Alder Trust Annual event 2016

The evening was opened by Alder Trust's Chair of Trustees, Haydn Springett.

Dave began the update with the journey of Alder Trust so far. We often wonder why and how we have been involved in the projects and initiatives throughout the last year. Everything that Dave is involved with, in his many roles across the city, identifies with the vision of Alder Trust. His other responsibilities include GP Surgeries, Oasis Academies, Love Southampton and Pioneer.

We are pleased to have been involved with the initiation of Safe Families for Children in the city, which have been taking referrals from 1st October 2016.

In addition, we are near completion on the merger with the Firgrove Family Trust and very happy to welcome Abigail Nelson and Philip Clarke to Alder Trust's Board of Trustees.

Healthy Homes is a project ran by The Environment Centre. The Environment Centre was given funding to help increase quality of life for those suffering from Fuel Poverty. We have been spreading the word of this to faith groups in order for vulnerable people to benefit. We have facilitated the improvement of housing quality in Southampton helping vulnerable people access funding using connections through faith communities.

We continue our commissioned work but have changed the approach going directly to faith community groups rather than faith leaders. We have been able to speak directly to beneficiaries to promote the funding available.

The Behavioural Resource Service work with children & young people with behavioural difficulties, many who are in care and need supervised contact with parents on a regular basis. We helped to identify various spaces across the city for these supervised sessions to help reduce costs and travel for the families.

We increased the breadth of locations across Southampton available to the BRS for supervised contact of parents with looked after children.

Our multi-faith Safeguarding Network aims to equip faith communities for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. We run quarterly events focusing on a variety of different topics relevant to helping improve Safeguarding in our city.

Only in the last year has this developed to being multi-faith and we want to continue to expand. In 2017 we are organising 2 out of the 4 events in the year to be focused on teaching parents how to safeguard their teenagers and junior aged children in today's world.

This year, we have initiated a working group to discuss Parent & Toddler Groups within the city. This includes key stakeholders from Southampton including Community PlayLink. We are looking at how we can increase the standard of Parent & Toddler Groups across the city.

In addition to this, we have also begun to facilitate a Young Parents Forum. The forum meets 3 times a year to discuss the challenges that young parents face, meet together with other services offering support to young parents and to decrease the amount of young parents that are possibly falling through specific criteria that still need support.

As part of preventative work for Firgrove and the Young Parents Forum, we have begun a pilot programme in a secondary school teaching young people about 'what a healthy relationship looks like.' This is to enable them to make well-informed decisions about relationships.

We currently have one school in which we are delivering the programme to with more interested as well. With a team of 3 (2 being volunteers) the programme is growing rapidly.

Bren, the Centre Manager at Firgrove, gave an update on centre including stories from the clients that they have helped.

All the counsellors are now up to capacity with clients with the addition of a new counsellor, Mary. Recently, the centre has taken their first client who is struggling from giving her child up for adoption whilst another is suffering from her daughter having an abortion.

The baby equipment service is going well but there needs to be a change as to the location of this due to baby loss clients coming into the centre and baby equipment coming through at potentially similar times which could be difficult.

Having reflected on the past year, we are now looking to the future for Alder Trust and what the next year will bring. We want to grow the projects that we have started, including Healthy Relationships, the Young Parents Forum and to build further with Firgrove. Ultimately, we do not know what the next year will hold but we are excited at the thought of how these projects will grow and the other things we will be involved with.

Looking at the challenges for next year, we need to; Establish a more robust funding model, Increase the team size with volunteers and employees and Explore how we might support the infrastructure of the voluntary sector alongside Southampton Voluntary Services.

If you have any questions on the above and what was discussed, please email Megan:

The evening was closed by the acting Chair of Trustees from Firgrove Family Trust, Abigail Nelson.

"Togetherness is key. It's rooting things further between Alder Trust and Firgrove. We are expanding the services that we are delivering because of it. It is a little bit unknown, however, what has been happening, let's make sure it grows."

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