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Dig Deep Open Day a Big Success

Dig Deep Open Day a Big Success

ASCEND welcomed new friends and old at its long awaited Dig Deep allotment project Family Open Day, held last Thursday (18 August) in South Oxhey.  Throughout the sunny day, Dig Deep volunteers took more than 50 visitors around the site, to look at our organic fruit and vegetable planting, the dew pond, eco and wildlife projects and an Alice in Wonderland tree walk complete with bug noughts and crosses.  As well as signing up 6 new Dig Deep volunteers, we were delighted to welcome friends from Three Rivers Council Waste & Recycling Department,  Watford Rural Parish Council and former Hertfordshire Deputy Lieutenant David Cansdale.
ASCENDs Dig Deep Project runs every Thursday from 10am to 3pm.  It is a horticultural learning and outdoor classroom space where volunteers can be inspired by nature to support their general wellbeing.  Gardening projects currently include growing produce to support a local food bank; constructing raised beds for those unable to garden at ground level; creating a circular path suitable for wheelchair use; creating a sensory garden; and the encouragement of environmental sustainability through recycling, composting, repurposing and encouraging wildlife, insects etc. ASCEND also runs courses from the Dig Deep site, including Gardening Basics, Outdoor Mosaics and most recently a wood turning craft course.   For more information contact 0208 420 1364 or go to  FB@digdeepallotment

Bunting Fit for a Queen is now at The Three Rivers Museum Trust

We are delighted that our fabulous ‘Bunting Fit for a Queen’ is on extended display at the Three Rivers Museum Trust, due to its popularity. Consisting of 71 unique bunting flags, celebrating Queen Elizabeth IIs  70 years on the throne, this bunting was created by 76 Three Rivers residents. We are so grateful to Arts Council England and Hertfordshire Community Foundation who funded the project. The museum is based in Basing House, Rickmansworth (near the library & Watersmeet) and is open on Wed, Thu and Friday 2pm to 4pm and on Saturdays 10am to 2pm.

ASCEND Celebration Event

Yesterday (18th July) ASCEND held its Celebration day, showcasing all the aspects of its work and some of the amazing creative work of its students.  Despite the hot weather, we welcomed many people to the event, who were given fans and plenty of ice cold drinks to keep them cool!  A big shout out to staff, tutors and volunteers who worked incredibly hard to make the event such a great success.   We are now looking forward to our Dig Deep Allotment Day on Thursday 18th August 2022.

ASCENDs Bunting Fit for a Queen on Display at Bushey Museum over the Platinum Jubilee Weekend

ASCENDs amazing ‘Bunting Fit for a Queen’ community project, funded by the Hertfordshire Community Foundation through Arts Council England is having its first public outing over the Jubilee Weekend. Seventy people in Three Rivers District have produced wonderful, creative bunting, celebrating in stitch, artwork and mixed media the Platinum Jubilee years of HRH Queen Elizabeth IIs remarkable 70 year reign.
See the stunning bunting in all its glory displayed throughout Bushey Museum, Rudolph Rd, Bushey WD23 3HW daily, from this Thursday 2nd June to Sunday 19th June, 11am to 4pm. There will be further opportunities to see the Bunting throughout the rest of the year locally and at ASCEND. For more details ring ASCEND on 0208 420 1364.

Would You Like to Become an ASCEND Trustee?


ASCEND provides training, advice and skills development so that the people we support will have the skills and confidence to realise their potential and participate fully in society.
employ a small dedicated team to deliver training courses, provide careers advice, mentor clients and support their personal development. Our facilities include a health and well-being centre where clients can access a range of help from ASCEND and a number of partner charities, and a gardening project – Dig Deep. We are based in South Oxhey, near Watford, Hertfordshire, at All Saints Church Centre, Gosforth Lane, South Oxhey, WD19 7AX and provide services for people in the surrounding areas.

is seeking to appoint a Trustee to help lead the charity by setting strategy and
the quality and focus of the services we provide. You will share ASCENDs values,
commitment to social justice and our empathetic and personcentred approach to our

As Trustee you will join a group of dedicated colleagues on the Trustee Board and ASCEND Management. You will contribute to Board discussions including setting policy, budgets and goals, evaluating performance, keeping abreast of and meeting our legal, governance and quality standards.

We are seeking people of good judgement and strategic vision who can contribute positively to the Boards discussions. We particularly welcome applications from people with experience of delivering education or training programmes, experience of fundraising, marketing communication or expertise in legal or human resources issues.

The Board meets monthly and Trustees should be able to commit themselves to the work of the Board for at least five hours a month, including time for training and engaging with
ASCEND staff.

A full job description can be obtained here Trustee JD 

To apply: Please send us your CV. To apply, or for any further information, please send an

ASCEND Charity Visited by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester

On 23rd February 2022, the clients, volunteers and staff of South Oxhey charity, ASCEND, were delighted to receive a visit from HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. ASCEND serves the local community by providing employment support, health and wellbeing activities and a wide range of community learning opportunities.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE CStJ, introduced the Duchess to local civic dignitaries and the ASCEND team. The Duchess was given a tour of ASCEND’s community hub, known as ‘Step Up’, by Brian Thomson, Chairman of the Trustees.

Brian said, “2021 was ASCEND’s 25th anniversary but sadly we were unable to celebrate. Today’s visit from The Duchess of Gloucester is a marvellous opportunity for us all to reconnect and for the work of the team to be recognised.”

The Duchess chatted to clients and volunteers about their experiences during the pandemic and heard how ASCEND’s support had been vital for them. HRH also met front line staff who, despite the logistical challenges of lockdown, worked tirelessly to continue to deliver key services. This included a food bank supported by local volunteers.

As Patron of the Embroiderers’ Guild, The Duchess was particularly interested in the three hand stitched wall hangings, proudly displayed in the Step Up building. Two of the stunning pieces, ‘Covid Blanket’ and ‘Emerging’, were completed during and towards the end of lockdown. They reflect the fear, isolation and then the tentative hope felt by many who participated in the project. Her Royal Highness also heard how the reassurance of meeting regularly via Zoom during lockdown, was a lifeline to over 40 participants.

At the end of the visit, The Duchess was presented with an embroidered keepsake of her visit by ASCEND client, Alison Bacon.  Alison said, “I was so excited to meet The Duchess of Gloucester. It was an honour to be chosen to present the gift to her on behalf of ASCEND.”

Following the visit from The Duchess, ASCEND clients, volunteers and staff were joined by local civic dignitaries for a small reception. The civic guests were David Cansdale DL, Cllr. Keith Martin – Chair of Three Rivers District Council, Joanne Wagstaffe – Chief Executive of Three Rivers District Council and Gagan Mohindra MP – Member of Parliament for South-West Hertfordshire. The Lord-Lieutenant was accompanied by Army Cadet Staff Sergeant – Danishta Loganaden.

New ASCEND Outreach at Abbots Langely

ASCEND staff are now at the Hillside Community Hub on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9am to 1pm. We are here to help with employment and job search support, enrolments for our courses, well-being issues, volunteering and general enquiries. For further information and to book an appointment, please contact us on 0208 420 1364. We look forward to meeting you.

ASCEND Closing Times over Christmas

ASCEND will close its offices for Christmas on Thursday 23rd December at 5pm.  We will re-open on Tuesday 4th January 2022 and would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who has supported our charity during our special year.   To all our partners, tutors, volunteers and clients, our staff would like to wish you all a safe and peaceful festive season.


Dig Deep Sensory Garden Fundraiser

Throughout November and the beginning of December we are Crowdfunding to raise £’1500 to create a sensory garden at Dig Deep with the help of a Horticultural Therapist.  The garden will be used to support the well-being of our wonderful Dig Deep volunteers and other local community members.   Please help us to make this project a reality by clicking on this link to learn more about our project.

Step2Skills Adult Achievement Awards

ASCEND was proud to support the Step2Skills “Adult Achievement Awards” at Hatfield House on Thursday 7th October 2021 with our CEO Tiffany Richards and Administrator Sally Woods in attendance. It was an evening filled with inspirational stories of achievement and everyone here at ASCEND would like to offer many congratulations to all the award nominees and a big thank to all the winners for sharing their incredible journeys with us.