Why we are here
ASCEND is based within the South Oxhey housing estate in Hertfordshire. The estate was built as social housing after the Second World War, largely to accommodate people originally from East and South London who were bombed out during the war. It is a close-knit community, with a current population of over 13,000 people and it is not uncommon to have second and third generations of families living on the estate.
In the 1990ís, the estate was recognised nationally as one of 80 Single Regeneration Budget areas in the UK - measured by Government social deprivation indicators and high unemployment figures. Local people began to realise that they needed to do something to help South Oxhey become more stable in terms of employment and housing - where all members of the community could have a feeling of belonging.
ASCEND opened its doors in August 1996 at All Saintsí Church Centre, South Oxhey. It was founded by a small group of local people lead by the Rev. Ann Douglas, to counteract the problems of unemployment, social deprivation and learning disabilities. As ASCEND became established, it took over the running of a homeless project for young people aged 16 to 25, also based at the church. This work continues through Herts Young Homeless.
We are delighted to be supported by Mr Gareth Malone and The Bishop of St Albans, The Rt. Revd Dr Alan Smith, our first patrons.
ASCENDs services are available to anyone living in the South Oxhey and Three Rivers District. We also see people from the surrounding areas of Watford, Borehamwood and St Albans. We aim to:-
- Provide education and training opportunities to address the Government’s "Skills for Life" agenda.
- Develop client Information Technology skills, enabling them with new proficiencies, improved confidence, self-esteem and increased employability.
- Move people forward by challenging perceived barriers to education and training; providing people with more choice and control over their lives.
- Develop new services and training opportunities to reflect the changing needs of our clients.
- Develop new services and training opportunities for young people aged 16 to 25.