Launching Safe Monday

Launching Safe Monday

We are delighted to bring back a successful initiative on safety, funded by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Action Fund.   Safe Monday will be launching on 13th May, at ASCEND Step Up (39 Oxhey Drive) with an opportunity to have your property marked with your postcode eg. bicycles, tools etc.  Except for bank holiday Mondays, when timings will be a little different, Safe Monday will operate every two weeks at ASCENDs Step Up building in Oxhey Drive, and there will always be someone available to talk about your safety and crime concerns.

Co-Op Supporting ASCENDs Dig Deep Project

This year, ASCEND’s Dig Deep Allotment Project has been chosen to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund.

To help us raise vital funds, we’ll be relying on Co-op shoppers. Every time they buy Co-op own-brand products they get a 5% reward for themselves, and a further 1% goes to local causes like ours.  Co-op members can back our project by going online – https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/20771              We really hope that people will visit the website and choose to support us.  If you’re not a member and would like to support us, you can join at your local store or online at www.coop.co.uk.

When a community comes together we’re able to achieve great things, so we hope you can help promote our project.

Bike Maintenance and Bikeability for Safe Riding

ASCEND is part of the Building Better Opportunities (BBO) STRIVE project, funded by The Big Lottery and the European Social Fund and project managed by Hertfordshire County Council.   In May, we ran a Bike Maintenance and Bikeability project to encourage participants to become safe cyclists, through Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the national Standards Cycling Proficiency.   Four bikes were donated by the local community and part of the programme was to learn how to maintain and repair the bicycles and bring them up to a safe standard.  Once road worthy, the bicycles were used to teach participants the essentials of riding a bike on the road, which included rules of the road, and riding in different environments including a bike lane, countryside roads, crossing intersections, negotiating roundabouts etc.

Two of the participants, Jason and Amy really enjoyed the course.  Jason had not ridden a bike since his BMX days as a child, and really enjoyed participating in a physical outdoor activity.   The project has given him the confidence to ride on the roads and improve his communication skills; and he was awarded both the Level 1 Bike Maintenance and the Level 3 Safe Cycling certificate!   On presentation of his certificate, Jason said, “Now I want to learn more.  I want to drive a car and work repairing bikes, or perhaps even motorbikes or cars”.

Amy rarely used her bike, which was abandoned in the back of her garden.  The project allowed her to get the bike repaired, built up her confidence generally and to achieve the Level 3 Safe Cycling certificate.  On receiving her certificate, Amy promised that she would finally use her bike and won’t let it rust in the back of her garden again.

This project has given all the participants an inexpensive, sustainable and environmentally friendly way to travel around and to be more independent and because of its success, the project is going to continue with a Level 2 Bike Maintenance course, in partnership with Safe Riding.

ASCEND Wins HAFLS Provider of the Year

ASCEND is delighted to announce that it has won the HAFLS best provider of the year award.  Commenting on the award, HAFLS Commissioning and Contract Management Officer, Sumayyah Shah said, “The provider we have chosen as the winner has impressed in so many different areas this year.   They have consistently shown their capacity to improve by taking HAFLS feedback on board and running with it.   Through this pro-active approach and hard work, they have reduced their actions on their action plan down to zero.   They also spent the time and effort to meticulously internally moderate their quality paperwork and in an organised manner before sending into HAFLS, proving to be invaluable as they passed all moderation with flying colours.  They are embedded deep within their local community and will do above and beyond to ensure learners have a wonderful learning experience as well as ensuring the paperwork requirements are being met at the same time. it is clear through interaction with this provider that they understand partnership working is invaluable and are always willing to share excellent best practice sessions and fully commit to participating in a range of HAFLS activities such as training and forums.”

Digging Deeper

 

We were delighted to welcome The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Mr Robert Voss CBE to our Dig Deep site to officially open our new learning centre ‘The Seed Pod’. The building will be used for Dig Deep courses, and also for ASCEND creative courses, including Art and Creative Writing where we hope the magic of Dig Deep will inspire. We are grateful to The People’s Health Lottery, The Co-op, John Lewis, Thrive Homes, Awards for All and Affinity Water for supporting this project, which includes the next phase of creating raised beds and a sensory garden.

A Clients View

We often hear from clients who appreciate the services we provide.  We recently heard from Amanda who took time to write the following,

“I like coming to ASCEND.  They have given me a lot of confidence and self belief; something I have lacked for so many years due to unforeseen circumstances.  But the one thing I have liked about ASCEND is that everybody is kind and very friendly to each other. ASCEND has also given me the confidence to try and forget things that have happened in my past. My advice to anyone is to try and go the ASCEND because you never know what you can achieve in yourself.”

ASCEND is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.

ASCEND is 21!

Twenty One years ago, ASCEND came into being to support people living in the South Oxhey area to improve their lift chances. ASCEND is still doing that today and is now based in 2 buildings (All Saints Church and Step Up in Oxhey Drive) as well as managing the Dig Deep Garden Project. It has come a long way, and is busier than ever, supporting more than 5000 people every year! We look forward to the next 21 years, with anticipation.

Bags of Help Supports ASCEND

ASCEND is delighted to announce it has bagged £2,000 from a Tesco funding scheme.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of up to £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to thousands of  local community projects every year.

Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country. And it can now be revealed ASCEND has been awarded £2,000 to support its Dig Deep project.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life.

Christine Wyard, ASCEND’s Project Director said, “We are delighted to receive this money to support the development of accessible areas to all on the site.  We can now start to plan raised beds, sensory planting and pathways that are more wheelchair accessible.”

Lindsey Crompton, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:

“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout January with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out.

Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £27 million across more than 3,500 local projects.

Tesco customers will get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Bags of Help criteria have recently been extended to include any project that benefits the community. Previously the scheme funded outdoor projects only.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“Bags of Help continues to fund thousands of projects across the UK.  We want to ensure that the money raised benefits as many local people in as many different places as possible so we’ve extended the range of groups and projects that we can support.

“The scale and variety of activities supported by Bags of Helps shows what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to make change happen in their local area.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

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Issued by ASCEND

For further information please contact:

ASCEND,  All Saints’ Church Centre, Gosforth Lane, South Oxhey, Herts WD19 7AX.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • Bags of Help is supported by money from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.
  • So far Bags of Help has awarded over £27 million to more than 3,500 local community projects.
  • For more information please visit: http://www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

Dig Deep Open Day

Our amazing allotment, Dig Deep is having an open day next Thursday (26th January 2017) which is open to everyone.   Come along from 11am to 2pm and see the allotment and talk to our wonderful volunteers.

Our allotment is situated in Newport Mead, off Kilmarnock Drive in South Oxley.  We look forward to seeing you there!

VOTE for ASCENDs Paths for Growth Project

Local community charity ASCEND, based in South Oxhey, is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

ASCENDs Paths for Growth Project at the Dig Deep Garden Project is one of the groups on the local shortlist.  The project is about improving the access arrangements on the half acre site eg. levelling paths and making raised beds for wheelchair based clients, changing bed layouts to include sensory and wildlife planting etc.

Christine Wyard, Project Director at ASCEND commented, “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen to receive an award and would like to encourage everyone to vote for us. Our Dig Deep project has already changed a derelict site into an amazing horticultural oasis to include vegetable and flower beds, a dew pond- attracting lots of wildlife and not forgetting our composting loo!  This funding would help us to give access to so many more people, helping them to improve their wellbeing in an outdoor environment.”

Voting is open in stores from 2 January to 28 January. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.  Stores supporting ASCEND are:-

South Oxhey Express WD19 6EG

Harcourt Road, Bushey Express  WD23 3PP

Bushey Heath Express WD23 1EL

Watford Whippendell Express WD18 7NB

Watford Extra WD17 2BD

Watford, 114 High Street Express WD17 2BJ

Watford, St Albans Road Express WD24 4AU

Watford, Langley Express WD17 4BU

Leavesden Watford Express WD5 0BT

Watling Radlett Express WD7 7LA

Borehamwood Extra WD6 1JG

Shenley Express WD7 9AA

Rickmansworth Express WD3 4PW

Rickmansworth WD3 1LX

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £24 million to more than 2,400 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for January. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

The Bags of Help scheme is permanently open for applications and anyone can nominate a project at any time – whether it’s Tesco customers, colleagues or the community groups themselves. Just ask in store for more information or visit the Bags of Help website, visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp/

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • The Bags of Help initiative is supported by money from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags in Tesco stores.
  • So far Bags of Help has awarded over £24 million to 2,421 local community projects.
  • For more information please visit: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp
  • ASCEND is a charity (no 1073909) based in South Oxhey and supports people to move forward in their lives, in particular with wellbeing projects. For more information please visit www.ascend.org.uk
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