APLE Month 2022 Blog Posts

June 2022

APLE Month Newsletter

In this Newsletter, you can read more about our second official ‘APLE Month’. This is a month dedicated to highlighting and celebrating all of the fantastic organisations, charities and individuals who use their voices to campaign and have lived experiences at the heart of what they do. This year our theme was around the changing landscape of the digital divide, as well as a focus on Volunteers Week and Learning Disability Week.

Volunteers Week

1-7th June 2022

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

From the Volunteer’s Week website,

Volunteers’ Week 2022 is a time to say thanks. It goes without saying that volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response. During an exceptionally difficult couple of years, people from all walks of life around the UK have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year. This is a time for us to come together and thank all volunteers for their invaluable contribution.”

Join us on Twitter to celebrate Volunteers Week from the 1st-7th of June. Share what volunteering means to you and use the hashtags #VolunteersWeek and #APLEMonth2022.

APLE Collective members are the heart, soul and embodiment of APLE. Addressing Poverty with Lived experience, APLE Collective members work together, across our sub-groups to enact our action plan and have our voices heard on local, national and international levels. 

Katy Goldstraw

For more information on Volunteer’s Week, visit the website at https://volunteersweek.org

Connectivity and the changing landscape of the digital divide.

The Digital Divide is a term used to describe the inequality of digital access experienced by people living in poverty. 

The world is moving online at an ever-increasing rate, particularly in response to the global pandemic. In this context, it can be easy to take internet access, suitable devices and digital literacy for granted. But for people who can’t afford a laptop, broadband or data or don’t have the necessary skills to navigate the online world, it means being shut out of vital services and paying more for essentials. 

Our new Digital Divide Briefing Paper:

Over the last few years, the APLE Collective Campaign to address the digital divide has gained traction and has taken action in various settings to amplify the voices of people with lived experiences of Poverty.

APLE Campaigning on the Digital Divide has involved writing to MPs, meeting online with MPs and linking with key partners such as The Good Things FoundationOperation WiFi and Local Trust to amplify the voices of people with lived experience of poverty within wider campaigning on the digital divide. Our work was recognised by the UK Parliament Awards, as Digital Campaigner of the Year.

The Campaigns and Communications sub-group has focused on campaigning on the digital divide. The work of the sub-groups has included research for fact sheets and briefing papers, stakeholder mapping and participatory campaign planning alongside writing to MPS, meeting with MPs, liaising with APPGs and presenting at a wide range of conferences.

“Being part of the APLE Campaigns sub- Group has been inspirational. The collective effort and skills that lead the Digital Divide Campaign were so effective at highlighting and challenging the real issues that poverty brings and engaging people in strategic positions with the problems and potential solutions. It seemed all about speaking out and asking to be listened to. I witnessed the power of the collective voice and how, if we come together, we can challenge inequalities and help create change, brilliant stuff!”

APLE Month 2022 Spotlights

Here are all of the amazing charities, organisations and individuals that the APLE Collective and APLE Collective members would like to spotlight this month.

Keira’s Kingdom


Keira’s Kingdom supports any adults or children, that are currently living with a life-limiting, mental or chronic illness. We offer one-to-one tailored holistic support; this is tailored to our client’s wants and needs. Our support ranges from connecting people back into their local communities, attending GP appointments, and hospital appointments, overseeing complaints, helping with routine, helping to access volunteering or work, making referrals for counselling, advocating and generally being a friendly non-judgemental listening ear.

Keira’s Kingdom was set up after I lost my niece Keira, at the age of 5, due to her having a rare life-limiting illness, I also have several chronic illnesses and I have experienced temporary psychosis, brought on by medication. After losing Keira I decided to train as a counsellor, as my training was coming to an end, I soon realised there was a huge gap in support services for people living with chronic, mental and life-limiting illnesses. I set up Keira’s Kingdom support services to try to fill this gap. 

All staff, volunteers etc have had their own lived experience of dealing with a chronic, mental or life-limiting illness. We are an equal opportunity employer and we believe in a united front amongst all illnesses and disabilities. 



PFAN brings together parents, social workers and academics involved in different aspects of children’s social care. Their aim is to promote parent advocacy and also transform policy and practice to ensure parent’s views and experiences are heard through participation in every decision that affects them and their children.

PFAN works to promote principles of social justice and human rights in social work interventions in family life in the UK.

PFAN will work for Recognition that intervention in family life carries risks of harm to children and their family relationship, full and open accountability towards parents, families and children for outcomes, acknowledgement of the necessity for balanced and respectful interventions where these are needed, open access, fair and helpful responses to family difficulties.
Key activities include ensuring  a voice for parents and families within policy, practice and research both locally and nationally in all countries of the UK, promoting collaboration between parents and families and family-work practitioners in order to achieve better outcomes for children gathering and promoting a solid evidence base for practice that promotes children’s and families welfare

Community Cast


The Community Cast aims to amplify the voices of communities by supporting them to create the cast through which they can own their stories and mould their futures.
We provide training and support for people and groups to mould the conversation around their successes and the issues affecting them.

Through building relationships with residents and community groups we aim to support and enable them to create awareness, and generate conversations, about the issues which matter most. Using a combination of cocreated methods built around digital, journalistic and media practices we work alongside and empower a diverse range of individuals and community groups.

Using digital and traditional media training we work with people and their communities to provide access to learning outside of conventional educational routes, as well as working alongside existing organisations with the aim of place-making. The Community Cast is intent on highlighting socially significant impacts, while reducing the digital skills divide, through training communities to tell their own stories with their own voice and take control of their future’s narrative”.  Adam Gratton, Founder of The Community Cast

Hart Gables


Hart Gables is a support service for those who identify as LGBTQ+ across the Tees Valley area.
We work to ensure that all LGBTQ+ people are given equal life chances and have services that meet their needs. We do this through supporting the local community and working with partner organisations to create a robust action plan and ensure its implementation (see LGBT Tees Valley Forum).

Our Aim
Hart Gables has been established since 1997 and was firstly launched as a community group named ‘The Rainbow Centre’ ran by dedicated volunteers. In May 2005 the recently re branded service Hart Gables advanced to registered charity status and has been successfully developing ever since, emerging into an improved organisation year after year. The strategic aim is to develop a safer and more inclusive community that will enable LGBTQ+ individuals to lead fulfilling and enriching lives.

The Vision
To celebrate diversity ensuring the Tees Valley is a place where LGBTQ+ members of society feel valued, have equal rights and are empowered to reach their optimum potential.

Dundee Fighting for Fairness


Dundee Fighting for Fairness, or commonly shortened to DFFF, is a small collective of Dundonians with various life experiences, networks, and influences that is striving to be a voice for people facing poverty and inequality in Dundee. DFFF acts as a bridge between the community and the ‘powers that be’. Through their experiences, they work to change and influence policies that are unfair to the most vulnerable and marginalised in our city.

How is Dundee Fighting For Fairness a bridge between the community and the ‘powers that be’?

Often, members’ personal experiences don’t go far enough and DFFF needs to know more about different issues or topics. They collaborate with local community groups and individuals to gain a broader understanding of the issues and topics that the community is struggling with. They also ask for solutions from the community to learn what would make it better for people.

Forward LGBT+


Forward – Stockport LGBT+ Centre is a dedicated safe space for LGBT+ folks, family and friends, to meet, participate and share with the wider community.

We aim to provide a visible and dedicated safe space for local LGBT+ folks, family and friends, to meet, participate and share with the wider community.

By bringing services and spaces into the heart of the community we hope to bring people together on a local level.

To provide a local, accessible and inclusive safe space
To increase inter-sectional activity
To promote good physical and mental health


If you’d like the APLE Collective to spotlight you or your organisation or any specific pieces of work you are doing on our Twitter, submit them here: