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Outreach Sessions in Kent – Helping with Essential Life Skills

February 26th, 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.

   

Year 6 Workshops – Safe West Sussex

February 9th, 2018

Did you know that the Safe project delivers workshops to year 6 children in primary schools across West Sussex?

Well… We do!

Our aim is to educate children on healthy relationships with the view to impacting their future and reducing the likelihood of them entering into unhealthy relationships and potentially risky situations. Our workshops are activity based, alongside class discussion, and we cover a range of different topics such as:

  • Identifying the many different types of relationships in our lives.
  • Considering what can be easy and difficult in relationships.
  • Discussing healthy/unhealthy scenarios in relationships.
  • Exploring what is meant by a healthy relationship and how to manage unhealthy ones including information on helpful services.

Our workshop is free of charge for all schools in West Sussex and we have been working alongside West Sussex County Council who are including our workshop in their overview of the new healthy relationship guidance for schools.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with 100% of teachers commenting that they would recommend the workshop. However we do truly listen to all of the feedback that we get, even the less positive ones, and make alterations to best reflect this to ensure that we are having the best impact possible.

We are constantly looking to adapt the way we work to meet the trends and need in society, part of that process includes gathering the above feedback from those who have accessed our support. We also share the feedback to the class teachers to enable them to plan any future PSHE sessions their class may need and to respond to any concerns that might have been raised.

If you would like some more information on the workshops or if you would like to recommend a primary school that you think would like to run our workshop then please get in touch with Ruby or Kay. Head office: 01903 522966.

Sexual violence/abuse week 2018 – 5th -11th February

February 5th, 2018

This week asphaleia is supporting sexual abuse and sexual violence week 2018, to raise awareness and generate discussion within our organisation, our partner agencies and the young people we work with.

Sexual abuse and violence occurs throughout the world and has a profound impact on physical and mental health, with serious (short and long-term) consequences for victims and their families.

  • 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused (NSPCC, 2017).
  • Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour. These figures include assaults by penetration and attempts.
  • Nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales each year.
  • 1 in 5 women aged 16 – 59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (MoJ, 2013).

How do you define child sexual abuse? (NSPCC, 2018)

There are two different types of child sexual abuse. These are called contact abuse and non-contact abuse.

Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. It includes:

  • sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child’s wearing clothes or not
  • rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or anus
  • forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity
  • making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else’s genitals or masturbate.

Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as groomingexploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:

  • encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
  • not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others
  • meeting a child following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them
  • online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
  • allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images
  • showing pornography to a child
  • sexually exploiting a child for money, power or status (child exploitation).

All forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are totally unacceptable, please join us and add your voice to thousands of people across the UK saying #itsnotok.

Find out more: http://sexualabuseandsexualviolenceawarenessweek.org/

Look out for more updates on our social media during the campaign week.

Are you a professional working with young people and you want to know more about signs and indicators of sexual abuse or how to seek further support for a young person?  Please contact a member of our SAFE team, based in Worthing, London and Kent- headoffice@asphaleia.co.uk

National Story Telling Week- 29th January to 2nd February

January 30th, 2018

This week asphaleia will be joining in the 18th year of National Story telling week, which was founded and delivered by the Society of Storytelling. The Society For Storytelling continually promotes the oral tradition of storytelling, the very first way of communicating life experiences and the creative imagination.

Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms and continues to this day as a vibrant part of culture throughout the world. They are seen to be an effective educational tool and act as a foundation for learning and teaching.

During this week, asphaleia will be giving young people the opportunity to tell their stories, be it a true story, creative or even poetry. There will be a competition held to encourage all our young people to take part and be able to share their stories of the journey they are/ have been on in life.

Keep an eye on our social media for day-to-day storytelling activities.

For more information on the services that asphaleia offer please call head office on 01903 823546.

What is Human Trafficking?

January 16th, 2018

Human trafficking involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forcing them to work against their will. Individuals can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation including labour and sexual. Both adults and children can find themselves as victims. However, when children are trafficked, no violence or coercion needs to be involved. Simply bringing them into exploitative conditions constitutes trafficking.

People often confuse human trafficking and people smuggling. People smuggling is the illegal movement of people across international borders for a fee. On arrival, the smuggled person is free. Human trafficking is different. The trafficker is moving a person for exploitation. There is no need to cross an international border. Human trafficking occurs at a national level, or even within one community.

  

Reports have shown that;

  • 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% children and 21% men
  • 72% people exploited in the sex industry are women
  • 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37% women
  • 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders

Estimates by The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC))

The number of people being referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) – the UK’s official framework for identifying victims of human trafficking -has risen steadily in recent years. Almost 1,400 victims, including cases of sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, were identified last year.

Are you a professional working with young people? Do you want to know more about signs and indicators of trafficking or exploitation? Please contact a member of our SAFE team, based in Worthing, London and Kent- headoffice@asphaleia.co.uk

Music and Emotional Well-Being with Young People in Kent

January 16th, 2018

How do you use music? Do you use music to match the feelings you already have? Or do you choose songs to change your mood? Could you use music to make you feel better?

Often when we feel low, we choose to listen to songs that remind us of other sad times, allowing us to sink further into the low feelings we already had. Sometimes this really helps and allows us to step away from these feelings once you have been able to experience them openly. On the other hand, at times, it might make us feel stuck. It sometime starts a negative spiral of low mood and sad songs, bringing each other and you, down.

Are you aware of how you use music? Could you use music in a more beneficial way? Let us know your thoughts! On the Palm Tree Project we use music to feel our sad, angry and frustrated emotions and also to change into more positive feelings of calm and happiness. We listen as well as play music to do this- using piano, guitar and percussion. Practicing music on the Palm Tree Project at the Sunlight studios in Kent has given young people a new outlet for their creativity. They are learning a new skill and are engaged in positive activities around education. It provides a great hobby and entertainment for friends!

  

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 well-being. Contact Gwen in Maidstone on 01622 690 857 or at gwenvanstappen@asphaleia.co.uk to find out more.

   

Did Your Child Get a Device for Christmas? Post-Christmas Internet Safety

January 4th, 2018

The internet can be a fun and fascinating place for children and with the constant rise in internet enabled devices they were likely to feature on many Christmas lists. However; the internet is not without risks with inappropriate content easily accessible and the potential for online abuse ever present.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and network provider o2, are urging parents to make internet safety a priority if their children have received smartphones, tablets or gaming devices this Christmas. A recent survey undertaken by o2 and the NSPCC* found that 46% of children do not have parental controls on their devices and in fact only 29% of parents said that they were confident of the security measures that they had put in place.

This is why it is so important for every parent to set up parental controls on their children’s devices, says Tony Stower, head of child safety online at the NSPCC. Tony also suggests that it is a good idea for parents to have regular conversations with their children about their internet use, how to be safe online and how to report unsettling things. Parents can use controls to block harmful content, manage in-app purchases and put controls on how long children can spend online.

Parents need not worry if they are not technical experts- controls are easy to set up and help is available to those who should need it on 0808 800 5002. Experts from the o2/NSPCC helpline are available to help as are ‘gurus’ in o2 stores.

As ever, Safe West Sussex provides specialist 1-1 support for young people (aged 10-25) who could benefit from some extra support with relationships and online safety and offers support to parents around keeping their children safe. Contact  head office today for further information on: 01903 522966

* Survey taken by 442 parents of 5-10 year olds.

 

A Care Outreach Trip to the Local Supermarket

January 4th, 2018

This week, as an outreach activity with a young person in Kent we have taken a trip to a local supermarket where we looked at new fruits and vegetables to try as well as meat-free and dairy-free products. Many of the young people we support on outreach are orthodox Christians and fasting is an important principle of this religion. When fasting the young people do not eat meat or dairy products. This can be challenging, especially in the winter months and so being able to find tasty alternatives is very helpful and the young people often seem very pleased to find some different options. This particular session was followed by a much needed hot chocolate with dairy-free milk of course. Yum!

Referrals are being taken for Outreach support, for enquiries please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk. This services 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.

Self-Care Session with UASC Learners in Uxbridge

December 20th, 2017

Last week Debbie and James from The Children’s Society’s ‘Rise project for Trafficked Boys and Men’ met with some of our UASC learners in Uxbridge.

James and Debbie previously met with the group to talk about risk and safety, the focus for this session was ‘Self-Care’.

The group enjoyed participating in activities around identifying feelings and emotions and worked together to think about signs and indicators of emotions such as ‘anger’ in others. The young people came up with good examples highlighting how the whole body can communicate a range of feelings and emotions and reflected on their own triggers.

The session ended with a focus on ways to combat stress using sport, breathing exercises and meditation, providing the young people with helpful strategies to take away from the session.

Self-care

YOU are a very important person and deserve to take time out, to ensure you’re feeling your best.

Some tips for self-care include:

  • Taking time out for YOU!

Take the time to do the things you enjoy, uninterrupted. This could be a hobby, listening to music, or taking a bath. Think about what feels right for you.

  • Being mindful of your mental health and any mood triggers

Seek support from your friends and family, talking and keeping them updated on how you are feeling and working together to work out the best ways they can help you when you may be feeling low. Sometimes keeping a mood diary can also help with identifying triggers and emotions.

  • Getting out and about

Seeing friends and family or an activity outside can help improve feelings of low mood.

  • Seeking professional support

Anxiety UK offers advice and support for people living with anxiety.

B-eat provides information and support for people affected by eating disorders.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) supports men’s mental health.

FRANK provides confidential drugs advice and information.

Hearing Voices Network runs an online forum and local groups across the country.

Mind Out offers mental health advice and support for anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+.

No Panic offers help and advice about anxiety disorders, including a helpline and recovery groups.

StudentMinds supports students with their mental health.

YoungMinds supports children and young people with their mental health.

If you are supporting UASC (aged 16-20) in Kent and feel they may need support with keeping themselves or others safe, please email amandageary@asphaleia.co.uk to make a referral or for more information about the SAFE Kent project.

If you are supporting UASC in Kent and feel they may need support with mental health, please email gwenvanstappen@asphaleia.co.uk to make a referral to the Palm Tree project.

Social Media: Your Online Footprint and How to Protect Your Privacy

December 20th, 2017

With the huge increase in social media apps, privacy is a well known and well publicised issue. In previous years, ‘what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas’, today what happened in Vegas stays on Youtube, Instagram or Facebook. Once your content is online, it will stay there forever. All of us need to consider how this may impact our reputation and potential employability in the future.

Should potential employers be privy to your personal or social information? The simple answer is ‘no,’ but if you post personal information on the internet and your privacy settings are not used correctly, then hiring managers can, and will, see more than you want them to.  So, what can you do about it?

Top Tips:

  • Do a quick online health check by Googling yourself.  Type your name into the search bar, whatever you find is pretty much what your prospective employer will see.  If there is something potentially embarrassing or inappropriate, then try to get rid of it.
  • Review all of your privacy settings on your social media.  You can determine who can see your posts, status and photos, as well as your political and religious views.  It is probably a good idea to also restrict all permissions to friends only too, at least while you are job hunting.
  • Articles and blogs are an effective way to demonstrate your expertise in your specialist field. Posting relevant content shows your potential employer your commitment to your chosen industry and your views on it.
  • Do use a professional networking site such as LinkedIn to create a professional online profile.
  • Do post a decent profile picture and use a nickname on social media sites if you would prefer these not to be found by a potential employer.

Think about what you post – would you want a future employer to read it?  If not, then is the time to rethink about where and when, and potentially what, you are posting.