Isolation Blanket Project takes part in ‘makeitblue’

Isolation Blanket Project takes part in ‘makeitblue’

ASCENDs Mixed Media tutor Sian Fenwick has had the artwork she prepared for the ASCEND Isolation Blanket Project projected in the windows of an Oxford Street retailer this week.

Every Thursday night landmarks and iconic buildings across the UK are lighting blue in a massive gesture of thanks and support to the NHS and all those working at the frontline to fight the pandemic. With the health of the whole nation under threat, the skyline is glowing blue to shine the light of hope in a dark time.
The #LightItBlue initiative is one strand of the wider #MakeItBlue campaign – which encourages people everywhere to share their own messages of gratitude and solidarity to the NHS – from the safety of their own homes

Survey of Local Need Launched

Today, ASCEND is launching a survey to ask the community what additional services it would like to see ASCEND provide.  If you would like to take part, click on this link to access the survey form.  We look forward to your comments!

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=9SgCUIAh-UOdM0ZU-nvmS1O1EmhSLXVAjEjdo9kvidZUNjhETTFIM1RMMzVJVFE5SUVWVktCRTg3Uy4u

 

 

 

 

Jane Ross nominated for the South Oxhey Community Hero Award

ASCEND is really proud of our colleague Jane Ross who was nominated for the South Oxhey Community Hero Award. Jane said ‘I am very honoured to have been nominated for this award, and have just received this lovely plaque in recognition of outstanding service to the community. Many thanks to our CEO Christine Wyard and all the ASCEND team for your continued help and support, allowing me to be part of this great organisation supporting our community.’ Many congratulations to all the nominees from us here at ASCEND and in particular COlin Ingham, who we are now working in partnership with to bring the Step In…Takeaway Food Hub to those in need in Three Rivers.

New BBO Strive Virtual Support & Healthy Hub Launches Next Wednesday

Wednesday 16th September is the first day of our new virtual BBO Strive & Healthy Hub, supporting local people to create CVs, get advice on finding work, accessing mentoring and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Open from 10am to 1pm, the hub is accessible initially by appointment only, using the contact details listed in the poster. The hub will regularly feature events and talks from other community organisations and from the 9th October, a 5 week live cookery demonstration of creating tasty, healthy dishes.

ASCEND Isolation Blanket starts Hertfordshire Tour

We are delighted to announce that the wonderful ASCEND Isolation Blanket is currently on display at The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead until 31st August. We very much hope that it will be inspiring and thought provoking for everyone that sees it. The blanket will then hopefully be on view at Watford Museum during November (dates to be confirmed) and at Watersmeet, Rickmansworth in December. For more information about the Blanket Project and to watch the accompanying video, please click on the link at the top of this page.

New Autumn 2020 Course Brochure Launches today!

ASCEND continues to offer the local community some fantastic course in partnership with HAFLS.  These include basic skills, Maths, English and IT as well as employability and arts based courses.   At the present time, our courses are being delivered remotely by Zoom and Google Classroom due to the Covid-19 pandemic but we are regularly reviewing the situation and we hope to run some sessions face to face, in line with Government advice on social distancing.   For further details and to book, please ring Jane on 07483 104910.

ASCEND Launches “reCoVer 19” Appeal

ASCEND today launched its “reCoVer 19” appeal, in order to raise funds to support the increasing demand for our services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  ASCEND has been working within South Oxhey, Watford, Three Rivers and adjoining areas for nearly 24 years, supporting those furthest from the employment market to move forward in their lives.   As the UK comes out of lock-down, ASCEND is preparing for a big demand in its back to work, training and well-being services.   Commenting on the appeal, CEO Christine Wyard said, “ASCEND has a policy of never turning anyone away.   If for some reason, we cannot directly help, or a client needs multiple areas of support, we have a wide partnership network of organisations that we can refer to, some of which are based at our Step Up well-being hub.  Our appeal is all about supporting community members when they most need it and we very much hope that people will consider a donation, either via text or our website, so we can help as many members of the community as we can in these difficult times.”

 

ASCEND Community Blanket Project

Under the guidance of inspirational tutors Sian Fenwick and Ekky Archibong, over 40 ASCEND learners are currently crafting pieces to reflect what self-isolation means to them, using media such as stitching, journaling and painting/drawing. The completed pieces will be attached to the blanket to create a community piece, but with a border to represent self-isolation. ASCEND’s jewellery group will be making wire jewellery bridges to join the pieces to signify communication. It was decided to create a community blanket because of the meanings of comfort, warmth and soothing associated with blankets. In addition, a film will be made of the blanket project and the process of creating the individual pieces, and will be displayed, together with the blanket virtually during the Summer and when permissible on tour around Hertfordshire.

Supporting Our Learners

As we all submit to the changes in our lifestyles,  it is even more apparent that we need to keep connected and support one another during this pandemic.  Staff at ASCEND are doing their part to support our learners through this situation as we are aware that many people will be feeling stressed and anxious.

ASCEND’s jewellery courses have been popular over the years, not only through the development of skills and techniques, but also because of the impact it has on well-being and isolation.  Our learners have become friends, sharing and exchanging ideas; and sometimes even attending external craft fairs and events together.

Ekky Archibong tutors this class.  As an artist, creative entrepreneur and tutor for our jewellery classes, she is a strong advocate for creativity as a pathway to well-being.   This is why she is currently working with ASCEND to ensure that we continue to support our learners with free online jewellery projects and networking with one another, until we are able to get back face to face again.

So yesterday (Thursday 26th March 2020) our jewellery class met up virtually to look at Bangle Making using Mandrel, Hammers and Anvils.   A ring or bangle mandrel is a large, tapered tool made from steel or wood.  It is used to form and shape metals and also for creating wire wrapped rings and bangles.  They also looked at anvils and bench blocks and how to use them to provide a secure work surface for cutting, drilling, filing and hammering/shaping metal.  Their challenge is to design a Bangle using 1.0mm or 1.2mm jewellery wire and we will be creating a Facebook gallery of all their efforts.

In the meantime, if you are interested in the sort of jewellery our group are making, you might like to visit the following… https://youtu.be/yMI-xVd06Go     or   https://youtu.be/-yfxx9itQyk   to see examples of what can be done.

 

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