As we approach the end of the year, AKT's Chief Executive Tim Sigsworth MBE presents an update on our current Business Plan.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Income at AKT remains on target and we are forecasting a solid year end thanks to generosity of or donors and corporate supporters over the Pride season and at our Gala Dinner in October. In the next edition of AKT Now, we will announce the date for GALA 2019 – when AKT will be marking our 30thAnniversary.

AKT’s Board have approved a 12-month pilot in a fourth region. Delivered in partnership with local homelessness and LGBT service providers the pilot will comprise taking a deeper look at need locally to identify a service model, deliver support to young people and building partnerships and expertise to ensure local providers can better support LGBT young people at risk of homelessness. We are likely to land in either the south west or south Yorkshire and will update you the next edition of AKT Now.

Watch out for some exciting news early in 2019 as we complete work on our forward plan for Purple Door Manchester.

SAFE HOMES AND INDEPENDENCE

Satisfaction levels amongst young people accessing our services remains consistently high at 99%. We have had some great feedback from young people taking part in our research, who stated that  .

In London we are significantly ahead of our target to deliver safe homes to young people, reflecting high occupancy rates at our Purple Door house and through our Host Homes and placing young people in other short term and permanent housing options. Newcastle and Manchester are both on target and we are expecting an increase in both the accomodaton we provide – as we recruit more Hosts and deliver our outreach programme.

DIGITAL SERVICES

In the last three months access to our digital services has comprised 43% of our ambitious annual target and bodes well for the significant further development of our digital offer to young people in 2019.

 Our online resource hub for young people ‘Your Toolkit’ is already proving popular as an information portal for young people with the arrival of our new Digital Services Manager (Sean) who will be based in Manchester and Assistant Director of Communications (Matt) in December we expect significant development of this resource hub and other digital based resources for young people. We’ll introduce you to Sean and Matt in our next AKT Now.

The Service is also achieving its targets around national reach – with 58% of young people accessing our digital services located outside our three physical locations. Moreover, the service is showing other positive trends around reaching marginalized groups and younger people – which supports the oprganisations focus on prevention and early action: with male to female access to the service in favour of women by 19% and service users aged 14-18 years old comprising 40% overall – supporting our decision to work closely with NSPCC on reviewing and improving our safeguarding, with particular focus on digital delivery.

Our instant support and information through Live Chat and Facebook Live sessions respectively are two recent and valuable innovations within the service in terms of prevention work.

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT

This programme has greatly benefitted from the introduction of a Youth Engagement Officer (YEO) in late Q1. Whilst the YEO develops our forward plan for this programme our youth engagement work over Q2 has continued to focus on ensuring young people are included in the co-creation of resources and services (e.g. development of all Pride / service resources, agile development of our digital service and product testing for digital toolkits) as well as the promotion of the organisations work to young people and our supporters (e.g. Young Ambassadors attending events and presenting to our corporate partners and young writers group producing content for AKT NOW and our digital platforms).

VOLUNTEERING

With the arrival in July of our first Volunteer Co-Ordinator in almost five years, Q2 has been dominated by review and development of our volunteering programme at AKT. With volunteers accounting for 90% of our workforce their recruitment, engagement, training and support is critical to AKT achieving its ambitious forward plan. Our concentration here is on new roles, comprising:

  • Outreach champions to maximize our geographical reach across providers and communities;
  • Hosts in the north, to support our pilot of this accommodation option;
  • Digital mentors to increase capacity of this service

In the last three months our fantastic volunteer team have delivered 7,615 hours of support to young people and AKT with the estimated monetary value of our volunteering hours worth over £58,000 in this period.

Click here to find out about our latest volunteering opportunities.

OUTREACH

We have had a strong start to our Outreach programme, reflecting both a busy period over the Pride season and a concentrated approach by our Services team to diversify our client base and increase footfall.. In total we engaged with 11,361 people through the 63 outreach events we undertook. Please note, this does not include meetings and partnership discussions.

Outreach Plans in Manchester are concentrated on reaching Housing Teams and other service delivery organisations across Greater Manchester, extending the reach of AKT across the city. Newcastle has a more diverse spread of organisations being targeted and there is a mail-out of materials to all sixth form colleges across the city.