The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire to Open ASCEND Network SOx Event

The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire to Open ASCEND Network SOx Event

ASCEND is delighted to welcome The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Mr Robert Voss CBE, to officially open the inaugural Network SOx event on Thursday 13th June 2019 at 10.30am.

The event will showcase local business and enterprise, and is for people looking for local employment or thinking of changing career or starting their own business. Visitors will be able to talk to local companies, as well as talk to careers and job advisors as well as receive advice from WENTA and Better Business for All about business start-ups.

Visitors can also participate in a programme of free 25 minute workshops run by business professionals on a variety of topics supporting jobs and careers.

Network SOx is a one day event on Thursday 13th June from 10.30am until 3pm at All Saints Church, Gosforth Lane, Watford WD19 7AX. The event is free-to-attend and refreshments will be available.

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 –              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

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


Issued by ASCEND

For further information please contact:

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


  • 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:

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!