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Sunny Sports and a Showcase for Training

September 21st, 2018

The young people who attended asphaleia’s training summer school this year made the most of the opportunity to learn in the sunshine, through a variety of sports, dance and drama activities.

The first half of our summer school began with some friendly competition on Worthing beach. Our ESOL learners participated in volleyball matches and tried their luck at mini-golf. They also helped to prepare a delicious picnic that they ate after the activities in sunny Victoria Park, before heading back to the training centre and working extremely hard on their Maths and English. In addition, our ESOL, English and refugee students undertook a collective three week project. They developed a fantastic show based around personal monologues, music and acting, whilst surrounded by a set and props they created, before performing the ensemble in front of an audience at Ivy Arch Dance Studios, Worthing.

The performance was influenced with the help of the Brighton Institute for Contemporary Theatre Training (BRICTT),  who went above and beyond to enhance the showcase. They taught our young people a dance routine, some interpretative dance, and allowed them to explore the ins and outs of the theatre, including trapdoors, backstage, and even underneath the stage! The professionals at BRICTT also supplied some information of theatre and dramatic arts around Sussex, helping to contextualise the visit.

Within the fun and creative activities our learners experienced this summer lay a wealth of skills that they can take forward to further learning, training or employment. These included learning communication skills – both verbal and non verbal – practising teamwork, confidence and dedication in order to pull the show together. As a result, the young people made great progress towards earning their Life and Living Qualification. A huge thank you to BRICTT for the amazing classes, and a massive well done to our young people who worked very hard over the summer; you should be very proud of yourselves!

 

Are you 16-24, looking for free advice, teaching and work experience? Interested in obtaining qualifications whilst having fun and making new friends? Get in touch to find out how asphaleia can help you start planning your future, today. Telephone: 01903 823546 Email: trainingreferrals@asphaleia.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Sexting – Why is it so Popular With Teenagers?

September 17th, 2018

Reuters Health most recent study suggests: ‘At least one in four teens are receiving sexually explicit texts and emails, and at least one in seven are sending sexts.’

At safe, West Sussex, we regularly receive referrals to our project for teenagers who have sent nude, or partially nude, images to someone they know, and sometimes even someone they have never met, via the internet. This is an increasing problem in secondary schools, but why is it that some teenagers feel that is ‘the norm’ to send these types of images?

Sexting – what is it?

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.   These can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smart phones, laptops or any device that allows you to share media and messages.

Sexting may also be called:

  • trading nudes
  • dirties
  • pic for pic.

(Definition taken from NSPCC website)

Sexting – Why do it?

Sexting can be a healthy way for young people to explore sexuality and intimacy when it’s consensual.  After speaking to some of the teenagers safe are currently working with, some of the reasons they give for why teenagers do this are:

‘It’s a new thing, they want to try it out.’

‘It’s shown in films as being normal (e.g. romantic and comedy fims).’

‘It’s on Instagram and Snapchat, usually with year 9 or 10 pupils, so people think it’s ok to do it too.’

‘You might do it privately between your boyfriend or girlfriend.’

‘I think 95% of adults in their 20s and 30s do it, so why not?’

Sexting – What are the dangers?

The most obvious danger is that when these images are sent to someone you believe you can trust, they could send these on to anyone anywhere in the world.  Just because you are in a relationship with someone, it does not necessarily mean you are with them forever.  When relationships end, sometimes there are bad feelings and bitterness because of the break up, and these photos could be sent onto other friends, contacts online or schoolmates to try to embarrass the sender.  Don’t forget that the sender has no control over who else can see their image,  once it has been sent it to someone else, they can do whatever they like with that image.

These photos could also be used to blackmail the sender into sending other images.  When images are stored or shared online they become public. Some people may think that images and videos only last a few seconds on social media and then they’re deleted, but they can still be saved or copied by others. This means that photos or videos which a young person may have shared privately could still be end up being shared between adults they don’t know.

Young people may think ‘sexting’ is harmless, but it can leave them vulnerable to:

  • Blackmail  An offender may threaten to share the pictures with the child’s family and friends unless the child sends money or more images.
  • Bullying  If images are shared with their peers or in school, the child may be bullied.
  • Unwanted attention  Images posted online can attract the attention of sex offenders, who know how to search for, collect and modify images.
  • Emotional distress  Children can feel embarrassed and humiliated. If they’re very distressed this could lead to suicide or self-harm.

Sexting – The law

What the law says:

Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young person is breaking the law if they:

  • take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
  • share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age
  • possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.

However, as of January 2016 in England and Wales, if a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police can choose to record that a crime has been committed but that taking formal action isn’t in the public interest.

Crimes recorded this way are unlikely to appear on future records or checks, unless the young person has been involved in other similar activities which may indicate that they’re a risk.

If you are concerned about the images being shared by a young person you are working with, then safe, West Sussex can help.  We work with young people either on a one to one basis, or even in small groups to discuss online safety, the dangers of sexting and healthy relationships.  If you would like to make a referral, please contact either kayjones@asphaeia.co.uk or rubygarnham@asphaleia.co.uk or call asphaleia’s head office on 01903 522966 and ask to speak to Kay or Ruby.

     

Independent Visiting Service Hosts Fun Day!

August 23rd, 2018

During the heatwave in July that now feels like a distant memory, our Independent Visiting Service in Bromley hosted a fun day for all its current matches. Despite having to rearrange at the last minute due to England getting into the World Cup quarter final, the volunteers brought their young people to Crystal Palace Park where we had a picnic. It was great for our visitors and young people to meet each other and chat about what activities they have done together.

After the picnic we sent each pair into the maze to have a race! They were also given a quiz to complete together. The quiz asked mostly asked them questions about the historical feature that Crystal Palace Park is known for; the dinosaur sculptures. The persistence of all our young people was commendable as it was very hot!

The pair that got the most questions correct won a Costa gift card to spend at a future visit. We are looking forward to our next event gathering our volunteers and young people.

The Independent Visiting Service is a befriending service for young people in care with Bromley Local Authority. We recruit adult volunteers and match one to a young person and they will visit them once a month and take them out to do activities. It is part of our care venture. If you would like to find out more about volunteering please email recruitment@asphaleia.co.uk.

Confidence Workshop in the SAFE Kent Project

August 14th, 2018

On Monday the 6th of August, Gwen from the SAFE Kent project held a workshop on confidence. We discussed what confidence is, how it makes us feel and how it helps us in life. Lots of tips were shared on how to improve on confidence and the young people gained an understanding of how confidence differs in different situations based on our experiences and expectations.

When we had finished the learning part of the workshop we sat down to do some art on the theme of confidence. Some of the art work can be seen below. One of the young people drew himself and wrote ‘if there is a need there is a way’. We discussed adaptations of this saying in different languages, one of which is ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way. Another young person drew a bird of prey and wrote about ‘ flying above circumstances’. He spoke to me about how the bird represents him and his ability to overcome circumstances and not let them get in the way of what he wants to achieve in life.

Another young person drew himself at the bottom of mountains with a rocky road and a big sun at the top. He explained how the sun represents hope which he will always need and will get him through the mountains, which represent obstacles and challenges in life. He told me how important hope is in keeping his motivation going.

    

If you would like to make a referral to the SAFE project in Kent, please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk.

asphaleia fostering Celebrates a GOOD Ofsted Grade

July 30th, 2018

asphaleia is delighted with the outcome of a recent Ofsted fostering inspection, in which we were judged to be GOOD.

asphaleia’s fostering team was inspected on 4th June 2018, and we are thrilled with the result! The Inspector reported that asphaleia’s ”Children make good progress from their starting points in long-term placements.” and that they are ”placed with committed carers who accept them into their wider families. They are particularly well supported and guided to overcome their often-complex personal and social difficulties”.

We are really proud of our dedicated and passionate team who work extremely hard to support our devoted foster carers to motivate our children to achieve their potential. We are delighted Ofsted recognised this, reporting that managers and staff have a strong commitment to the work and have a clear understanding of the needs of the children. A strength of the agency is that children have access to learning delivered by other projects within the organisation. Children have attended workshops based on staying safe and appropriate use of social media. One-to-one support is available to children at risk of child sexual exploitation or currently experiencing exploitation.

Foster carers work carefully with children, helping them to understand and reflect on their family history and cultural background and support them in maintaining their individual faiths. A young person said, ‘I felt at home from the moment I came here. The foster carers understand me, they speak my language, help me to keep my faith and cook food I enjoy. That means all is very good.’

We couldn’t be more pleased with this fantastic news and we can’t wait to recruit more foster carers so they can help young people to gain qualifications and achieve their potential. Since being awarded Good we have been really busy with a recruitment drive to increase our team of foster carers. We welcome new foster carers all year round, so contact us on 01903 823546 if you or any one you know would like to enquire about being a foster carer and we will arrange a time to visit you and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

An Interview with an Independent Visitor

July 25th, 2018

An Independent Visitor is a volunteer who is matched with a young person in care. They befriend the yp by taking them out to do fun activities once a month. The idea behind the role is that it provides a consistent, long-term, supportive relationship with a role model who is outside of the circle of professionals involved in the young person’s care plan. asphaleia care run the IV service for London Borough of Bromley and here is an interview with one of our visitors, Andrew, who has been volunteering with us since January.

  • How long have you been an IV now?

I was introduced to JO and his family on the 24th of Jan 2018, so about seven months.

  • What’s been your favourite visit?

There isn’t a particular visit I would classify as favourite, they’ve all been uniquely interesting from the very first one, where we watched Star wars: the last JEDI, followed by just the two of us playing soccer and showing off ball juggling skills at a leisure centre. The third visit was bowling for about two and half hours culminated with a meal of his choice at a nearby Nando’s. For the next visit, we went to Lambeth Palace, the official home of the archbishop of Canterbury, we toured the place and enjoyed ourselves at an event that had been organised by Ronald Macdonald house, a charity firm that supports relatives with terminally ill children in hospital then we played miniature golf.

  • How did you find the induction training?

The very coherent induction/ training curriculum of asphaleia complimented with staff like Jeni who have a unique ability to explain complex or difficult concepts in basic terms and the use of case scenarios made the entire process enjoyable and an opportunity to blend and share knowledge with experience independent visitors.

A still from the video made by the IV Network to promote the role. You can find the full video, ‘A Friend by Nature’, on Barnardos YouTube channel.

  • What’s the best thing about being an IV?

As a Business doctorate student, the role of IV is an opportunity to practically apply theoretical material learned in class in the sense that I have to evaluate the young person and his interests and decide what would make a good visit. I also take into consideration the experiences we are having and what I can teach him through them.

  • Would you recommend it to other adults looking to volunteer?

Yes, the visits are in themselves an opportunity to develop personally. The role not only places you in a leadership position to influence the young person, but also through reflecting upon what you’re helping the young person with (for example; increasing their self-confidence, helping them to deal with life’s changes and challenges, being healthy), it prompts you to reflect on your own lifestyle.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please email recruitment@asphaleia.co.uk.

 

Celebrating Refugee Week in Kent

July 18th, 2018

In Kent Outreach sessions we have been celebrating Refugee Week and talking about life in the UK as a refugee. The young people told us what they like best about being in the UK. The overwhelming response was the right to education and freedom. These are things we often take for granted however our young people highlighted just how lucky we are. I for one feel incredibly lucky, not just to live in a country where we have freedom and access to healthcare and education, but also to spend my days working with brave and inspirational young people every day. They inspire me to appreciate the opportunities we are offered in the UK as well as make the most of every precious moment. It is a pleasure to be part of their lives so let’s say a big thank you to all the young people we work with for letting us be part of their journey to make a new home in the UK.

Referrals are being taken for Outreach support, for enquiries please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk. This service provides one-to-one support for young asylum seekers and refugees, teaching them independent living and self care skills. The topics covered vary depending on the areas that the young person requires support with, thereby creating a package of outreach support that is tailored to meet individual targets and goals.

Future Aspirations for a Young Person in Care West Sussex

July 18th, 2018

Outreach workers in our Care venture have been encouraging our YP to focus on their futures and have been supporting them to apply for colleges in the south east of England. Outreach worker Layla supported a YP to enroll on a construction course at a local college. The YP was very anxious on arrival to the college as they had found attending a school setting previously was a difficult task for them. Layla advised the YP that college is different from school and is a more adult environment. The YP took part in a bricklaying workshop and learnt lots of new things such as how to lay a course of bricks, how to build a corner, what the meaning of ”Plumb or Plumb bob” was and where it had derived from. (The ”plumb” in ”plumb-bob” comes from the fact that such tools were originally made of lead (Latin: plumbum, French: plomb). In ancient history the Egyptians and Romans used a bob of lead on a piece of string to check if the buildings were vertical or in line. After the workshop-the YP said he enjoyed the day at college and was looking forward to starting in September and learning a trade for his future….and to earn some money.

asphaleia care provide support services to UASC in Kent and West Sussex.

asphaleia Organisational Day June 2018

July 18th, 2018

On Thursday 7th June we had our Organisational Day in Worthing. All asphaleia teams gathered at the Chatsworth Hotel for training, team development, and most importantly…the 2018 asphaleia awards!!

The day was incredibly enjoyable. There was plenty of learning, celebrations and laughs for everyone. Reminding ourselves of the highs and the lows, the challenges and the successes in 2017 and of course looking ahead to 2018 was truly inspiring. Re-affirming our values and mission – ‘to impact as many lives of children and young people who have experienced disadvantage as we can’ was a great reminder of why we work for such a meaningful cause.

We then moved on to some insightful workshops delivered by four of our asphaleia action specialists. These workshops covered some very prominent themes we are all coming into contact with more and more in some context through our work; Child Sexual Exploitation, Mental Health and Well-being, Prevent and County Lines. These were well-received by staff and left us wanting to learn more.

Getting to know the Leadership Team and hearing how their roles have developed into specialist areas was a great way to identify how they contribute to the wider organisation. We also got the chance to hear from three of our colleagues in our ‘chat show’, telling us their experiences of working at asphaleia and what goes on in their typical day. Listening to their stories was really encouraging and motivational.

Teams got together in their ventures to look at planning delivery and developments ahead. It’s always a good way to share ideas and planning together to see them through. We are already looking forward to see how these plans unfold!

Then it was time for the staff awards…….here are the pictures of all the winners from this year – WELL DONE TO EVERYONE !!!!

Dedication to Service Users went to Learning Support Assistant, Alan Olieff

Staff Award went to Centre Administrator, Toni Shortell

Dedication to the role went to Independent Visitor, Amy Burrell

Venture of the year went to asphaleia training

Staff member of the year went to Care Manager, Jodie Brown

Once again – a MASSIVE WELL DONE to everyone !!!!

Young People Celebrate Refugee Week 2018 Through Art

July 5th, 2018

To celebrate Refugee week (18th – 24th June) we teamed up with the Sussex Partnership Trust and ran a pop up art studio for our UASC students at our training centre. This was led by artist Sara Dare and Jo Squires, Mental Health Practitioner for CAMHS in West Sussex who is supporting our students around their mental health. We held two drop in’s for students throughout the day where they focused on ‘One Line Drawing’ and drew portraits of each other only using one line without taking their pencil off of the page; asphaleia staff also tried this and it was not easy! In addition to this young people drew using pencils and charcoal and teamed together to create a large floor piece, which was good fun. We provided the young people with photo frames so they could put their drawings up in their homes. Some drew pictures of themselves and others drew family members.

At our training centre in Worthing we offer ESOL courses to UASC students. To make a referral please contact our training team on 01903 823546.