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Happy Memories of Christmas at asphaleia care’s Reception House

January 18th, 2019

The Christmas Holidays can be a very difficult, sad and lonely time for many people. Some of our UASC young people at our reception house in Worthing have had to endure much sadness and trauma in their lives at such an early age, and are missing their own families.

For Christmas 2018, we planned two treats for our young people in our reception house. On Christmas day itself we had arranged for the young people to attend a christmas party celebration in Brighton through the Refugee Council at the Global Centre. The young people who went came back reporting that they had a really good time and made new friendships with other young people from their countries.

On boxing day, Theresa cooked a fantastic traditional Christmas meal. The young people all got involved with food preparations, some had never seen a brussel sprout before and one young person made the stuffing balls to go with the meal. Theresa reported that he found this highly amusing and was laughing all the way through.

The aroma coming from the kitchen was delightful, Theresa remarked how lovely it was to see all the young people  helping, some helped by stirring the gravy others by cutting veg.

“When is dinner ready?” They would keep asking… One wanted to begin carving the turkey before it even got to the table. This made Theresa think of her own childhood Christmas dinners and she felt proud to be part of building a good memory for what, for some of these young people, was their very first Christmas experience in the UK.

We served a dinner of roast turkey, parsnips, peas, carrots, roast potatoes and, of course, sprouts. which reluctantly were tried but not enjoyed. They were left on the side of the plate!

The table was dressed in a special way for this occasion. There was much laughter and conversation. We pulled crackers and wore silly hats and laughed at the cracker jokes. Theresa explained what the ‘Pulling of the Wishbone ‘ was  and pulled it with the young person who made a wish. Apparently some of them said they also do this at home.

For another young person it was said how determined he was to use the cutlery, he explained that in his village they only ever ate by using their hands, his big beaming smile showed how happy he was. Theresa was touched to hear this and said what a wonderful achievement this must be for him to sit round a table like this with others as he usually eats alone.

The meal ended with ice cream and mince pies. All the young people thanked Theresa for the lovely meal and they all took their part in washing and drying the dishes. The laughter and cheer continued well into the evening.

One of the young people asked: “Please can we do this again?”

To find out more about our care accommodation services please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk.

asphaleia training college to Open for Taster Week in West Sussex and West London

January 18th, 2019

asphaleia training runs employability programmes for young people aged 16-18. Our learners can join a course at any time during the year and benefit from a learning experience tailored to their qualification and learning needs.

4th-8th February

Our taster week will take place in the first week of February in Worthing, West Sussex and Uxbridge, West London. Young people, their parents and any professionals working with this age group will be welcome to come to our college buildings and have a look around. You will be able to speak with staff and young people and find out about what we offer. There will also be taster sessions of our courses running (more details to follow). If you are interested in attending this taster week, please email graciethorne@asphaleia.co.uk to be put on our contact list.

What We Offer

On Track

  • On Track is a further education programme for young people aged 16-18 run by asphaleia in Worthing and Bognor Regis.
  • It provides practical skills, qualifications, work experience and careers guidance to support young people at the beginning of their journey towards work and a career.
  • The course is around 12-14 hours per week and offers accredited qualifications in English, Maths and Employability, real-life work experiences and workplace activities, careers guidance and transferable skills.

On Track ESOL (English as a Second Language)

  • Full-time further education provision.
  • For 16-18 year-olds who speak English as a second language, including those with very low levels of English and newly-arrived in the country.

Make Trax

  • For those not yet ready for the full On Track programme, we can offer pre-engagement support via our Make Trax project.
  • This is a bespoke 1:1 and small group programme for NEET young people facing barriers to learning and work. It acts as a tailored introduction programme for young people to enter education, employment or training.
  • For 16-25 year olds.

Throughout January we are DOUBLING our refer a friend scheme with a young person and their friend receiving a £20 voucher if their friend starts at asphaleia and attends for two weeks!

To refer a young person please contact graciethorne@asphaleia.co.uk

Big Lottery Visit to Safe West Sussex

January 8th, 2019

On Monday 26th November, Safe West Sussex had a visit from our funder: The Big Lottery.

Safe West Sussex has been funded by the Big Lottery for five years in total and we have just finished our second year. The visit gave us the opportunity to speak about all of the amazing things we have done in the past two years and to talk about our plans for the future.

On the project we currently work with young people aged between ten and 25 who are either at risk of CSE or those who are seen as ‘subjects of concern’. We meet with our young people on a one-to-one basis or in small groups of up to six, either at their school/college or in the community. During the Big Lottery visit we were able to show our visitor some of the work we have done with our young people around healthy relationships, online safety, consent and recognising the signs of CSE.

We also deliver healthy relationship workshops to classes of year six pupils across the county and we showed our funder the resources we use. To date we have worked with over 800 young people. In addition, we also work with parents to support them in their understanding of CSE and how their child may be at risk. We can do this via phone calls or messages as well as regular meetings face-to-face, if appropriate.

Our visitor was particularly interested in the impact our work has had on the young people, professionals and parents we have worked with.  We shared some of our case studies which showed how the young people we have worked with have made positive changes to their lives and improved their understanding of relationships during and subsequently after their work with us. We also looked at feedback received during the past two years:

Quotes from two young people after working in a group with the safe project: “I was going through some things with my best friend at the time, some bad things. You helped me to realise what a real friendship should be and that she wasn’t a real friend. I felt able to end that friendship and we no longer see each other.”

‘Last week I walked home in tears but not because I was sad, just because the things you were saying made me realise that I’ve done some bad things. Last session (on risk) made me realise that that some of the things I have done in the past were wrong, dangerous and I shouldn’t have done them. I know that it is my fault and it has hurt people around me. I needed to hear you say some of the things that you said to wake up and realise. Also the things you said when we worked on healthy relationships made me realise how bad my last relationship was and, if I was still with him, I would feel confident in ending it.’

Year 6 child after Healthy Relationship workshop: “It was all really helpful and useful for children that might be in an unhealthy relationship at home or school that they are worried about.  We know where to go now if we need help. Thank you.”

Teacher after year 6 Healthy Relationship workshop: “I felt that every activity promoted really useful discussion for the children. I particularly liked the traffic light activity as it raised so many issues that are relevant to our children right now and which will continue to be so as they move into high school.”

Parent after one-to-one support: “I think knowing you are there has been amazing. Without your support I would have been left very alone. I truly appreciate your support.”

Parent of a young person working with the safe project: “I know Y especially has really taken to you and enjoyed the sessions, she even recognised herself how much she has moved on since the first one. Thank you so much.”

If you would like further information about our services or would like to make a referral, please contact either Kay or Ruby on 01903 522966.

Christmas Celebrations for our Learners

December 21st, 2018

During this last week, our young people in both Worthing and Bognor celebrated the end of a fantastic term with a Christmas party.

At the Phoenix Centre in Bognor Regis, our learners tested their math skills by making 3D snowflakes, as well as their knowledge of Christmas songs and characters by participating in a quiz. We even had a round on asphaleia and tested their artistic skills by asking them to draw the most creative version of Christmas they could. There was also festive food and music throughout the day.

The learners in Worthing enjoyed a similar festive experience, with learners working together to make decorations and win prizes throughout the afternoon. Staff also took this opportunity to award certificates of achievement to some learners who had excelled in their studies and attendance.

For learners in Bognor, this was a chance to celebrate the amazing work they have done in the short time we have been open at the Phoenix Centre. They have been working towards a qualification in employability. One learning experience they had on this course was an art project in Bognor Regis town centre. Working with the charity U CAN SPRAY, the learners created an Aztec Christmas tree for the whole town to enjoy. A massive well done and thank you to all of those learners. We are excited to see what next term brings!

In Worthing, many of our students were also celebrating the end of their exams which they have been working hard towards all term. They thoroughly deserved some fun and food and we are looking forward to seeing them next term and celebrating some good results.

A very Merry Christmas to all of our learners!

If you would like to see more of our Christmas fun, follow us on Instagram @asphaleiainsta or twitter @asphtraining. If you, or someone you know, are aged 16-18 and are interested in achieving qualifications at asphaleia, please call us on 01903 522966 and ask to speak to Gracie.

asphaleia Christmas Advent Fun!

December 20th, 2018

asphaleia provides various services for disadvantaged children and young people in different locations in the South East. It can be a challenge to connect with all staff, carers and volunteers at Christmas time and this year, asphaleia’s leadership team have come up with a cracking asphaleia advent to spread Christmas cheer to all its staff and volunteers throughout the month of December!

Each day of December, the leadership team have been sending out a Christmas-themed competition for staff to enter and win some fabulous prizes. It all started with the ultimate Christmas Quiz, followed by a chocolate-themed crossword and then who can tell the best Christmas Cracker joke!

Katerina, asphaleia’s HR Director, said: “this year we launched our very first asphaleia Christmas Advent and it’s been warmly received by staff, volunteers and foster carers! It’s been great to engage with everyone on a daily basis and bring a little festive cheer and competitive spirit to people’s working day.”

Jeni with her prize for the best Christmas cracker joke – some luxury M&S crackers!

…Oh go on then, we’ll tell the winning joke for some Christmas cheer!

Q: Why was the snowman looking through his carrots?

A: He was picking his nose!

Things will surely get funnier following Day 10’s request for the best David Brent dance impression… Winner announced tomorrow!

Happy Christmas to all the staff and volunteers at asphaleia!

Interested in a Rewarding Career? Find Out About Fostering with asphaleia

December 18th, 2018

asphaleia fostering are recruiting foster carers in the South East.

Who is the asphaleia fostering team?

The team has a dedicated team of foster carers who maintain high levels of care for vulnerable children and young people. We offer a competitive package of benefits, training and support networks to ensure our foster carers are looked after and never face challenging days on their own.

Where do we cover?

The asphaleia fostering team provides placements across the South East and work together to provide safe and secure homes for children and young people.

How do we make a difference?

Fostering enables us to make a positive difference to any vulnerable child’s life promoting their future growth and development. We believe that the presence of a supportive, encouraging and approving foster family can greatly enhance a child’s self-esteem and help them to grow into confident and well-adjusted adults. Furthermore, asphaleia fostering offers additional services to support successful foster placements for children and young people. These include flexible education projects, learning support, independent living skills and English for speakers of other languages.

Why foster?

Fostering is a career. When you join asphaleia, you join a team of people highly motivated to work with children and young people. You are included in staff events, training and participate in our successful personal development programme. Whether you join us as an experienced foster carer or are considering fostering for the first time, we provide the environment to help you grow as a unique individual and professional carer. We offer support tailored to your unique fostering situation that will facilitate your success.
We will provide you with training to ensure that you have the knowledge base needed to carry out the fostering task. Training will include safe caring practices, behaviour management and first aid. In addition, you will have a Supervising Social Worker who is responsible for assessing and addressing your ongoing needs as a carer.

If you would like more information, please call 01903 522966 and ask for Kim.

Kinda Nice to be Kind: Anti-bullying Week 2018

December 10th, 2018

As part of anti-bullying week, at asphaleia training we focused on the positive effects of being kind to others and what acts of kindness make people feel. At the beginning of each lesson, learners were asked to consider what kindness means and how we can alter someone’s mood for the better just through a few words or a simple action. Brick by brick we constructed our own ‘Wall of Kindness’ with individual comments from our learners.

The overall response was one of thoughtfulness and consideration. The impact of being nice or putting a smile on someone’s face is not forgotten and is truly appreciated by our learners. Phrases such as, ‘feeling respected’, ‘you are worth it’, ‘be amazing’ and ‘make someone’s day’ were commonplace on our wall and reflected many of our aims and objectives.

The wall is still presented in our foyer for all to see and consider what kindness brings. It also makes people think about what would be on their brick. What would be on yours?

asphaleia staff also wore odd socks to support this important awareness week!

To refer a young people to our education and support services in West Sussex or Uxbridge, please call asphaleia on 01903 823546.

Follow us on facebook @asphaleia.

 

UK Charity Week: The Kabor Project

December 7th, 2018

As UK Charity Week draws to a close, we want to update you on our Kabor Project.

What is the Kabor Project?

  • It started in 2004 as a response to the 10 year Civil War in Sierra Leone. An estimated 50,000 people were killed during this war with thousands brutalised.
  • The project was set up by Zainab Janneh (a former asphaleia Houseparent) and Dave Cottrell (asphaleia’s founder and CEO).
  • At the time, the focus was to help young women and children affected by the war. Many of the young women at the Kabor Centre, suffered sexual abuse during the war or were kept as ‘bush wives’ and dragged across the country as the war fronts shifted.
  • In recent years, The Kabor Project’s focus has shifted to vulnerable and marginalised young women and children including survivors of the Ebola crisis.

Kabor 2018 beneficiaries

What has it achieved?

  • The Project has helped over 500 young women learn new skills in Maths, English, catering, sewing, bead work, agriculture and health care.
  • Counselling and mentoring are available for all the beneficiaries as well as education on gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • Kabor also works with rural communities supporting poor farmers and their families with agricultural training and farming. So far Kabor has helped over 2000 villages.
  • Kabor is currently providing training and life skills for 120 young women and a day care for 47 children and babies in the Kabor Creche.
  • Village farming activities in progress such as cultivation of cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, vegetables.
  • Monitoring and supervision of farmers group activities including issues relating to Gender Based Violence (GBV), teenage pregnancy, Village Savings and Loan Scheme (VSLS) and early marriage.
  • Fundraising for new training materials for the centre.
  • Fundraising for equipment for the day care centre.
  • Fundraising for new farm tools, seeds and seedlings for villagers.

Whilst we see UK Charity Week as a key time to highlight the Kabor project, our support from the UK is vital all year round and we do various things to help raise money.

How can I support the Kabor Project?

  • You can help by simply sorting out any old foreign notes and coins left over from holidays and business trips. Foreign coins and small banknotes cannot be exchanged at any British bank or Bureau de Change. If you are able to donate these coins and banknotes, or a mobile phone or ink cartridge we would be grateful if you could post to our learning centre or stop by to drop them in the donation buckets.
  • The address is: 22 Liverpool Gardens, Worthing, BN11 1RY. All currency and proceeds from donated items will be converted to cash for Kabor!
  • Doing a fundraiser, or choosing asphaleia action to run the marathon for!
  • Tweeting a link to our donation page, especially on #CharityTuesday.

For more information, follow us at @asphaleiaaction or call 01903 522966.

 

asphaleia Learners Attend Networking Event in Bognor Regis

November 30th, 2018
asphaleia has recently opened their doors in Bognor Regis to help support more young people to achieve qualifications. As a part of their employability class, the young people had the chance to visit The Social Enterprise Networking Convention at the Pheonix Centre. This networking convention allowed young people to meet and greet a variety of people who could help them with their future careers. The young people engaged wonderfully in speaking, listening and discovering the stands themselves. At first, they were hesitant to interact with new people but afterwards stated that they felt they had overcome a big obstacle.
In class afterwards, we asked all of our young people to write about the experience they had had. One of our young people wrote: “What was so good about going to this event was that I got to see what these people needed to achieve before going into the business they are in. I am only just back in education and it gave me the ability to see further than just passing. It has reminded me that I am here for the future as well as right now.”
Well done team Bognor and a massive thank you to everyone who took part in The Social Enterprise Networking Convention for letting us talk to you.
If you are interested in our On Track or Make Trax programme in Bognor Regis, we are accepting referrals today. Contact Gracie graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk or 01903 522966.

 

Independent Visitors Attend Learning Set

November 29th, 2018

Last Saturday evening our Independent Visiting Service hosted a learning set for its volunteers. Our Independent Visitors are each matched with a young person in care and they take them out once a month to do a fun activity. They are volunteer befrienders who give up their time in order to provide an additional supportive adult in the lives of these young people.

At asphaleia we intend to invest in our volunteers and their development and also provide opportunities for them to engage in peer support. We run two learning sets per year to enable this to take place.

Over some tasty nibbles we discussed the volunteers’ favourite visits so far. We revisited equality and diversity, discussing the different cultures we can find ourselves in and our experiences of feeling like we fit in, or not. We discussed how this might impact our volunteers and their interactions with their young people. We looked at ways in which we can ensure they are promoting equality and diversity both in their activity choices and attitudes/words.

Image source: Pixabay.com

One volunteer made a helpful point: ‘I think if you are aware of your own perspective and background, it can help you recognise and understand any judgmental reactions that you have in the moment.’

We were pleased to have Laura, asphaleia’s SAFE project worker in West London, come to present to us about Child Sexual Exploitation. Laura took our volunteers through signs that a young person might be being exploited and the stages of the grooming process.

The volunteers who attended engaged and contributed brilliantly and asphaleia care are incredibly grateful for all their work and their positive impact on our young people.

If you would like to volunteer for our Independent Visiting Service in Bromley, London, please email recruitment@asphaleia.co.uk.