The Network, with funding support from Bourne Free, Dorset Community Foundation for aspects of our BCP area initiative, and also including for the larger pan-Dorset and related national level outreach work for the initiative, helped us to provide and deliver next phase key elements of the latter, particularly through resources development for FE colleges, and for other programmes, such as CAMHS and CMHT for the NHS, developing a police resource for criminality and exploitation aspects
Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT): AKT is the UK’s most respected LGBT homeless and at risk of homelessness community support organisation. The Network has had meetings with AKT in the past few months in regard to the relevant areas of the Network’s LGBTQ+ multi agency, mental health/NHS support orientated homeless and at risk of homelessness and sofa surfing initiative. A number of very positive outcomes concerning this dialogue have emerged, with elements of the Network initiative being viewed by AKT as breaking new ground; we are providing support on these.
The winding down of a very short-lived BCP Council Homeless Reduction Board diverse communities (particularly both LGBT, and ethnic minorities) and younger homeless community members support sub-group: this development whilst disappointing to the Network, that had for more than a year strongly argued for the BCP Council group to support the Network’s dedicated multiagency initiative due to the exceptional and extreme special factors causing the phenomenon and severity of LGBTQ+ homelessness and sofa surfing. This was rigorously, albeit politely, refused until the sub-group mentioned was instituted – this has now withered away, with the Network not being informed, nor, we understand, Dorset Race Equality Council. This experience has reinforced the Network premise that such approaches have not worked, nor will work, and only initiatives of the kind created by the Network take seriously LGBTQ+ lives at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Network initiative with the Prison Service, through pilot work at HMP & YOI Portland:
The initiative, which features monthly Steering Groups meetings, has continued to witness major advance and improvement for LGBT+ and LGBTQ+ community members at Portland Prison through the Network guided multiple stakeholders ‘joining up’ approach – one outcome was that the prison’s Pride 2022 has made national news within the Prison Service/HMPPS in terms of approach and impact.
In addition, the Network has been providing multiple forms of support through the steering group monthly meetings and email correspondence on various development and support points, and Network information resources, aspects of which have been aiding group stakeholders at strategic and operational delivery level, are currently being reviewed at national HMPPS level, with a view to final state version being developed with the Network for national use.