence
These courses have been adapted and ALF has developed and invested in technology resources so that the programmes can be delivered online. This will be extended into Hertfordshire during this coming year.
The Mental Health Programme developed alongside the Department of Work and Pensions will be extended and the following courses have been added to our portfolio:
- Healthy Intention To Action Plan (HITAP).
- Mental Health Confidence.
- Work Based Training for Resilient and Purposeful employees.
- Enterprise program for careers and business development
- Stress at Work Management
ALF are also providing tutor support to local colleges teaching counselling and counselling skills.
Peer circles were established in Bedford and Langford, and an online COVID-19 support group has been established. Several Peer Circles evolved, as intended, into self-supporting groups, just as the impact of COVID took effect.
ALF has accepted and worked with 14 clients and ALF can now seek to bring on more therapeutic coaching/counsellors, which is an area of investment focus for ALF in the next 12 months to August 2021. ALF plan to move from working with single parents and provide support to ex-offenders.
The principle ALF peer coaches are providing ongoing support to 20 peers (being the maximum of ten each). ALF has a need to develop more peer coaches.
The majority of issues addressed, relate to life and work issues, especially those that relate to supporting single parents and individuals who are socially isolated.
Coach & Teacher Training
ALF are grateful to Positive Ways Ltd for the development of the nationally accredited NFCE Level 2 Peer Confidante course, which not only forms the basis of its Peer Communities of Practice but is a vocational course/programme too.
ALF provided support to three people, who developed their skills and have taken them successfully into new ventures. One of the critical challenges that ALF have faced during COVID is the ability to develop new peers and peer circle facilitators.
ALF will now encourage more self-study online and will provide the coaching sessions to enable students to progress through the practical peer coaching qualifications from levels 2 & 3, and into the professional levels 4 and 5.
Research in DENT
The Dynamic Experiential Narrative Theory is the model that underpins the ALF peer focused approach that focuses on making meaning out of experience. Research has continued and is now captured in https://thedentmodel.com/ and is set out in below https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328190677_Dynamic_Experiential_Narrative_Theory_-_A_position_paper_on_leadership_organisational_development_and_human_growth
Consultation with Peers
Feedback from peers has led ALF to develop more groups that are based on action in the community rather than the more traditional talking groups, such as peer circles. The groups have evolved into self-supporting groups.
The groups have felt that they miss the input of the senior and more experienced coaches when they are not present, and so the groups need more support in being able to keep the self-efficacy of their groups. COVID has prevented some of the necessary direct experiential input which the ALF team are considering carefully.
In the last financial year, ALF made a profit of £0.3k and paid tax of £0.1k.
For ALF, paying tax is considered a social obligation and building reserves for a full year of operating costs is considered a prudent objective by the Board.
Currently the reserves amount to £2.3k, which represents about 5 months operating costs. The balance of the 7 months requirement, circa £3k is met by guarantees form the founders, directors, and other contributors.
Current & Future Projects
ALF has been working on the following peer-based projects:
- A Community Garden project in Langford
- The Friends of Great Ashby in Stevenage
- A group supporting the parents of Special Educational Needs in Stevenage
ALF have won funding to provide peer support in the Leighton Buzzard and Biggleswade areas, which they are in the process of planning.