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Archive for the ‘Care’ Category

Health Assessment and Immunisation for our UASC Young People

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Refugees and Asylum seekers are amongst the most vulnerable groups in society. They represent a wide range of different cultures, languages and backgrounds. By definition, an asylum seeker or refugee is fleeing persecution and is seeking protection, however they will each have individual experience, some may be fleeing war or torture or sexual violence and have a wide range of physical and psychological needs.

Here at asphaleia we support them every day with all their basic needs: cooking, cleaning, registering them to school, GP, dentist, etc.

For example we assist each of them to have an initial health assessment for conditions as TB and other diseases and also their mental health.

The asylum seekers arriving in the UK usually have limited records of immunisation and frequently have not had any at all so once they have been registered with a GP we book them appointments to have three courses of immunisations.

All our young people are very nervous when they hear about vaccinations, but on the day, a nurse will explain which immunisations they will receive and answer any questions they may have.

They will receive their immunisations by injection, usually in the thigh or upper arm and the vaccines will protect against: hepatitis B, measles, polio, rubella, tetanus.

All the UASC clients are very relieved once they have finished the courses and often admit they were scared for nothing!

asphaleia care provides housing and outreach support services for UASC (unaccompanied asylum seeking children) in West Sussex, West London, Croydon and Kent.




What Does Ramadan Mean to You? An Interview with a Young Person

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Ramadan is an important month in the Islamic calendar. It took place from 15th of May to 14th of June, this year. One of our care team interviewed one of our young people to find out what this celebration represents and how they manage to get through the fast:

CB: Hi M can you explain  to me what Ramadan is?

M: During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won’t eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This is called fasting and is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah, or God.

Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, but the date changes each year because the Islamic calendar is based on the cycles of the moon.

CB: What does Ramadan represent for you?

M: Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, I cannot spend time with my family anymore as they have passed away but I am surrounded by friends.

CB: How do you feel during fasting?

M: Fasting is not easy and I usually have a meal just before sunrise and another directly after sunset. Before going to sleep I drink milk mixed with water.

CB: What do you do at the end of the fast each day?

M: When the sun has gone down – families and friends will get together for iftar to break their fast. Very often we also go to the mosque to pray.

CB: Does everybody fast?

M: No, not everybody fasts during Ramadan. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those who are ill or who are travelling don’t have to fast.

CB: What happens when Ramadan ends?

M: There is a special three-day festival to mark the end of Ramadan. This is called Eid al-Fitr – the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.

Muslims will not only celebrate the end of fasting, but will also thank Allah for the help and strength that He gave them throughout the previous month.

asphaleia care provides housing services for UASC (unaccompanied asylum seeking children) in West Sussex, West London, and Croydon.


Charity Shopping in Kent with our Outreach Service

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

This week in Kent we have been visiting charity shops as part of a budgeting session. These sessions tend to be interactive practical sessions in which we think of various ways we can save money. Charity shops are often a new concept to the young people most are pleasantly surprised at the hidden treasures that can be found within. As well as how much money can be saved buying clothing, furniture and household items from them.


Another part of the budgeting session includes writing a budgeting plan to highlight other areas in which money can be saved. Mobile phones are often an area in which money can be saved and so we look at various network deals and work out which would be the most practical and best value for the young person. Hopefully, following these sessions, the young people become more money conscious and a little more savvy at hunting out those bargains.

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.

National Volunteers Week 2018

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Volunteers’ Week is a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

At asphaleia, volunteers are an integral part of our delivery. In our training venture, they provide valuable classroom support that can make all the difference to those learners who can’t keep up with the pace of the lesson.

One service in particular could not operate at all without its 19 volunteers. That is the Independent Visiting Service. Part of our care venture, it is a service we are contracted to run for London Borough of Bromley.

It is a befriending service that matches one adult volunteer to a young person in care. The volunteer (IV) will visit that young person once a month and take them out to do activities. It is intended to be a consistent, supportive relationship that can make an immense difference in the young person’s life. Special mention goes to our longest serving IV, Jason, who has been visiting his young person for over four years.

All of our visitor’s offer up their time for free, whilst working full or part-time and having families or other commitments. In a recent feedback survey sent to our young people, all of them stated that having a visitor was ‘Good/Excellent’. When asked what their visitor has helped them with, some responses were:

‘I can talk to her about things.’

‘Making new friends.’

‘I managed to travel to Croydon and back by myself.’

asphaleia’s Managing Director, Laura Thorpe, says;

Significant and unique support volunteers give to our organisation in helping young people to believe in themselves and reach their potential. Volunteers are sacrificial and selfless in giving of their time,  care and effort. Generally they have busy lives and they still give more wanting to make a difference. We appreciate them and we are so glad we can support volunteers’ week to recognise and celebrate who they are. 

On behalf of all at asphaleia, we want to say a huge…

… To ALL our volunteers for the fantastic work you do with our young people.

To enquire about becoming a volunteer with us, please email 

Cooking in Kent with asphaleia Care

Friday, May 11th, 2018

This week in Kent Outreach sessions we have taken a culinary journey to India with a curry cooking session. The young person in the session was very surprised at how simple cooking can be as well as how tasty home cooked meals are. Especially one he made! He enthusiastically prepared, cooked and dished up his curry ready to share with his housemate who eagerly waited for a taste. Since cooking sessions began with this young person, he has been independently recreating the meals we made together during sessions and teaching his friends how to cook them. He even scored himself 7/10 for his first solo attempt at a Spaghetti Bolognaise. Perhaps we have a future chef in the making!


During cooking sessions each young person also learns about food storage, food hygiene and how to read simple recipes. This is invaluable knowledge when it comes to cooking and helps to increase independent living skills which is the aim of outreach support. 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.

Big Spring Clean in asphaleia Care

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Spring is finally on its way and outreach workers in our care venture at asphaleia have been supporting our young people in semi-independent accommodation with a big spring clean!!

The young people have been putting on their rubber gloves, turning the music up, and actively scrubbing baths, hoovering, dusting, deep cleaning kitchen areas and de-cluttering their personal space.

The care team at asphaleia has also had their dusters out actively doing, showing and teaching the young people how to clean and why it is important to live in a clean house.

Here are some of the reasons why we think it important to teach our young people the skill of cleaning and also some interesting facts:

  • Cleaning is an important life skill for when the young people move onto independence and rent their own properties.
  • It is good exercise and good for your heart (did you know 30 minutes of hoovering can help you burn around 119 calories and makes a big dent in your daily step count of 10,000 steps).
  • Cleaning can boost your mental health.
  • It prevents allergies and can even boost your immune system.
  • Scientific evidence has shown cleaning and de-cluttering your surroundings regularly can be an outlet for energy and negative emotions.
  • Have you ever heard of clean house- clean mind or tidy house-tidy mind? Evidence has shown that removing dirt from our environment provides you with a more comfortable atmosphere so you naturally feel happier and relaxed.

So get your comfy clothing on, rubber gloves, turn the music up and get motivated to join us in the big spring clean!!



Visit To The Council Offices with Kent Outreach

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

This week in Kent Outreach sessions we have paid a visit to the local council offices to follow up on a housing benefit claim. This trip allowed the young person to build on many independent living skills. For instance, before the trip we practiced using an internet search to find the location of the offices. We then practiced what we would need to say to the receptionist and the key information we would need to present.

Once in the offices we were required to first use the touch screen machine to collect a ticket. Once our ticket number had been called we were required to state the reason for our visit and to give personal details such as name and date of birth. The young person was able to do this independently after our practice. We were then required to see a housing officer to present the evidence required for the housing benefit application. With support, the young person was able to independently give the correct information, which was the final step in the application process.

This session was valuable to the young person. Not only did it build on practical skills such as using maps, arriving for appointments and presenting key information, but it also increased their confidence. Following this session the young person stated they felt they had a better knowledge of the process and could manage this process independently in future.

Referrals are being taken for Outreach support. For enquiries please email This service provides one-to-one support for young Asylum Seekers and Refugees looked after by Kent County Council, 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.

Meet the New Members of the asphaleia Care Team

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

During the past few months the asphaleia care service has continued to grow. We have introduced new accommodation services in Sussex and opened new properties, which is very exciting! We are working with more young people from all different backgrounds and are offering them different levels of support including semi-independent and now also 24-hour staffed accommodation.

The focus of our work is to prepare them for their next step in life, which might be semi-independence or even moving onto full independence. During their time with us we want the young people to feel welcome and safe in their homes. We teach them skills to manage the home, how to live with others and how to access support services (to name a few).

With a growing service we also have a growing team of staff working with the young people in our properties.

We have welcomed four new Outreach Workers to the team since the end of last year and they are:

Cosmin Badea – 

Layla Kelly – 


Nichola Collins – 


Edon Gibbens – 

Each of them bring a range of knowledge and experience to their roles and they are all enjoying working with the young people and getting to know them.

If you would like to make a referral to our service please contact us on 01903 522966 or

Care Key work sessions with some Young People

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Today care staff completed an interactive key work session in the local area. All the young people remained enthusiastic and said they preferred completing key work out doors. We started with a visit to Starbucks where the young people were set the following tasks:

  1. To access free sexual health support- it was closed but they used their phones to locate the local find it out centre. They felt shy to access but said they felt happy to return now they know where it is.
  2. To purchase a stamp- two of the young people knew where the local post office was so the young person who didn’t was set the task to locate it on his phone and navigate the way there. He completed this successfully. In the post office they decided to collect driving license registration forms, staff will support completing this.
  3. To find a bank and make enquiries about opening a bank account- they chose Barclays Bank. Two young met with staff and made an appointment and they were given information about what documents they needed to provide. The 3rd young person received support to upload the app for his account to his phone and use it. All three were pleased with this result.
  4. We walked past the library and the young people decided they would like to get a library card. Young person A asked what he needed to register and staff said he needed evidence of address. Staff will return and complete this with the young people next week.
  5. We saw a notice for free IT support and computer use, which they pay to use. We set the young people a challenge to find the best place to buy toothpaste. We started in Superdrug but the young people decided it was overpriced. They all said the best place to buy a good priced toothpaste was in Savers. We completed key work on the types of toothpaste and what to use if they experience sensitive teeth.
  6. We set the young people the task of locating the local Food Bank. All three insisted that they wouldn’t have a need for this but key work was completed on how anyone could need this support at some time in their lives.

We then took the young people around the local museum, they said the highlight of this trip was the good lighting for selfies! All three young people gave today’s session 100% and conveniently it involved a lot of exercise. The following feedback was received on today’s session:

Young person a: 10/10

Young person b: 10/10

Young person c: 10/10


Outreach sessions in Kent with Filling in various forms

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

This week in Kent we have been filling out various forms in outreach sessions. These include biometric replacement cards, travel documents, GP registration forms and provisional driving licences.

Some of these forms can be pretty complicated especially for young people who have English as their second language. As such it is an important skill to master. During sessions we fill out the forms together and speak through the terms which often they have not heard before. The aim of this is not only to complete the form but to provide the young people with the skills and understanding to undertake form filling independently in the future. A mundane yet essential skill for these young people to master.

During outreach sessions we have helped two young people register with their local GP surgery.

Outreach sessions in Kent are all about the paper work this week. With the young people completing forms for travel document and replacement documents

Young people in Kent are looking forwards to travelling and are completing provisional driving licence applications and travel documents in preparation for this.