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New Crackdown on Child Groomers

April 19th, 2017

This week saw the new offence of sexual communication with a child came into force. From the 3rd April 2017, groomers face up to two years in prison and be placed automatically on the sex offenders list if caught targeting children and young people through mobile phones and social media.

The new law ensures that young people are protected from grooming at an earlier stage before the sexual activity can occur.  It will also hopefully encourage more victims to come forward to report the crimes knowing that justice will be done.

For full report click on the link below;

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-crackdown-on-child-groomers-comes-into-force

 

Saying Goodbye

April 19th, 2017

We are saying goodbye and a massive ‘Thank you’ to David Warren who has been volunteering with the Independent visiting scheme for 4 ½ years.   He has been committed to volunteering on a regular basis and within this period he has been matched with 2 young people.

David was first matched in July 2013 with a 16 year old male with mild learning disabilities.  David supported his young person to participate in new activities, encouraged him to commit to his work placement and to stay active.   As a keen cyclist David would take his young person to the park and they would cycle together. They also had a session which entailed David giving him a bicycle to fix.  Their visits included London transport museum, sightseeing trips into London, cycling, parks and restaurants.   We ended the match when the young person turned 19 yrs old. Fortunately David was willing to be matched with another young person.

We then matched him with a 12 year old who when first meeting David was excited as the young person loves Dr Who and would always comment that he looks like Jon Pertwee.  David was ill last year and took a break from visiting for a few months.  When he recovered he asked to return as he wanted to continue volunteering.  He is now in full-time employment as a teaching assistant for young adults with Learning disabilities.  He feels that it is time to take a break from visiting and have a well deserved rest.

Why did you apply to become an independent visitor?  

 I had previous experience of volunteering with young people years ago and wanted to gain more current experience.  I heard about the scheme from a friend and she informed me that I should apply for the role.  The scheme was in my local borough so I decided to apply for the role.

Did you know what to expect?  

 I understood the role and what to expect through training.  When I met my first young person it was awkward at the Introduction meeting.  We met at his house with the foster carer and IV coordinator.   I did not know what to expect at this meeting but we spoke about activities he would like to do and planned dates for the first few visits.

Did you find it hard to engage with the young people you were matched with and find activities to do? 

The two young people I was matched with opened up immediately.  I was able to find common ground with both young people.  The activities were not difficult to find. We tried and tested a number of activities.  With the 16 year old he loved buses and knew all the bus routes for various different buses in London, we spent time cycling in the park, cinema and restaurants.  I arranged a visit to London Transport museum open day and my young person got the opportunity to sit at the driver seat of the bus which he enjoyed. With my current 12 yr old he enjoys the outdoor activities, walks, parks and forests. He is a bit more active.  He enjoyed the trip to London when we visited

What advice would you give to those considering volunteering as a visitor? 

Probably to be yourself!  You do need to be non-judgmental and listen to the young person. But ultimately I was myself.  I listened to the young people and was committed to volunteering on a regular basis.  I enjoyed my 4 ½ years with the scheme and maybe I will come back one day.

Young people learn about the Kabor Project

April 19th, 2017

This week in workshops young people have been learning about the Kabor Project, Sierra Leone.

asphaleia action has been working in Kabor for 12 years now supporting vulnerable women and their children. The young people in Worthing were able to reflect on their own surroundings and realise the extent to what life is different for people in Sierra Leone.

Keen to help, young people designed cards and have written messages to send to Sierra Leone over easter.

For more information about The Kabor Porject in Sierra Leone or courses we offer to young people please contact 01903 823546

Learning how to prepare and cook meals with vegetables

April 19th, 2017

On outreach this week we have been learning how to prepare and cook meals with vegetables. At this time of year many of the young people we work with are fasting which means they are not consuming meat or dairy products. This is an important part of some religions and as such is very important to the young people.

To help the young people to remain healthy and well during periods of fasting we have been using a variety of methods including; learning about different food groups and what each do for our bodies, cooking a range of delicious vegetarian meals and a trip to the local supermarket.

This helps to learn where to find the ingredients needed for each meal as well as to identify dairy and meat free foods and drinks such as nut milks.

These outreach sessions are all with the aim of growing and promoting independent living skills the young people require, as well as aiding communication skills, building confidence and of course creating delicious meals for the young people to eat!

The young person in the picture enjoyed creating some vegetable fajita’s.

How to make appointments

April 19th, 2017

This week during outreach sessions the young people have been practising how to make appointments. This is an essential independent living skill that not only helps the young people become self-sufficient but also increases their English language skills and confidence. To practice, we use a variety of methods, including role play, worksheets and listening to others make appointments. The young people are then encouraged to try making appointments with their support worker next to them and ready to help if they need it. In particular this is a fundamental skill taught and encouraged during outreach sessions and it is great to see the young people’s confidence increase as they master the skill of making appointments independently.

Here are some of the worksheets we use to support learning…..

 

 

 

 

 

Referrals are being taken for Outreach support, for enquiries please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk. This services 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.

 

 

Home office release a guidance for young people and indecent images

April 19th, 2017

The Home Office have created and released a new guidance around the law and indecent images. The guidance is aimed at young to help them understand the law on making and sharing indecent images.

To read the guidance please click on the link below;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/indecent-images-of-children-guidance-for-young-people/indecent-images-of-children-guidance-for-young-people

For more information please call one of the SAFE team: Uxbridge – 01895 272478, Worthing – 01903 823546, Maidstone – 01622 690 857.

If you see something say something

April 19th, 2017

The news this week has presented a story in which a dad was reported to the police after checking into a Travelodge with his young daughter.

Police were called to the hotel after staff had expressed concerns for the child’s safety. The child’s dad had booked the last remaining double room for himself and his daughter for a trip away that he had given her for a Christmas present. On arrival at the hotel staff questioned the father and asked to see identification of himself and his daughter – they had concerns that something a lot darker was occurring.

So what was going on?!

If you see something say something!

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a manipulative, horrific and often invisible crime that can affect people from all walks of life in every corner of the world- so how can people help? How can we spot the signs? How can we report any suspicions?

The ‘If you see something say something’ campaign is working to help local businesses- including hotels, takeaways and leisure centres – to feel confident in spotting signs of CSE and confident in reporting concerns. One of the groups of young people that the campaign is benefitting is young people who have run away from home – most of these young people discussed that they had been to hotel parties whilst they were missing. At these parties in hotel rooms older people befriended younger people and offered them drugs, alcohol and gifts and then forced the young people into sexual acts. Hotel staff were unable to spot the signs and intervene, professionals noticed learning potential for community working and ‘if you see something say something’ was born.

The campaign aims to help staff recognise signs of sexual exploitation and the avenues of reporting by equipping businesses and community with the tools to identify and respond to children who are in need of protection. It is hoped that staff will feel confident in acting on suspicious behaviour and protect vulnerable children and young people.

What are your thoughts?

Travelodge are now investigating the incident – perhaps some development is needed, the father has suggested for the website to suggest carrying identification of children to prevent innocent situations from becoming misconstrued. The incident must have been incredibly stressful for the family and no doubt would’ve put a dampener on the beginning of their trip however it shows how much of an effect that the campaign is having – professionals are feeling confident in their ability to question situations and feel confident in reporting their concerns to protect children- and that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

When children are not able to recognise that they are in an exploitative or dangerous situation, or are scared to disclose abuse, we need adults around them who can spot the signs and have the confidence to do something about it. Safeguarding children and young people is everyone’s business – from a hotel receptionist to a member of parliament, from a government minister to a local taxi driver.

 

Join Prince William and Lady Gaga – show it’s ‘Ok to Say’

April 19th, 2017

There are just 5 days to go until the first mental health marathon and the #oktosay campaign films are playing their part in showing us all why it’s OK to talk about mental health.

Lady Gaga has now released her own #oktosay film, where she discusses her own battle with mental health with Prince William.

You can watch the video here and find out more about the Heads Together Charity

https://www.headstogether.org.uk/

Here at asphaleia we always strive to tackle the issues around mental health and support other charities campaigns in doing this.

Over the last week, people from all around the UK have shown that talking about mental health is #oktosay by uploading a photo with someone they turn to for support.

asphaleia would love you to join in and help us show that it’s #oktosay.
All you need to do is upload a photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of yourself with the person you talk to when you need support for your mental health. It could be an old or new picture with a friend, colleague, family member – anyone. Just make sure you tag #oktosay and #HeadsTogether

You can also send tag and like us on our social media sites to see how we support mental health.

Instagram: @asphaleiainsta

Twitter: @asphaleiaaction

Facebook: @asphaleia

 

Learning about Healthy Relationships and consent in Uxbridge

April 18th, 2017

                         

Learning about healthy relationships and consent in Uxbridge!

The UASC learners in Uxbridge have been learning about healthy relationships in their lessons with their tutor Punita and to emphasise the importance of this Zoë and Punita invited KISS (Keep it Safe ‘n’ Sorted) to come and deliver a workshop about safe sex, consent and relationships.

The learners engaged really well during the session, and considering for some of them this was the first time they were finding out about such topics they were confident enough to ask questions and get involved in the activities Vicky from KISS provided for them

They also had the chance to find out about condoms and get a C Card, which entitles young people for free condoms from certain locations to ensure they are practising safe sex.

 

The team in Uxbridge are always thinking of new ways to engage the learners and to ensure their education and well being needs are being met.

To find out more about the provision we offer in Uxbridge please contact

Zoë Dowsett

01895 272478

zoedowsett@asphaleia.co.uk

Are you following us on social media?

Twitter: @asphaleiaaction @asphtraining

Instagram: @asphaleiainsta

Facebook: @asphaleia

YouTube @asphaleiaLimited

asphaleia action partner with Worthing 10k

April 18th, 2017

This year asphaleia action are excited to announce that we are partners with Worthing 10km!!! You can join 2500 runners, on Sunday 4th June, as they enjoy a flat (yes, flat!!!), fast paced run (or slow…depending on your style!) along Worthing seafront. The last two years have seen glorious sunshine enjoyed by all the runners so why not do your bit for asphaleia…and top up your tan at the same time.

RUN 4 FREE:

If you want to run Worthing 10km for us simply get in touch via headoffice@asphaleia.co.uk and tell us you want to run for us.

Instead of paying to run we will be asking each runner to fundraise a minimum of £50 for asphaleia action. You can set up your own fundraising page by following this link:

Click here.

OTHER ROLES ON THE DAY

If running is not for you then maybe you would prefer to support with the setting up and running of our stall or have the very important job of cheering our runners on !