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Could you foster?

May 20th, 2019

When we ask people the question, “could you foster?” we often get the same replies or questions. As it is #FosteringFortnight, we thought this would be a good time to put some FAQs out there and debunk some common myths about fostering.

  1. “I’m too old to foster”

Fostering has no upper age limit and in fact, some people have fostered into their 70’s. As long as the child’s needs are met, no upper age limit applies to foster carers.

  1. “I have a job”

It is not a requirement of foster carers to give up their job, as long as you are willing to prioritise the child in your care and understand the commitment you are making when you agree to become a foster carer.

  1. “I don’t know how long I could foster for”

The period of time that a person fosters a child for is completely dependent on the circumstances. There is no average length and the whole journey is supported.

  1. “I have children”

Having children is not a barrier to becoming a foster carer. In fact, it is up to your fostering manager to assess and support whether or not you could foster whilst already looking after your own children.

  1. “I am single”

You do not have to be married or cohabiting in order to become a foster carer.

  1. “I can’t afford to foster”

asphaleia offers a comprehensive and competitive rate for foster carers to ensure that both the child and the foster carer can live a safe and stable life.

  1. “I don’t understand how to get involved in fostering”

Simply get in touch to arrange a chat with our fostering manager Kim so that she can tell you more about what it’s like to be a foster carer. We want foster carers who are looking to ensure the safety, development and achievement of young people who need a home.

Call 01903 522966 or email kimscillitoe@asphaleia.co.uk today.

Training taster week 13th – 17th May

May 13th, 2019

Taster week 

This week we are hosting another taster week – an opportunity for anyone interested in any of our training programmes to come to our centre in Worthing to see what different programmes we have on offer for young people.

Our taster week is running from 13th – 17th May and you are welcome to drop by any time between 9-4, but we do recommend that you call in order for us to tell you the best times to come in on that day.

What is a taster week?

A taster week is an opportunity for young people and professionals to get a first-hand classroom experience of asphaleia.

Why should I come to a taster session?

Get involved! Curious about what we offer? Keen to see inside a classroom? This is a fun, informal way for you to see what it’s like learning at asphaleia.

Where is it?

In our training centre in Worthing – 22 Liverpool Gardens, BN11 1RY.

When is it?

9-4 every day, 13th – 17th May.

How do I find out more, or book?

Call 01903 522966, or email graciethorne@asphaleia.co.uk

If you, or anyone you know, may be interested in any of our programmes at asphaleia, please email graciethorne@asphaleia.co.uk

Follow us on twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up with our latest news!

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Joint venture open morning

April 30th, 2019

On Saturday 11th May from 10.30am – 12pm, we will be hosting a joint venture open morning for our Fostering and Training provisions at our Training Centre.

Fostering

Our fostering manager Kim has a wealth of experience training and supporting foster carers from the start of their journey with asphaleia. We are currently in great need of foster carers and offer competitive rates of pay, training and support, as well as a rewarding job. Kim will be giving a short presentation to people who may be interested in fostering or would like to find out more.

Training

It is an exciting time for us at asphaleia training, with three programmes on offer to 16 – 24-year-olds. We want to make sure that anyone interested in any of our diverse programmes has all of the information they need, which is why our engagement officer Gracie will be giving a short presentation on Saturday morning in order to explain our different programmes and what they can offer.

We will have refreshments and activities for all of the family in a relaxed and informal setting,so why not come along and find out what we can offer you? We hope to see you at 22 Liverpool Gardens, Worthing, BN11 1RY on 11th May 2019, from 10.30 – 12.

 

If you have any questions or comments, or to book your place, please email gracie.thorne@asphaleia.co.uk or call us directly on 01903 522966.

10 Tips For Maintaining Your Emotional Well-being

April 1st, 2019

Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month? This awareness month has been running since 1992 but according to the Stress Management Society, we still have a long way to go in raising awareness of the causes and cures of our current stress epidemic. The Mental Health Foundation claims that 74% of adults have felt overwhelmed with stress at some point in the past year (quoted from The Stress Management Society website). We know that stress affects both young and old and many of our service users will experience stress in their lives for a variety of reasons.

Taking care of our physical, emotional and mental health all contributes to helping us manage stress effectively. In this post the focus is on steps we can take to maintain our emotional health. Oftentimes, our approach is reactive once we’re overwhelmed but being proactive and including self-care in our daily routines helps us to avoid the negative effects of chronic stress.

Some asphaleia staff and volunteers have put forward their tried and tested methods for maintaining their emotional health, perhaps you may be inspired to adopt some of them yourself!

  1. Write down 5 things you want to believe about yourself and read it out loud several times a day.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Don’t think about work when you are not at work! Shut off at the end of the day. Do activities after work; see friends, read, watch a series, go to the gym/cinema – work will be there again tomorrow.
  4. For my emotional well-being I smile, which in turn makes people smile back, which brightens my day.  Also a good laugh is a great emotional spirit lifter.
  5. My main source of well-being is distracting myself with something creative every evening for at least 20 minutes. For me this is drawing, writing or playing the guitar.
  6. I cycle to and from work. Starting and ending my day with exercise really helps!
  7. Talk through your feelings with a friend, it always helps when you say your problems out loud.
  8. I write a thought list before I go to sleep to ensure I clear my mind and write down anything that comes into my thoughts so my brain can relax as it knows it’s been written down and will be read when I wake up.
  9. Practice deep breathing. It’s a simple technique to relax your body. It is easy to be completely unaware that you’re shallow breathing when you’re stressed, which can lead to feeling dizzy, a racing heart – the kind of physical feelings that make you more stressed!
  10. Connect with people in person. Social media can make you feel like you’re connecting with people all the time but it’s not the same as meeting up with someone face to face.

Follow us on instagram @asphaleiainsta to hear some more tips on reducing stress this month from staff and young people!

 

An asphaleia Student Shares Her Inspiring Story

March 26th, 2019

Most of the young asylum seekers have different stories to tell but there are some things that make us similar too. Now that we are in the UK we almost go through the same path. For instance, sharing houses, having a social worker and attending asphaleia. Although not all young asylum seekers go to asphaleia but we all get to go to school at some point.

My experience at asphaleia is great. It is my first experience of education in the UK. Though I live with many young people in my accommodation, I still get to meet with new people, new friends and of course the teachers. asphaleia is a little different than my old school back in my country. Over here, we have smaller class with smaller number of learners. Although it is different than what I am used to, I still like it and appreciate it as it is because the teachers get to understand what you want, who you want to be and as an individual. The teachers are understanding and patient.

When I grow up, I want to be an architect because I like to design buildings and be creative. I have completed my Level 2 in English and in the process of doing my Level 1 Maths. I plan to complete my Level 2 in Maths here and after that I am going to go to college. I would like to finish my A Levels in college and go on to university. Hopefully I will achieve my dream to become an architect.

Thumbs up with a smiley face on with well done

Apart from Maths and English, we have Life and Living classes at asphaleia. This subject is basically about what is good and what is bad for us in life.  As we come here alone and we don’t really have much experience in life, we need people to help us and advice us what to do. For instance, we learn about healthy living where we learn what kind of food is recommended for us to eat in order to be healthy. We also learn how to respect people and some of the norms of the English society which are sometimes little different from ours. I personally think that this subject is really helpful because I got to learn and be reminded of the things I should do and not do.

As I mentioned above, I want to be an architect and I’m trying to work on that. It is really hard being separated from your family, relatives and friends. However, we have support workers who checks on us and shows us how to do things that we don’t know. For me everything is new and different as in the past my family did everything for me. However, here I need to be independent and I am getting used to do things by myself.

It is a difficult journey but nothing comes easy in life. I will continue to work hard to fulfill my dream and be successful in my life. I know I can and I will.

Thank you.

By KA

Young Person’s Week

27th February 2019

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CSE Day 2019 – What is Exploitation and Does it Only Affect Children?

March 18th, 2019

Today is National CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day). The five key themes for this year’s day are:

1. Exploitation is about more than just CSE, think about criminal exploitation, county lines,
trafficking and modern slavery.
2. Families can be safeguarding partners.
3. The time to build relationships with children and families is crucial.
4. Exploitation and its impact doesn’t stop because you turn 18.
5. Communities can tackle exploitation.

All five are key for us to grasp as parents, friends, professionals, and community members so we can all play our part to stop CSE. Over to one of our SAFE project workers to explain themes 1 and 4…

Exploitation is about more than just CSE

Exploitation means an imbalance of power used to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person into sexual or criminal activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants e.g. gifts or belonging.

When we think of exploitation our mind wanders to child sexual exploitation or ‘CSE’. Whilst this is still important to recognise, we must realise that exploitation is more than just CSE. We must consider criminal exploitation (county lines) in which young people are exploited to sell drugs, human trafficking and modern slavery. Look beneath the signs that the child is displaying

Exploitation doesn’t take place in isolation, sometimes a young person is forced into sexual activity over a drug debt or people could be trafficked around the UK, and beyond, for modern day slavery.

We need to ensure that we are approachable and consistent for the young people we work with – they will not want to talk to you if they don’t think you will be there for them. Offer a confidential and private space and believe everything they tell you.

CSE Awareness Day

Exploitation and its impact doesn’t stop because you turn 18

Whilst we refer to ‘child’ sexual exploitation throughout this blog post we recognise that exploitation does not stop when adulthood is reached at 18, in fact quite the opposite.

Reports have shown that reaching 18 can make a person more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, often services will withdraw and there is less help and support out there. For many people it is a frustrating time as they may have had extensive and intensive support throughout childhood only to find out that this will not continue beyond their 18th birthday. We refer to this as the cliff edge of support – one day it’s there and the next it’s all gone.

It is vitally important to improve transition services and to offer the young people we work with alternative forms of support. That’s why, on Safe, we work with young people up to the age of 25. We know that vulnerabilities don’t fix themselves over night.

To find out more information about your local Safe project please call 01903 522966.

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Pancake Day in an ESOL Lesson

March 5th, 2019

Pancake Day is a term used in the United Kingdom for Shrove Tuesday. This is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It is a day of penitence to clean the soul and the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

This year, we at asphaleia training in West London did lots of learning about Shrove Tuesday. During our lesson, we shared about the Christian traditions. Including the 40 days before Easter known as Lent, which mark the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

Pancake Day ESOL learning

Our learners, who come from different parts of the world learned that traditionally, Christians would mark the period with prayers and fasting, abstaining from a whole range of foods, including meat, eggs, fish, fats and milk. They learned that Shrove Tuesday is also known as “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday”, as it became a traditional custom to eat pancakes as a meal. We also discussed how some other countries celebrate the day too.  For instance, in France, it is called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. In Sweden, it is called Fettisdagen and interestingly, in Spain, it’s actually ‘Omelette Day’ or ‘Día de la Tortilla’ where they eat omelettes! We discussed if there are pancakes eaten around the world and if they were similar or different. It was revealed that anjero is a type of pancake in Somalia, dosa in India, okonomiyaki in Japan, pannukakku in Finland, crepes in France and of course pancakes in the United Kingdom.

We also took the opportunity to learn how to make pancakes by watching a video on Youtube. The learners’ comprehension was later tested with a Q&A session. At the end of the lesson, all of our young people celebrated Pancake Day by savouring delicious pancakes with a topping of their choice. The options were maple syrup, Nutella or a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of castor sugar. They all enjoyed it very much!

Pancake Day eating pancakes in ESOL lesson

Finally we told our learners… “So now that you know how to make pancakes and the history behind Pancake Day, go make yourself a few pancakes as a treat!”

To find out more about our ESOL classes and/or OnTrack programme for 16-18 year-olds, call us on 01903 823546.

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asphaleia Retain Their Investors in People Standard

March 4th, 2019

In January, we welcomed Julie Price to asphaleia to carry out our Investors in People (IIP) assessment. We continually work towards the IIP standard in our practice and therefore valued this opportunity to get feedback on many organisational developments that have been implemented since our last assessment.

Investors in People

As a result of this inspection, we are delighted to have retained our IIP standard and to have received such great feedback:

“Your approach and commitment to high standards of people management has helped to create an environment where staff feel valued, where talent is recognised and developed, and people can thrive. It is an impressive achievement and something to be very proud of.”

The retention of the IIP standard is a testament to all our staff who remain committed to supporting asphaleia’s mission statement; to impact the lives of as many vulnerable children and young people as possible. Retention of the standard is invaluable in affirming all the positive work that takes place daily.

Safe West Sussex

March 4th, 2019

Safe West Sussex is now well into the swing of things after entering its third year in October. Interventionists have worked with over 1,000 young people since January 2017 and we’re not stopping there!

What is Safe West Sussex?

Safe West Sussex is a preventative Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) project. CSE is when a young person is made or tricked into doing something sexual, or having something sexual done to them, receiving something in return such as love, money, gifts, alcohol or acceptance. CSE can occur both in person and online and can affect both females and males. These children are often tricked into believing that they are in a healthy and consensual relationship.

CSE awareness day

CSE national awareness day takes place this month

Who do we work with?

We work with young people aged 10-25 across West Sussex. We work with young people who are at risk of becoming a victim of CSE and those who are at risk of becoming a perpetrator of CSE. We work with young people on topics such as healthy relationships, risk management, online safety, sexting, consent and more. Our sessions aim to reduce risk and vulnerability through education on these key topics. We work on a 1-1 or small group basis in the community and in schools.

We also work with year 6 classes across West Sussex. We do a 1 hour workshop on healthy relationships and talk about what to do if they are ever in an unhealthy relationship.

Not only that….we work with parents too! Just as we know that every child is unique, we know that every family is too and each family requires unique support. We provide non-judgmental, confidential support to help parents recognise and build on the strengths that they have to protect their children and reduce their risk of harm.

Sounds great, how can I refer someone for support?

Contact Ruby on 01903 522966 for further information and for a copy of our referral form.

Halfway Through Young Person’s Week 2019!

February 27th, 2019

It has been an inspiring week so far as staff across the organisation have been sharing the many successes of the young people they are working with.

We are gushing and we know it! That’s what this week is all about. We have been finding out more about our young people via our Instastories. On Monday we did a poll asking about their biggest barrier to learning with a choice of ‘self-confidence’ or ‘self-motivation’. Self-confidence proved to be the bigger issue with 67% of the vote. Follow us on @asphaleiainsta to catch our updates this week. Without further ado, here is another fantastic piece of creative writing as featured in Visable Inc.

Another Door Opens

Why I left: I found it difficult to talk to people and make friends. I don’t feel I was helped enough.

Why I’m back: I am back because I want qualifications, a good job, and to work hard.

I have anxiety I become nervous in social situations. I want to make friends.

I’ve always found school hard and I want to change that by coming asphaleia and become the best I want to be, and I really want to achieve my best and work hard and not give up my goals and ambitions.

I used to feel so isolated and alone in myself and in general at school and I feel like I was not helped enough but asphaleia will help me with my general anxieties.  And, by me coming here will really help me with my issues and hopefully make friends.

I’m going to be attending asphaleia now regularly. And I want to feel brilliant.

I feel like a brilliant person. I’m not weird I just have unique ways of doing things and I am kind and smart and helpful.

I want my door to open wide and I want to achieve my best goals possible. I reckon with asphaleia they can help me enough to achieve my goal as a manager and make friends in a positive environment like asphaleia and I feel confident and comfortable enough coming here every Monday and Tuesday as per my timetable.

By AB

#asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019

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