A word from our Chair

Firstly, THANK YOU!! The commitment and contribution of each and every AOK supporter over the last two years, as we have battled with this pandemic, has been extraordinary. I could never have thought that so many would mobilise to support those less advantaged, let alone stay steadfast as we struggled with staggering demand, four hub moves, and the ever-present risk of contracting Covid-19. I am only too aware that, within these challenges, some things fell by the wayside – being able to provide the breadth of services we had always intended, keeping regularly in touch with all of you, and even getting our Annual Report submitted to the Charity Commission on time – but we look forward with renewed strength and focus. With a lot of work, and a little luck, I believe we face the future from a stronger place, ready to make sure we support our service users as stated in our vision, mission statement and aims, outlined below. And again, THANK YOU.

Kerry Snuggs

AOK’s Vision, Mission Statement and Aims

In principle, these are not new, but we have confirmed that they remain a reflection of what we wish to achieve through AOK, and have now been included in our Charity Constitution, our governing document.

Our vision: To enable those in difficult situations to access a service which enables them to receive support without fear of judgement.

Our mission statement: To work across the Solent area to support those in crisis, promote partnership working, advocate for change and provide a service which recognises that ‘one size does not fit all’. To step into the individual’s situation and see how we, as a community, can support them.

Our aims:

• to relieve the effects of poverty by providing support to the vulnerable

• to assist in crisis situations

• to recognise those in the community who have served beyond expectation.

Through community support and strong partnership working, AOK will provide food, clothing and household items to those in need, and will co-ordinate support of community projects. Utilising the skills and expertise of those in the community, we can collectively make a difference.

Looking to our Future

The trustees have now held their first formal meeting since before the pandemic:

• our trustees, Kerry Snuggs, Hilary Bremner, Lesley Barsby and Robbie Hammond, have now been appointed for a period of three years, giving stability as we build our plans;

• the 2020 Annual Report and Accounts have been submitted;

• a raft of policies have been approved and a copy will be available in the Hub.

The key discussion was to consider our future, and the following themes (subject to some possible amendment) were identified as needing further discussion and action:

• Shaping service provision for the future

• Identifying a long-term location and type of premises

• Attracting grant income and sponsorship

• Developing outline budgets for various services

• Continuing a volunteer-only ‘workforce’

• Implementing the new service-user database

• Developing induction, training and internal communications

• Maximising external channels of communication.

We want our supporters – that’s all of you – to be involved in many of these areas. It’s not just that with only four trustees, there is simply too much to do, but you are a key part of AOK’s future and we want your thoughts and your contribution. We will be in touch again with specific requests as these become clearer. Thank you again, in advance, for your involvement in our future.

Keeping in touch

We know that there have been times over the last two years when you may have wondered what was going on, where AOK was heading, what your role was, and how you were being supported in doing it. We will do our very best to send out news, information on opportunities, future events, training and plans for the future on a far more frequent basis. At any time, trustees can be contacted via the Hub, if you have queries or suggestions; we welcome your feedback