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Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Kinda Nice to be Kind: Anti-bullying Week 2018

Monday, December 10th, 2018

As part of anti-bullying week, at asphaleia training we focused on the positive effects of being kind to others and what acts of kindness make people feel. At the beginning of each lesson, learners were asked to consider what kindness means and how we can alter someone’s mood for the better just through a few words or a simple action. Brick by brick we constructed our own ‘Wall of Kindness’ with individual comments from our learners.

The overall response was one of thoughtfulness and consideration. The impact of being nice or putting a smile on someone’s face is not forgotten and is truly appreciated by our learners. Phrases such as, ‘feeling respected’, ‘you are worth it’, ‘be amazing’ and ‘make someone’s day’ were commonplace on our wall and reflected many of our aims and objectives.

The wall is still presented in our foyer for all to see and consider what kindness brings. It also makes people think about what would be on their brick. What would be on yours?

asphaleia staff also wore odd socks to support this important awareness week!

To refer a young people to our education and support services in West Sussex or Uxbridge, please call asphaleia on 01903 823546.

Follow us on facebook @asphaleia.

 

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.

 

asphaleia Learners Attend Networking Event in Bognor Regis

Friday, November 30th, 2018
asphaleia has recently opened their doors in Bognor Regis to help support more young people to achieve qualifications. As a part of their employability class, the young people had the chance to visit The Social Enterprise Networking Convention at the Pheonix Centre. This networking convention allowed young people to meet and greet a variety of people who could help them with their future careers. The young people engaged wonderfully in speaking, listening and discovering the stands themselves. At first, they were hesitant to interact with new people but afterwards stated that they felt they had overcome a big obstacle.
In class afterwards, we asked all of our young people to write about the experience they had had. One of our young people wrote: “What was so good about going to this event was that I got to see what these people needed to achieve before going into the business they are in. I am only just back in education and it gave me the ability to see further than just passing. It has reminded me that I am here for the future as well as right now.”
Well done team Bognor and a massive thank you to everyone who took part in The Social Enterprise Networking Convention for letting us talk to you.
If you are interested in our On Track or Make Trax programme in Bognor Regis, we are accepting referrals today. Contact Gracie graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk or 01903 522966.

 

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.

Image source: Pixabay.com

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 recruitment@asphaleia.co.uk.

Learners Create asphaleia Cafe with Halloween Themed Menu

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Last month, asphaleia learners ran their very own café for the staff. Our learners made, sold, and marketed all of the items on their very spooky menu.

Their menu included:

Boonanas – bananas with chocolate faces.
Fingernail Salad – grapes and passion fruit.
Spiders – Grapes and chocolate
Mummy’s Delight – chocolate covered shortbread with marshmallow bandages.
Blood Punch – Apple, cranberry, ginger juice and sparkling water.

Our learners wrote a clear list of what needed to be done and then spread the workload fairly so that they were working as a team. The food preparation team cleaned down the food preparation area and ensured everyone was ready to handle food. They then prepared all the food while the marketing team named and prepared the menu and calculated the cost of the food items and set the menu prices. After the food had been prepared the waiting team went to find customers. They spoke to various staff members in a polite manner and took their orders. All staff members were given chocolate coins to pay for their food, meaning that the waiting staff had to calculate the cost and give accurate change. This was an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in a safe and friendly environment. Once ordered the wait staff relayed the information to the food preparation team and they plated up the orders for the wait staff to deliver to our lovely customers.

Our learners said: “I really liked doing asphaleia café and I want to do it again.”

“I really enjoyed making all the food, I’d never really done anything like this before but I liked it.”

“I thought that I would be really bad at taking orders because I don’t really like talking to people but I was actually really good at it. It helped me know that it wasn’t that bad.”

If you or someone you know could be interested in our On Track learning programme, please call 01903 522966.

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.

Learning at asphaleia training – What do we Offer Young People?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

We are halfway through the autumn term with our new learners who were offered a place at asphaleia for this new academic year.  Our classes resumed on the 10th of September 2018 after a month long Intensive Summer Programme. It is indeed an exciting year ahead and we at asphaleia training are looking forward to another rewarding year of paving the way to success for our young people.

We realise that the transition from their home country to the United Kingdom can be very stressful as young people today have to navigate a complex and ever-changing world, facing challenges and pressures in numerous aspects of their lives. asphaleia aim to provide an ideal environment for promoting both intellectual and good emotional well-being among our young people. Now that our young people have a place with us, we will be making that process as smooth as possible to ensure that they have a fruitful experience at asphaleia.

At asphaleia training, our young people are at the heart of every decision. Everything we do is about ensuring their experiences here help them develop in a caring, supportive environment. We have high expectations and aspirations for every one of our learners and we believe in taking a robust approach to accomplish this as our vision is that our learners aspire to be the best they can be.  It goes hand-in-hand with Nelson Mandela’s thoughts

”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

 Who are we?

asphaleia is a registered Further Education Provider and has been rated Good by OFSTED recently. We run learning centres in Sussex and West London offering an alternative learning environment that is open 52 weeks of the year. We offer OCR accredited qualifications at Pre-Entry through to Level 2 as well as internally recognised certificates of achievement. Qualifications include Functional Skills Maths, English (ESOL), Vocational Courses and Employability programmes. We aim to enhance the delivery of education establishments by providing additional support for their young people who need it and will be able to complete their programme within one academic year. It is an ideal route as it provides an opportunity to get qualifications that enable young people to make a positive transition into higher level education or work. We also run personal development courses focusing on developing confidence, self-awareness and self-management.

We help learners to overcome any barriers to learning with support with travel, equipment, clothes for interviews or specialist job equipment and our facilities are accessible for all learners with disabilities or specific needs. We will work to help any young person to create their programme for progression.

We recognise that everyone has an important part to play in a young person’s development and that all contributions no matter how big or small are valued. We therefore seek to work in close partnership with parents/guardians and other professionals at all times. Please join us, and together we can take positive steps towards building a better future for our young people.

We are now offering our training service in BOGNOR REGIS!

To make a referral, please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk or call our learning centre in Worthing on 01903 823546, or our learning centre in Uxbridge on 01895 272478.

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: www.bullying.co.uk

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 graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk 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.