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Archive for the ‘Care’ Category

Independent Visitors Attend Learning Set

Thursday, 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.

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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

Returning Staff Member

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Carol Ann is back!

I began working for asphaleia in Uxbridge back in 2006. I became the 5th member of a very new outreach service delivery support to unaccompanied minors. It was all very new to me at the time. I had come from a care support background working with the elderly and adults with LD and had little to no experience or understanding of the asylum process. I learned loads in those two years, not just about the job but also about myself. I soon found I was able to identify and empathise with the YP purely because of my own life’s journey.

Those first two years prepared me for the next role with asphaleia, which took me to Worthing, From 2008  to 2012 I became a full time live-in house parent. This was probably one of my favourite jobs of all time.

To this day I sometimes bump into some of those YP I had supported and lived with. To see them grown up and some with children of their own gives me a sense of purpose. I feel the satisfaction of being a small part of the development and nurturing of such young vulnerable people cannot be measured. So when people ask me why asphaleia, I can only think back to the great times I had working with these YP and can honestly say, this is why.

My new role as service coordinator for the reception service brings me back to working in the same house I once worked and lived in for many years. But the role is very different now. I currently am split between the reception service and the outreach support service for the semi-independent accommodations.

Welcome back, Carol Ann!

What my day-to-day looks like 

My day is often very busy as the window of opportunity to prepare these YP for their next steps on their  journey is only around six weeks within the reception service. In comparison to my days as a house parent this is very different. It is a fast-paced with all the same appointments to attend such as solicitors,  home office, social service meetings, medical and education but with such a small window of time to work with the YP makes the experience much more intense. Although the service may seem appointment driven the YP’s development to independence is equally a high priority for me. The YP leaving the reception service will be going on to some form of semi or independent accommodation. Therefore it is important to ensure they leave with some life skills.

Prior to returning to asphaleia I was working with vulnerable adults and YP with the West Sussex Homelessness Prevention Partnership service. In this role I gained knowledge and experience enabling vulnerable people maintain their tenancies and avoid homelessness. I am grateful for the years experience I gained within that role and can see how this can be beneficial supporting the YP at asphaleia as they move into independent living.

To find out more about asphaleia care’s services in Sussex, West London and Kent, please visit our website 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.

Interview with an Independent Visitor

Monday, November 12th, 2018

An Independent Visitor is an adult volunteer befriender for young people in care. All young people in care are entitled to this service from their local authority if it is deemed to be in their best interest. asphaleia are proud to provide the IV Service for London Borough of Bromley.

A still from the video created by the IV Network, ‘A Friend by Nature’

One of our most recent recruits is a guy called Seb. He was matched with his young person in June and has been consistently meeting his young person once a month and establishing a supportive friendship with him. They have gone out for dinner, been to the cinema, and visited a local historical attraction. Seb’s young person has said having a visitor is ‘excellent’ and he can ‘talk to him about any concerns [he] has’.

I asked Seb some questions about the role so far…

  1. How long have you been an IV now?

Nearly 6 months now.

  1. What’s been your favourite visit?

Going to London Dungeons.

  1. How did you find the induction training?

Very informative and helpful. I was provided with good resources that helped me plan interesting visits.

  1. What’s the best thing about being an IV?

Being able to have fun with someone new.

  1. Would you recommend it to other adults looking to volunteer?

Definitely would recommend it to anyone that enjoys working with children and wants to make a positive difference.

If you would like to enquire about being an IV, please email

Independent Visiting Service Hosts Fun Day!

Thursday, 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

An Interview with an Independent Visitor

Wednesday, 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


Celebrating Refugee Week in Kent

Wednesday, 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 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

Wednesday, 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.

Young People Celebrate Refugee Week 2018 Through Art

Thursday, 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.



asphaleia Marketing at Kent County Council Conference

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

This week asphaleia attended a conference at Kent County Council where we were part of a marketing place for attendees. The conference was attended by professionals from other local authorities and the aim was for Kent County Council to share best practice by supporting Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and how this has been managed over the years with large numbers of children entering Kent. The conference was attended by many professionals, some councils who we work with in other areas and also other organisations we have worked with who support young people such as the Refugee Council, KRAN, Kent Kindness Maidstone and the Red Cross. asphaleia was represented by Jodie Brown, the Care Manager, who shared information about our current services in Kent which include:

  • Our outreach service supporting young people in the community to learn and improve their independent living skills both at home and out in the community.
  • SAFE project working with young people who are supported to address any gaps in understanding around citizenship, respect for women, acceptable behaviour and attitude.
  • Palm Tree project providing therapeutic art work to young people to support them around mental health and well-being.

If you wish to make a referral to any of our services please contact us at