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Beautiful Creative Writing From an asphaleia Learner

February 26th, 2019

In January, a group of our learners contributed to the January edition of the Visable Inc online magazine. They wrote pieces on their experience of coming back to education and the reasons why they left. The are compelling and inspiring pieces of creative writing, clearly written from the heart. We’re proud to be sharing them with you this week.

Young People thumbs up with visable Inc magazine

The Anxiety Box

Why I left: Anxiety

Why I’m back: I want to try and get some sort of education. I want help with my anxiety. I think I have that now.

“What’s your excuse?” My body speaks more than my mouth: I stumble, I stand still. All they did was put me at the back of the classroom. I can’t speak. My mind has made its decision – I need to get out. I need to know that the door is open. If I know it is, I’m more likely to stay. But they don’t understand that. Even if I could speak, what would I say? I look it up online – there is a word that I can’t pronounce – is this another box to be trapped in? If I can’t even say it, how can I face it?

I feel trapped.
I need to know that I can get out.
I know I need to calm down – but no one helps me to try.
Breathing  becomes bumpy.
I am panting pathetically.
I am making childish noises from my supposedly adult mouth.
I want to leave. I want to leave. I want to leave.

There are rules – I can’t leave whilst people are looking at me. Sometimes I feel that people trap me. My transparent box sees the eyes are staring in. I don’t even know how I got into the box, but somehow I keep going back in. I look it up online – there is a word that I can’t pronounce – is this another box to be trapped in? If I can’t even say it, how can I face it?

BY HB

To see this as part of the Visable Inc January publication, click here

#asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019

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Safer Internet Day 2019 in Uxbridge

February 26th, 2019

In today’s modern world, keeping up with technology can be both time consuming and complex. With our new generation spending time online more and more these days, it’s vital that we explicitly teach young people how to stay safe whilst being online.

On the 5th February 2019, our young people in Uxbridge (West London) participated in the Safer Internet Day.  Although they were very good with technology, they still lacked the awareness of the danger with the internet, for instance anything about viruses, online privacy, phishing, social networking etiquette and other internet safety and security issues that is considered important.

student work for safer internet day

During the lesson, we discussed what can be shared online and otherwise. The lesson was to remind all learners that it is crucial to remember that everything we do over the web is captured forever and could come back to haunt us some day. For instance, many employers and university admissions offices look at social media profiles when researching candidates.

Also, learners brainstormed ideas on how they connect and the gadgets they use like smart phones, tablets and even old fashioned computers need to be protected as well. They went on talking about the use of sensible passwords and protection and how it can be helpful in the long run.

Some of our young people have played games online before and offered to share their two cents relating to online strangers. They said there are strangers online because they don’t always know who they are talking to and this could end up being detrimental. The discussion continued with the different ways one could connect with strangers online such as online games, Facebook and Instagram. They then watched a video presentation on how to handle strangers online. It was a good presentation as it got the learners to think about questions like, “What sort of information should we not tell a stranger?” We elicited a variety of answers from our young people, ensuring that details like “home address,” “phone number,” “full name” were emphasized.

Overall, it was a fun-filled, informative lesson with learners reflecting the issues that our young generation are facing as well as tackling emerging trends that could leave a lasting impact on online users.

Well done to our learners for engaging brilliantly in this lesson. #asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019

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10 Reasons I Like asphaleia training

February 26th, 2019

From the  25th February to 3rd of March, asphaleia is holding it’s third Young Person’s Week. During this week we make a big effort to celebrate the many successes and achievements of the young people we are working with. We couldn’t be prouder of every young person who comes through our door looking to make a positive change for their future. So stay tuned for some serious boasting! Ahead of #asphaleiayoungpersonsweek2019 our student ambassador had a chat with a member of staff and came up with ten reasons why she likes asphaleia.

1. The staff are helpful
Nothing feels like a stupid question. They all seem to know what is going on generally even though it is different subjects. You can tell they work with each other and I feel like they care about my education.

2. Nice atmosphere where you can be yourself
Everyone here seems to understand that school wasn’t easy. No one asks questions or acts like you are stupid. People come here to get the grades they need and then they can move on. It is nice to be in a class with people who think the same way as me.

3. Students are very easy to get on with
Everyone’s nice!

4. Tutors challenge us to learn new things
Sometimes it can be annoying when you do things wrong. But when the teacher reminds you that you won’t learn unless you try to do new things, it makes it clear they are doing it to make us better.

5. We have input into our education
We are a part of interviews for new staff and we get asked about what we like and what we don’t like.

6. Work experience
At school I didn’t get any, here, we get to plan things that we actually find interesting and want to go into instead of a standard one everyone goes on.

7. We are responsible for our learning
Teachers always say that if I work hard and attend I can do well and I actually believe them now!

8. The learning helps me feel more prepared for a job
Especially in employability – I feel like I’m more ready to have a job now because I have a CV, have plans, have looked at how to apply and I know what employers like and don’t like.

9. Exams are flexible
You don’t have to wait until a set time to do them if your teacher thinks you are ready.

10. It’s fun!
I actually enjoy learning here!

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in studying at asphaleia, email graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk to find out more.

New CSE Project in the London Borough of Bromley

February 25th, 2019

asphaleia recently started a new CSE project in the London Borough of Bromley. The project will support young people who are being exploited; or are at risk of being exploited. In addition, the service will offer training for professionals around supporting young people who are experiencing or are at risk of CSE.

Overview of Support

We provide holistic interventions based around the specific needs of the young person. Identifying and addressing risky behaviours, in addition to acknowledging and supporting protective factors. An initial assessment will identify areas of support needed and a plan will be created with the young person’s input and agreement. Safety planning will also be included in the plan to support and reinforce their existing safety plan. Another component of the service will be for us to remain in contact with the referrer, providing updates and monitoring reports.

Finally, these are the outcomes we will be working towards:

  • Enhanced parent/carer relationship.
  • Knowledge of sexual health strategies.
  • Reduced safer consumption of substances/alcohol.
  • Ability to identify abusive/exploitative behavior and has strategies in place.
  • Recovery from sexual abuse/exploitation.
  • Reduced association with risky peers/adults.
  • Remains in regular contact with the service.
  • Stable and secure accommodation.
  • Episodes of missing from care/home reduced.
  • Satisfactory school/college attendance.

For further information, please call 01903 823946.

asphaleia care services

Make Trax Learners Start Work on Sustainability: One Water Bottle at a Time

February 21st, 2019

This week, our Make Trax learners have begun learning about sustainability. In one of their workshops, learners discussed what recycling means to them with a project worker, before taking on a recycling quiz based primarily on single-use plastic.

See an example below: can you answer the questions?

  1. What do you think ‘biodegrade’ means?
  2. What kinds of things take less time to biodegrade?
  3. What kinds of items take more time to biodegrade?
  4. On average, how long does a plastic bottle take to decompose?
  5. How many times could you circle the world with the amount of plastic that is thrown away in one year?

After taking the quiz and discussing why choosing reusable plastic is so important in our training centre and the workplace, our learners decorated a name tag and attached it to their reusable water bottle. Through ditching single-use plastic at water fountains around the centre, and in our breakfast club, these learners are now contributing to ‘greener’ support through Make Trax.

If you, or someone you know, may be interested in our Make Trax project, (or wants to know if they got the answers right!) email Gracie at graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk for more information.

 

5 Reasons You Should Consider Fostering as Your Next Career

February 18th, 2019

“Supporting you to support the child in your care.”

1. You can work another job, as long as fostering takes priority
Fostering is a big commitment but one that will change your life and the life of someone else. One misconception about fostering can be that you have to give up your current career in order to become a foster carer. However, if you can prioritize the needs of the child in your care and feel that your time is being distributed effectively on what they need, then fostering is definitely an area you could explore further with asphaleia alongside your current career.

2. You will learn new skills
What kind of skills do you need to become a foster carer? Many of the essential qualities may already exist, such as empathy, care, tolerance and patience. At asphaleia, we would help you to cultivate these skills.

3. Comprehensive support is available
Along with 24/7 support, we give mandatory training for all of our foster carers. We invite you to training days on a monthly basis and you will have an individual personal development plan to ensure your own needs are met; supporting you to support the child in your care.

Ofsted good provider

asphaleia fostering are rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

4. You may be able to make that hard time a little easier
Children in foster care require a lot of time, care, and patience, but the end result can be amazing for both of you. You can show them that a caring, supportive home is out there for them, regardless of their start in life.

5. You will make a real difference
You will be doing your part to help a child become a grounded individual through foster care. At asphaleia, we pride ourselves in positive outcomes for young people and we are looking for caring and supportive people who want to make a real difference. If you could be that person, we want to work with you.

For more information, please contact Kim on 01903 823546.

4 Reasons Why Differences Are Good

February 11th, 2019

Equality and diversity is a phrase most of us will be familiar with. It is the subject of policies, training, HR documents and forms for us employees. For our young people, it informs one of our intentions within asphaleia’s Pledge to Young People.

equality and diversity young people

Pledge Number 1

According to WikipediaEquality and diversity is a term used in the United Kingdom to define and champion equalitydiversity and human rights as defining values of society. It promotes equality of opportunity for all, giving every individual the chance to achieve their potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

At asphaleia, this is an integral value that shapes how we operate as an organisation regarding our staff, volunteers and the young people we work with. We are BIG believers in the potential of ALL young people and we aim to ensure we are offering the best of all we have to offer to every young person that walks through our door.

E&D isn’t just something we are obligated to do because of legislation. We believe in the importance of ensuring everyone has the opportunity to progress in life, but furthermore, that differences enrich and enhance our society and personal experiences.

Here are 4 reasons why differences are good:

You learn new things about the world – to put it bluntly, if we were all the same, life would be incredibly dull. What would we talk about? What would we learn? I have learned some absolutely fascinating things from friends or colleagues who are from another country, or in a completely different line of work to me, or who are much older or younger. From languages and culture to simply your outlook on life, the people around you will believe different things for different reasons. Learn from them!

They help you develop – when we are curious about others we have the opportunity to discover new ways of doing things. Better ways. We can also open the door to different paths we didn’t know were there. As Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said: ‘Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”

Stength lies in differences not in similarities

They keep you humble and open – we like to think we know best. The phrase, ‘my way or the highway’ springs to mind for many of us when faced with people who do things differently. Refusing to adapt and change keeps us in the same place and we can make many assumptions about people that are simply wrong.

You learn empathy – an important skill for connecting with people and maintaining relationships. Both personally and in the workplace. To work or learn alongside someone who is different to you, requires you to see things from their perspective. To withhold judgement and listen is at the heart of empathy and is a skill that will allow you to work well in a team or partnership.

Whilst it’s great to celebrate our similarities, let’s look for ways to appreciate the differences of those around us or new people who cross our paths.

asphaleia care services

 

Independent Visiting Service: Bowling is Right Up Our Alley!

February 5th, 2019

At the end of January, our IV Service hosted one of their bi-annual group activities. The service provides one-to-one befriending for looked after children and young people in Bromley. However, we like to gather everyone together twice a year for one big activity. As January isn’t a time for enjoying the great outdoors, we opted for bowling.

Bowling activity young people independent visiting

We were pleased to have seven of our matches attend. Competitive spirits were running high as young people attempted to out-bowl their IV’s who certainly weren’t going to let them win! After the game, we all gathered around a large table and enjoyed general chit-chat over snacks and drinks.

It was inspiring to see our IV’s with their young people. Their relationships have blossomed and it is clear the young people have a lot of fun and good times with their visitors. It was also positive for our volunteers to connect with one another.

One visitor said: “S said he really enjoyed bowling and was pleased he won! He would like to go again.” Another reported that: “My young person thoroughly enjoyed bowling. He engaged with other young people throughout his time there and always had a smile on his face.”

The IV team are looking forward to the next group activity in the summer.

If you would like to find out more about this service please call our head office. If you would like to apply to become an Independent Visitor, please email recruitment@asphaleia.co.uk.

asphaleia care services

Lunch and £20 Refer a Friend for New Sign Ups on our Employability Programme!

January 30th, 2019

Are you a young person aged 16-18 looking for a college where you can achieve the qualifications you need to progress? Are you thinking about joining asphaleia college but are not quite sure? Are you a professional working with a young person who is hesitant?

We all know how good food is essential for optimum learning, so we are offering to get lunch for the whole of a young person’s first week with us, if they sign up to join our employability further education programme THIS WEEK.

Bring a friend along as well and you’ll both get a £20 high street voucher too (usually £10). Again, this is the final week of this bonus amount so act fast!

Free lunch sign up for education college course

Call us today on 01903 823546 to find out how to make a referral or sign yourself up.

Setting Targets for Achievement at asphaleia training College

January 29th, 2019

As the last bit of tinsel is packed away and the pounding headache of New Year’s day thankfully loses its strength, we are then left to ponder resolutions that will improve our lives and well-being. Some opt for Dry January; many will attempt, some more successful than others, to push aside the habit of smoking; while others seek new careers with new opportunities and new challenges. We are no strangers to progress and achievement at asphaleia college, which is why review week at the start of 2019 has given our learners the opportunity to set targets, realise their potential and open up a world full of achievement and opportunity.

Education and qualification targets

Eyes on the prize!

Even seemingly small targets, such as: ‘answer questions in front of the class’, ‘participate in some work experience’, or ‘achieve my first qualification in English’ enable our learners to focus on overcoming their challenges so that progress is recognised, confidence is gained and new targets can be set. Chipping away these small targets allows us to climb, bit-by-bit, our own personal Everest.

At our next review in three months’ time, when others have fallen off the New-Year’s-resolution-wagon or have sneaked outside for a cheeky cigarette; we will have learners who have held their hands high, taken their first steps into employment and passed that first English qualification.

To make a referral to our English, maths and employability programme, email trainingreferrals@asphaleia.co.uk.