for professionals for young people VLE staff login

Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

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

Monday, 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.

asphaleia action charityasphaleia care services


Safe West Sussex

Monday, 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.

Big Lottery Visit to Safe West Sussex

Tuesday, 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.

UK Charity Week: The Kabor Project

Friday, 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.


Anti-Bullying Week

Monday, November 19th, 2018

National Anti-Bullying Week– 12th-16th November 2018

What is bullying?

“There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.” For more information, please visit:

Over the week and across the different locations of Worthing, Kent, London and Bognor Regis, staff and young people have been participating in different activities and discussions for anti-bullying week.

Odd Socks

In order to raise awareness, asphaleia joined many organisations nationwide who wore odd socks on Monday 12th November. Our creative and colourful effort was rewarded with Bullying UK tweeting us to let us know how great our feet looked!


Choose Respect

The theme this year for Anti-Bullying week was ‘Choose Respect’. In the 1:1 mentoring sessions and lessons staff have been talking to young people about what respect means to them and what they consider to be respectful. One of our staff members remarked:

Respect was a huge part of today’s topic and the statement that I encouraged them to take away from today was ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ We’ve also talked a lot about posting only positive things online; staying away from any kind of spread of negativity and respecting people’s differences in that we all feel different things and different things will trigger us.” (Ruby, asphaleia action)

Furthermore, in our 1:1 sessions in care and SAFE WL, young people commented that:

  • I feel respected when”People listen to me, when people treat me the same”
  • Showing respect to people is important because… “It shows that you care, so that their feelings do not get hurt”
  • I demonstrate respect for myself when I…”show that I am proud ofwhat I have achieved.”
  • I wish people were more respected becauseSome people are affected more ways than others”.

Wall of Kindness

To spread kindness, asphaleia training created a Wall of Kindness to encourage positive words being shared amongst staff and young people. These are just ‘snapshots’ of some of the things we got up to this week, where staff and young people both learnt a lot and had fun at the same time.


For more information and pictures,  you can follow us on our social media, @asphaleiainsta, @asphtraining or ‘like’ us on Facebook as asphaleia. Alternatively, for more information on our ventures, please call 01903 522966.

asphaleia Worthing Centre Open Day

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

On Thursday, 1st November, asphaleia action and training hosted an open evening for prospective learners and their parents, carers, support workers, and professionals to visit our centre. We are really proud of the work we are doing at the moment and were really excited to discuss all of the services we offer, and the work they have been doing to support young people. In training , we were pleased to talk about our On Track, Make Trax, and ESOL provisions, show student work and take visitors around the centre.

Similarly, we promoted asphaleia actions SAFE project, a project that aims to reduce the risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people in West Sussex. SAFE works alongside schools, colleges, children services, local authorities, youth services and other professional organisations to provide a service of helping vulnerable young people identify and address their needs, build on their self-confidence and skills, strengthen ‘safer’ social networks and signpost them to other support services if further needs are identified.

Our tutors were available throughout the evening alongside student volunteers to answer questions, hand out literature about our ventures and explain student displays. It was brilliant to have professionals, parents and carers alike showing their interest in asphaleia, where we hope to have something helpful for every young person. We will be hosting more open days throughout 2019, and hope to help many more young people throughout the coming year via our training and action ventures. We hope to see you at one soon.

If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from any of our services, call us on 01903 522966 for more information or an informal chat. Alternatively, you can email with questions and queries.

SAFE Kent British Values Workshop

Monday, November 12th, 2018

One of the sessions the SAFE project delivers to newly arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Kent is on British values. The session covers some of the values and norms, as well as laws which include responsibilities and rights.

The young people engaged well in discussions when comparing values and laws across the countries they were born in and in Europe. Some discussions covered politics and how the systems may differ, even when countries may both be ruled by a form of democracy. Young people are very aware that the Police in England are here to deal with crime, which is often very different in their home countries where there may be different groups or corruption that deals with crime.

We had some interesting conversations about respect, what this means and how this manifests in different ways in different countries. Some of the young people offered respect for their elders meant not looking them in the eye, whereas here it is seen as more respectful to look people in the eye. We also discussed diversity and tolerance as England has such a diverse population when it comes to nationalities, ethnicity, age, religion and sexual orientation. We also discussed how these play different roles in different countries- religion might be much more important in other countries, and diversity in sexual orientation or disability might be frowned upon or create difficult situations. The young people created some poster art after our discussions.

asphaleia Open Day Thursday 1st November

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Our open day is for prospective learners and their parents, carers, support workers, and professionals to visit our centre. Our staff will be on hand to discuss all of the services we offer and show you around the centre, whilst our young people will tell you what they think of their learning at asphaleia.

Our open day is taking place on Thursday 1st November, 4pm-6:30pm at 22 Liverpool Gardens, Worthing. 

At our open day we will be presenting information about the organisation as well as specific information about asphaleia training and our charity, asphaleia action. You will have an opportunity to find out more about the qualifications we offer and other support we provide young people in West Sussex.

If you would like to book to attend please call us on 01903 522966, or email

Sexting – Why is it so Popular With Teenagers?

Monday, 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 or or call asphaleia’s head office on 01903 522966 and ask to speak to Kay or Ruby.


Confidence Workshop in the SAFE Kent Project

Tuesday, 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