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Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

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!!



asphaleia Supports CSE Awareness Day 2018

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

For the last week we have been raising awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in connection to the National CSE Awareness Day on Sunday 18th March. asphaleia very much support this campaign as we currently run three projects aimed at children, young people and parents/carers affected by CSE.

SAFE West London: Started in 2013 and currently has funding until 2019. The aim of this project is to reduce the risk of trafficking and exploitation of children and young people aged 13-19 in Hillingdon. The project is aimed to work alongside schools, colleges, children services, local authorities and all other professional organisations to provide a service helping vulnerable young people build on their self-confidence and skills, strengthening ‘safer’ social networks and accessing education or employment opportunities.

To make a referral to this project please contact 01895 272478.

SAFE West Sussex: This project started in 2016 and is being funded to deliver for five years. Its aim is to reduce the number of children and young people aged 10-24 who are victims of CSE or at risk of becoming victims of CSE. It will address the local need to ensure children and young people who are at risk of/are victims of CSE feel safe through specialist interventions, as well as building awareness and raising the profile of healthy relationships for children in year six primary school classes. One of the key outcomes of the project is that children and young people understand what a healthy relationship looks like, what CSE is, and how they are vulnerable to becoming a victim.

Part of Safe WS is working alongside the parents of children who have been identified as being at risk of CSE. We support parents in a variety of different ways including telephone communication, 1-1 meetings and the sharing of new and interesting resources. We see parents as another professional – they know so much about their children and spend so much time with them, we value their input and their opinions.

To make a referral to this project please contact 01903 823546.

SAFE Kent: Started in 2017 and is being funded to deliver for three years. Its aim is to support UASC through specialist interventions and will address the local need to ensure UASC’s are supported to tackle any gaps in understanding around citizenship, respect for women, acceptable behaviour and attitudes. One of the key outcomes of the project is that UASC have a good understanding of healthy relationships and report an improvement in understanding of how to live appropriately in the UK thus reducing risk of committing crime/anti-social behaviours in the future.

Last year SAFE Kent supported over 64 UASC via the ‘Safe and Sound’ workshops based at a hub in Kent. As a result of these interventions, all 64 young men are now at a reduced risk of exploitation and have an improved understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe in the community. So far this year, young people attending our programme of workshops reported that they found it useful learning about ‘Healthy Relationships’ in particular, a follow up session focusing on ‘Signs and Indicators’ of all types of exploitation (including CSE) will be held in the coming weeks.

To make a referral please contact 01622 690857.

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.

Online Stranger Danger

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

It seems as though everywhere you look these days, there are stories everywhere about the dangers of children and young people talking to strangers online.  It’s hard for parents and professionals to keep up with the ever changing world of social media and with the constant addition of new apps which appear to encourage young people to talk to complete strangers.  But why do children and young people befriend, trust and follow strangers online?

Some of the most obvious reasons are:

  • Young people are curious by nature and are always on the lookout for excitement
  • Shy, lonely and socially uncomfortable children may find it easier to connect and chat online than face-to-face
  • Peer influence leads children to get interested in online networking
  • Despite being aware of cyber bullies, stalkers and groomers; children ignore these threats due to the lack of foresight and experience
  • Some children seek affection and company of online friends due to problems at home
  • Children with low self-esteem often look to online communities for acceptance
  • Teens like to connect with other teens of the same/opposite sex

What could happen if young people spend excessive time on social media platforms?

  • They will lose the desire for real life socializing
  • It will affect their ability to initiate and carry-on interpersonal communication
  • They will become less tolerant and more remote in their attitude towards people
  • They might reveal personal information to data thieves
  • They may become targets for paedophiles, groomers or cyberbullies
  • They can be exposed to inappropriate content and language
  • They can initiate or indulge in cyberbullying themselves

What can parents/carers do to help?

Clear instructions on appropriate online behaviour, cyber safety measures and monitoring are helpful to keep your young people safe. It is so important to talk to children and young people about how to stay safe and why it can be dangerous to talk to people they don’t know online.  However, this can sometimes feel like a minefield, especially if you feel your own knowledge of social media is far less than your young person’s and you may feel you need support on the best way to deal with this.  For more information and support on online safety and talking to strangers online, please contact head office on 01903 823546 and ask to speak to someone on the safe project.



Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

It was very snowy in Kent onl a couple of weeks ago! Both staff and young people weren’t able to get to appointments and most schools and colleges were shut… But our work didn’t stop! Staff were busy working from home, going through admin, emails and of course keeping in touch with young people. Even though we were not physically there, we continued to support the young people on our projects, ensuring they didn’t feel lonely and left out.

Most young people enjoyed the snow, for most of them it was the first time they’d seen it- an exciting new experience! Some of the conversations we had are around what you can do in the snow, such as building snowmen or anything else, having snowball ‘fights’ or sledging down small slopes. We discussed differences in weather between countries such as Eritrea, Afghanistan and England, and how these countries cope with extreme weather. Talking about these differences brought back some happy memories for young people on the Palm Tree Project, it was great to hear about them. We discussed how to stay safe and warm in this weather and what’s best to wear when braving the snow blizzards outside.

Some young people enjoyed the snow outside with friends, whereas others might not live close to friends and were feeling lonely. We encouraged young people to give their friends a ring and see how they are. We also reminded young people that we were still there for them at the end of the phone and to reach out if they were feeling lonely.

Below is a picture of Palm Tree worker Gwen, with her snow princess built on her day off- show us your creations please!

The Palm Tree Project works with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children under the care of Kent Social Services, aged between 13-18 years. The project uses mentoring, art and music sessions to support better mental health and wellbeing. Contact Gwen in Maidstone on 01622 690 857 or at to find out more


Safe West Sussex Is Now Offering Group Sessions

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Safe West Sussex was set up at the end of 2016 to address the local need to ensure that children and young people, who are at risk of, or who are victims of CSE, feel safe through specialist interventions.  Throughout the last year, the project has worked successfully with many young people and is continuing to offer support to young people on a one-to-one basis.

However, the need for group sessions has recently become more evident, and as a result, safe West Sussex has decided to offer the option of six sessions to a small group of young people (within their established peer groups), to take place in a setting such as a school environment.  These sessions would be suitable for a maximum of six young people who are at a low risk of CSE and would cover the following topics within the sessions:

  • Healthy Relationships
  • Sexting & Cyberbullying
  • Online safety and risk management
  • CSE and grooming
  • Well-being

If any of the young people who attend these group sessions are in need of more one-to-one support afterwards, then we can offer this at the end of the six week block.

If you would like further information about these group sessions or about the one-to-ones we offer then please get in touch with either Kay Jones or Ruby Garnham on 01903 522966.


Care Staff in Sussex Conduct Key Work Sessions for Safer Internet Week

Monday, February 26th, 2018

On day two of Safer Internet Week, Care staff completed key work with young people to openly talk and learn about being safe online. So far the young people that Rachel, Care staff member, has worked with have a very good understanding of staying safe online, yet a lot has been learned. Staff were unable to locate three young person facebook profiles, which is very positive as young people are using nicknames rather than real names to protect their identity online.

We completed key work on the amount of information an uploaded photo contains, for instance did you know that the numbers that are saved with your photo at the bottom are in fact location details? The young people we worked with didn’t know this either. Did you know that once you upload a photo to social media you no longer own the rights to this photo? It’s shocking but completely true. Photos that you post now may seem like a good idea but in 10 years time when you potentially could have a family of your own would you regret making a photo so public?

Young person E said she didn’t understand why it was ok for a young lady to post holiday photos in her bikini but then get slated for posting photos in her underwear – a good point. They seem the same but what message are you potentially sending out to people looking at your photo? It is socially acceptable to be on holiday in a bikini but would you walk around in your underwear publically? It has been an interesting topic for discussion. We have advised young people to really think about what they are posting and also be very wary of  talking to strangers. Most of them understand the dangers of talking to strangers and wouldn’t arrange to meet someone they didn’t know, but it has been interesting talking about the things that seem safe but may not be.  Staff have completed key work on the report option on facebook and the ‘view me as’ option so you can see your profile as if a public member.

One young person, when asked if they would send money to a stranger online, said they were unsure as they would want to help someone in need. This may seem an obvious no-no to some people, but he is kind-hearted and wants to help others. He now understands why this would not be safe and most likely not a genuine request. No answer is a wrong answer; this week has all been about learning.

Our top tip for the day from young people is: don’t use your real name on social media and we think this is a great idea.