ALF provide high quality support to charities, the public sector, and community organisations, to improve the way in which they serve their beneficiaries, particularly those who suffer with emotional distress, are struggling financially, may be socially excluded, and are unable to move forward successfully in their lives.
Their clients may have, for example, suffered or be recovering from Addiction; Depression; Stress; Anxiety; Trauma; or feel socially isolated, so will need support to become calm, acquire new interpersonal skills, and apply themselves to meaningful occupation.
In addition to working directly with clients in need, supervising peer support mentors, and advising organisations, ALF supervise and support caring frontline staff such as social workers, nurses, and police, with value for money counselling.
ALF will support any organisation who delivers Peer Support as we are a peer led organisation with specialist expertise in both delivering Peer Support, Mentoring, and Coaching, training Peer Confidantes, Mentors, and Coaches, as well as training and experience in Psychology, Counselling/Psychotherapy, Peer Support, Recovery Coaching, and Business Coaching/Mentoring.
Deployed Services, Competences, & Resources
ALF has a set of very skilled individuals who can deploy ALF’s well managed resources to great effect:
1 Trauma Recovery – The team has expertise, experience and qualifications in psychological trauma recovery and stress management. This means that the challenged learners that are often suffering from mental and emotional well-being deficits can be quickly and pragmatically helped to recovery or can be signposted to the right level of healing and recovery for them.
2 Training/ Teaching for other organisations, as well as internally – All of ALF’s facilitators are qualified teachers who have practical business and psychological insight. This means that the programmes and projects that ALF deliver are designed with success in meaningful occupation at their core, which are capable of being delivered online, face to face or in a blended setting.
3 Accredited Programmes & Courses – The Courses that ALF deliver are unique, bespoke, and based on ALF’s internal research program, which is led by a Member of the British Psychological Society. This means that students benefit from an outcome focused approach that delivers to provide an accreditation to NCFE & CACHE quality standards, enhancing work-based skills and gravitas.
4 Coaching and Mentoring for Business & Career – ALF has staff who are Fellows of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Fellows of the Institute of Leadership, who train and mentor business students. This means that ALF’s entrepreneur programmes are delivered by staff with a combination of current business experience, latest pragmatic insights and effective coaching methods.
5 Peer Support provision – ALF is a Peer Led organisation with a qualified Peer Support Specialist who also holds qualifications and experience that includes psychology, counselling, and recovery coaching, as well as experience of working in the NHS, Voluntary, and Private sectors, at the helm. She has co-created the Peer Support Programmes and Peer Group frameworks, with the other frontline Psychotherapy and Coaching specialist on the team.
Learners develop personal and interpersonal skills and benefit from coaching & mentoring, which goes beyond traditional tutorial support once they leave the programme. This ensures that any trauma or stress is revolved, so that they can successfully deploy their new skills, and integrate into a self-managing peer support group.
REVIEW OF PROGRAMS
Covid Related Projects
ALF CIC responded quickly in the early stages of the pandemic. In March 2020, when lockdown was announced, ALF began running an online (zoom) Peer Support Poppin for those who were struggling. ALF directors provided immediate support to those in the local community by leading a group of 500 villagers calling themselves ‘Langford COVID responders, volunteers, and information group’, run on Facebook.
We coordinated a leaflet drop to all 3000+ households to reach the most vulnerable, isolated, and elderly, liaised and collaborated with other local community groups, to ensure that villagers were able to receive groceries, medication, attend hospital and doctors’ appointments, and other essential services throughout lockdown. We arranged for local shops to provide a delivery service and raised funds in the village to enable local food outlets to provide meals for those in need. (This group is still active).
Following Project – Langford ‘Lotments:
Following the first lockdown, in August 2020, we endeavoured to continue the ‘community spirit’ that had been established by the COVID responders’ group, by setting up a Community Garden project. Within 24 hours of the suggestion put forward for village feedback, we were donated 2 plots of land within the village and a large group of volunteers came forward to help bring the project together. This group is now circa 180 volunteers strong.
The intention is to create a space where the community can come together for a range of philanthropic reasons:
- The general benefits to physical and emotional health of gardening and being in nature,
- to provide community connection, which is an essential need, vital to our survival,
- to encourage altruistic behaviour which gives a sense of purpose and meaning, and the opportunity to be of service which is often a vital component in mental health and addictions recovery.
- In producing healthy food to distribute to those who are struggling financially.
- to encourage and inspire local crafters and hobbyists to contribute and pass on skills to others, making things with the produce and raising funds for the garden.
- to teach children, via links with the schools, and younger generations about growing, gardening, cooking, and utilising the natural produce all around them.
The Entrepreneurial Enable programme is designed to help more vulnerable groups, especially those with special needs, disabilities or who maybe close to ‘retirement’, build confidence and find meaningful ways to support themselves or supports young micro start-ups with accounting, tax & business acumen.
The ALFIE Action program is a fledgling program, designed to provide project management to local small organisations delivering community interest initiatives. During the last year, the program has been focused on the ‘Friends of’ and/or ‘Co-operative’ and/or ‘Community Interest’ banners.
This has helped raise fund for a school nature walk project, a SEN support group for parents with special children & a group that teaches sign language. The program has also arranged litter picks & path clearances, in between Covid lockdown. This can provide work for some ALF peers.
DWP and Community Training
ALF successfully delivered the Mental Health programme to the DWP Work coaches across all of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire during 2019, which enabled coaches to understand and empathise with the challenges of that vulnerable group. This was innovative because it is unusual for the DWP to use external facilitators.
We have also created a Level 2 accredited course, ‘Supporting Good Emotional/Mental Wellness in the Community’ which has been running since January and are just about to complete our first cohort of the year.
This course was run in response to an increasing number of people in the local community wanting to come forwards and support people who have been affected by COVID. It is aimed especially at those who want to be involved in or run community groups, as well as those who want to work in a voluntary or paid capacity helping others who are struggling with emotional and mental health challenges.
As always, we encourage our students and volunteers to pass on their skills in their families and friendship groups. Most of the members of the current cohort are planning to use this training in either their own wellness businesses, volunteering to help young people and adults with emotional/mental health challenges, and with a view to continuing their education so that they can progress towards becoming fully qualified Peer Mentors/Coaches and progress to employment or self-employment.
Review of Core Services
ALF received donations from Tesco’s to deliver ‘Bessie’s Buddies’ a peer support development course (at level 2) across Central Beds & North Herts & Stevenage. One of these courses is current and aims to …….
The ALF tutors are available to support local organisations. This last COVID year the work has been focused on teaching counselling skills.
Community Support Services
ALF continue to provide care to the community, especially for those suffering with PTSD. This service has been more difficult to provide due to COVID, as ALF believe that this care is best delivered in a face-to-face environment. Nonetheless, ALF have provided direct support to 15 individuals.
Sometimes the trauma is identified as acute stress, which may for example be because of losing a job or a loved one. ALF supports these individuals in re-finding their confidence, re-engaging and building their resilience. ALF supported 6 such individuals this year.
The ALF team regularly provide volunteer support and encouragement for programs such as lollipop crossing operatives, litter pickers & support with rights of way and keeping paths clear.
ALF will continue to develop on its core services & deliver programs but will seek to offer retreat-based care too. ALF feel that this special kind of focus is ideal for overcoming many forms of trauma & stress, and as such is investigating options in the Cornwall area to make the most of the special countryside there.
ALF are looking at how best they can support the younger (16-21) age group, and how they may need to develop their internal resource capacity.
FINANCIALS YEAR END APRIL 2021
Cost of service provision
Contribution to Admin Costs
Admin Costs as % Income (Target 10%)
Deficit after Depreciation & Tax
Estimated Annual Committed Costs
Months Reserves (Target 12)
The Additional annual requirement is underpinned £1.5k of Founder loans & £1.5k of Founder Guarantees
It has been a difficult COVID year, but the Executive Directors of ALF are pleased with the impact that has been achieved from the prudent use of resources.