A Year In Aspire: Our 2020

2020 was a year that no one ever expected, full of many unique challenges. Despite the tough year, we were able to achieve so much as individuals and as a community.

To celebrate the successes of 2020 we’ve created this video “A Year In Aspire: Our 2020”. We hope you’ll join us in 2021 to create a success of your own.

Watch it below or visit our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/NYuY1jBZaPU

Bid Writers Wanted

Bid Writer Expression of Interest

Scope of Work
We are looking to create a bank of bid/tender writing consultants that we can call upon to support our capacity in the period between late November 2020 – Spring 2021.

Tasks may include:
•Creating budgets, project plans and tender submissions.
•Completing grant applications.
•Completing Expression of Interest forms or setting up Aspire Sussex on Dynamic Purchasing Systems or tender portals in readiness of the tender process.

Essential/Core competencies for the consultancy assignment
•Over 5 years of experience in technical proposal/ bid writing and management
•Expertise in business development and modelling, particularly in the area of education
•Prior experience and expertise in writing proposals (especially with DWP, ESF and local authority commissioning)
•An excellent track record of securing large scale funding opportunities

Desirable
•Experience working on policy and/or practice related to education and employability
•Experience of working with network and/or partnership approaches to work.
•Experience of securing subcontracting work through DWP frameworks

Application Process:
You are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) for conducting this assignment to kate.scales@aspiresussex.org.uk with the subject line: Bid writer consultant EoI

The EoI should include:
•A cover letter outlining how your experience and competencies meet the requirements.
•A CV outlining relevant experience.
•Your expected daily rate.
•Your availability in the period outlined
•2 referees including current or most recent employer.

Closing date for applications: 23rd November 2020

COVID-19 Update – 3rd November 2020

Dear Students,

Following the recent Government announcement concerning a second national lockdown, we have looked at the rules relating to Adult Education.

The Government’s intention is for all schools, colleges and universities to remain open.  Having sought clarification on this, it is now clear that adult education learning settings are also included in this definition, i.e. they are also expected to remain open for at least the next month.

The following centres will therefore remain open as scheduled for face to face classes:

Chichester Adult Education Centre, Chichester High School Campus, Kingsham Road, Chichester, PO19 8AL

Bognor Regis Adult Education Centre, The Arena Skills Centre, The Regis School, Westloats Lane, Bognor Regis, PO21 5LH

Littlehampton Adult Education Centre, The New Learning Shop, 88 High Street, Littlehampton, BN17 5DX

Crawley Adult Education Centre, Basepoint, Metcalf Way, Crawley, RH11 7XX

Burgess Hill Adult Education Centre, Marle Place, Leylands Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 8HZ

Horsham Adult Education Centre, Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham, RH12 1JF (Our Horsham venue is a Government run building and we are awaiting final confirmation on this but it remains open at present)

These centres will be open for scheduled classes but may, however, close at times when no classes are scheduled.

Community-based venues such as village halls and community centres will be kept open or closed on a case by case basis, if your course has to be paused due to the lockdown we will let you know. If you have any queries, please contact our Student Services team 0345 601 0161 or email enquiries@aspiresussex.org.uk

This is a fluid situation which may be subject to change so we will keep you informed.

We have made our centres Covid-19 secure, which includes providing:

> Sanitiser supplies
> New instructional signage, changed entry and exit to buildings
> The closure of social areas and the management of routes around buildings
> Classrooms have reduced capacity to maintain social distancing for learners and staff
> Additional cleaning regimes
> The implementation of a track and trace system

Further details and information about accessing our buildings safely is available in our student guidance https://www.aspiresussex.org.uk/student-support/covid-19-student-guidance/

Help to stop the spread of Coronavirus. If you are visiting a centre to attend a course, and you have the NHS Covid-19 App then please scan the QR code on display when you arrive to check-in. The App can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play. You do not have to have the App to attend our in centre courses but you may wish to do so.

Please continue to refer to our website and social media pages to stay up to date, as the situation can change to reflect safety guidelines and Government advice.

Remember, if you are looking for something new, as well as face-to-face, we have an extensive range of online live, interactive classes taught by our experienced tutors.

Thank you for your support. We hope you continue to enjoy your courses.

Robyn Kohler
Chief Executive Officer

World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2020

This year’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These past months have brought many challenges that have had a huge impact on us all, and prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now.

So this World Mental Health Day, do one thing for better Mental Health.

Below you’ll find a variety of resources as well as courses that you can take with Aspire that can help you improve your mental health.

ASPIRE COURSES
Yoga For All – Starts 2nd November 2020 – Midhurst Rother College
Positive Wellbeing – Starts 2nd November 2020 – Durrington High School
Fitness For Men: Improvers – Starts 4th November 2020 – Arun Leisure Centre
Art As A Therapy – Starts 6th November 2020 – Online Course
Yoga For All – Starts 6th November 2020 – Online Course
Speaking With Confidence – Starts 11th November 2020 – Chichester Adult Education Centre
Yoga For Beginners – Starts 12th November 2020 – Elsted Village Hall
Synergise: The Mind And Body Workout – Starts 13th November 2020 – Durrington High School
Food and Mood – Starts 17th November 2020 – Online Course
Mental Health: A Look At Stress And Anxiety – Starts 17th November 2020 – Crawley Adult Education Centre, Basepoint

HELPFUL RESOURCES
> A – Z Mental Health – Mental Health information from Mind
> Coronavirus And Mental Health: Supporting Somone During COVID-19 – An article from Time To Change
> Break The Stigma Poster – PDF Download

Aspire Sussex Adult Education GCSE Results Summer 2020

Aspire Sussex students, staff and trustees are celebrating a successful set of GCSE results.

Aspire Sussex is a charity providing adult education to those aged 19 plus across West Sussex and our students have used Aspire to achieve their qualification goals as an adult.

100% of this year’s students passed achieving grades 1 to 9 in English and Maths.

We are very proud of every student who comes to study English and Maths with us at Aspire as it often takes them a lot of courage to come through the door and study a subject that they may have struggled with at school. Our experienced tutors, small classes and additional support enables students to reach their learning goals as an adult. Students join for many reasons, but often to enable them to make a career change or to better support their children in their studies.

If you, like us, have been inspired by our students’ achievements it isn’t too late to enrol on an English or Maths qualification this year, starting this September across West Sussex. Please visit our website www.aspiresussex.org.uk or call 0345 601 0161 for more information. Places are free, subject to eligibility requirements.

Robyn Kohler, Chief Executive of Aspire Sussex said, “We are delighted with another set of strong results. It has been a particularly challenging year for our students who have achieved very good results despite moving from face to face courses to online learning and all the other challenges brought by the pandemic. I would like to congratulate all students on their success, and also to say a big thank you to our staff and tutors who support our students, who often do not have that self confidence to go for their goals and ambitions. Well done everyone- and don’t forget to let us know what you are doing next!”

Adult Education Has A New Home In Crawley

Aspire Sussex, provider of adult learning opportunities across West Sussex, has a new Crawley base. From September 2020 we will have classes running from our new Crawley Centre in the Basepoint offices in Metcalf Way RH11 7XX.

Robyn Kohler, Chief Executive of Aspire Sussex said,” We are excited about the launch of Aspire’s new centre and the opportunity to build a new programme of courses for people living in and around Crawley. We will be starting with a small programme of face to face classes with social distancing measures in place. We also have an online programme of courses giving residents of Crawley and West Sussex the opportunity to gain skills for work, life, wellbeing and personal interest.”

The programme of courses includes, English, Maths, English for Speakers of Other Languages, employability skills, courses for adults with learning disabilities, languages, fitness, wellbeing, cookery, history, digital skills and much more! Many of Aspire’s courses have concessions (and some are free) for people on means tested benefits and low incomes,so please enquire for more information.

We are keen to hear from voluntary, statutory organisations or businesses in the Crawley area who may have clients, staff or volunteers who may have learning needs. We work in partnership with a lot of different organisations and can put on bespoke provision tailored to your audience. If you would like to know more about this, email communication@aspiresussex.org.uk to set up a meeting with our development team.

We are funded by and work in partnership with, West Sussex County Council to ensure that residents of West Sussex can access the skills and training they need to succeed.

The full range of day, evening and weekend courses can be found on our website: www.aspiresussex.org.uk, or contact us on 0345 601 0161 – why not try something new this Autumn!

Assessment Dates – English, Maths & English For Speakers Of Other Languages

Do you want to improve your English and Maths skills? Do you or does someone you know want to learn English as a Second Language?

Our English and Maths courses are taught in a friendly and supportive environment by tutors experienced in helping students achieve their learning goal.

Don’t feel daunted, call us on 0345 601 0161 to book now for an Initial Assessment, these assessments are held online where this is possible. Our face to face assessments dates will be announced soon.

Do you need a qualification to achieve your dream job like Karen?

Karen Hall Case Study (1)

Karen has taken several of our Level 2 Certificate distance learning courses, including Understanding Safeguarding and Prevent which she is doing currently, which lead her onto our Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (STLS) course. She is now a full time Teaching Assistant!

“I worked as a Food Service Assistant in a school for 7 years. When various staff told me I was great with the Special Needs pupils I wondered whether I could help them in class. I thought this was probably a step too far but got some volunteer hours and I absolutely loved it!

But I needed some qualifications to apply for a Learning Support Assistant job. I had heard about Aspire Sussex’s Distance Learning courses, which meant I could do my work at home so I wouldn’t have any childcare problems. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do the work but my assessor gave me the courage to have a go. My girls and I did ‘our homework’ every evening and I passed my first course within 3 months. 19 months later, I have just started my fifth distance learning course as well as branching out to the STLS course and I can’t see me ever wanting to stop learning!

After taking the STLS course, I can hardly recognise myself from the person I was 19 months ago. It is the support I have had from the school and my assessor as well as the understanding I have gained from the courses that have given me a belief in myself. I am sure it is this confidence that helped me get through a difficult personal time this year. My husband is delighted to see me aiming for a better-paid role and my younger daughter always found settling to homework difficult, but having Mum do her homework beside her has motivated her to do better. In school, I find it easier to relate to staff as course knowledge gives me courage to offer my opinion.

When I started the STLS course I had already taken three Distance Learning courses and felt more prepared than some of the other students. I found I could express myself better in assignments, relating the volunteering work I was doing with pupils to the understanding my courses gave me. I was able to help my fellow students in many ways. The more courses I take, the more I learn and the more the pieces of the Special Needs jigsaw fit together.
I am pleased to say that I have been offered a full time Teaching Assistant position at the school I am at, starting in September 2020.”

Her tutor Margaret says, “Over the past 19 months, I witnessed Karen on all stages of her journey as she grew in confidence and became the outstanding student she is today. At our first meeting, Karen was almost apologetic for daring to enrol on a course. She admitted to finding the workbook format daunting, but Karen never faltered in her target to complete the course within 3 months, asking relevant questions and re-wording her answers tirelessly until she achieved acceptable standards.

When I met her daughters, they were visibly in awe of their mum, sitting down each evening to do her own homework alongside them, and of the contribution she was making to the Special Needs department of their school. A few months into her learning journey, Karen met personal difficulties to which she showed remarkable strength and perseverance as she vowed to continue the learning.

In school, Karen was given more volunteer work with Special Needs students as her understanding of their needs increased and they began to pay for some hours whilst encouraging her to apply for the Learning Support Assistant job. During her STLS in-school assessment, I saw a confident Karen supporting a variety of children with learning difficulties, the highlight being when she introduced me as ‘her teacher’, telling them about her learning journey and how they should never give up on their dreams. Colleagues told me about the valuable work she was doing as she built relationships with vulnerable students and how her feedback to staff enabled new pupil targets to be set and achieved. Carrying out observations on STLS students on the same course as Karen, I was delighted to learn that Karen had spent time with them, motivating them to persevere and giving them the courage to succeed.”

If you would like to achieve a qualification like Karen contact us on 0345 601 0161 or email enquiries@aspiresussex.org.uk

‘All About Me’ Project Team Are Finalists In Employability Awards

Aspire Sussex, provider of Adult Education across West Sussex, is celebrating the news that the ‘All About Me’ project team are finalists in the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards 2020. The team have demonstrated that they are welcoming, open minded, forward thinking, accommodating, show empathy and think outside the box for solutions. Throughout Covid-19 delivery has seamlessly moved online with support being adapted to reflect the participants needs during this crisis.

The ‘All About Me’ project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. The project provides one-to-one coaching and group workshops to support participants and their families, that are furthest away from education or employment, to take steps towards or into education or employment. The team work with individuals to support them in multiple ways this includes addressing barriers, for example, health, learning, family dynamics, motivation and confidence building. Quote from a participant “It gave me comfort, strength and a gentle shove to get me motivated”

Robyn Kohler, Chief Executive of Aspire Sussex said, “The team has worked tremendously hard on this successful project so I am delighted that they have been shortlisted for the final. We wish them luck for the 22nd July when the winners are announced.”

There are currently spaces for new participants so please look at All About Me – Aspire Sussex on Facebook or @BBO_AllAboutMe on Twitter for information.

Alternatively, take a look at our website for information about these projects or the full range of courses and training provided by Aspire Sussex, Website: www.aspiresussex.org.uk, or contact us on 0345 601 0161

The All About Me Team

Do you know someone who wants to learn English like Hasan?

Photo of HasanHasan, a published author and originally from Bulgaria, is currently studying Functional Skills English for English For Speakers of Other Languages with Aspire Sussex. We recently asked him a few questions about why he had chosen to do this course and his experience so far.

“I have always been interested in languages, I like learning about the life and culture of the people I live with. Once in the UK, I decided to improve my English because this is important to my integration. In the first years, I worked hard and strived to have a maximum adaptation to life and work conditions. In the year 2018 when I was surfing on the internet, I found the Aspire Sussex website. I understood that the organization offers more and various courses and decided to apply for an English course. I see now that it has been the right decision.
I emailed and the answer of the Aspire administrator was kind and helpful. I applied and passed my entry assessment. After it, I have explained that I need a course that will give me more practical skills in my life and a better realization of the labour market. The assessor well understood my needs. Aspire Sussex offered me a course ‘Functional Skills English’.

My goal with Aspire is to improve my language skills. In general, I think that language learning is not an easy process. It takes time but the course allows me step by step to climb up to my goal. Even more, I upgrade my knowledge about the country and its culture. I am trying to make my things in English based also on the new knowledge I am receiving with each lesson. This is my attempt for transferring my skills. It is not easy and is a relatively slow process for now. My background in the UK is also important for the process of improving my skills. I am a member of Bognor Regis Local History Society and The English Place-Name Society they represent my main fields of interest. My language education at Aspire gives me support and additional motivation to be involved in social activities.

I have been impressed that the lessons are not routine, on the contrary, they are living with much fun. The presented knowledge is with practical usage. Although the course is in the evenings and a working person is tired, I feel excited. I often have opportunities to discuss interesting topics that give me knowledge but also energy to run away from the routine of everyday life. The most important factor for all described above is my tutor with her experience, specific approaches, patience, good organizing skills, and helpful always. I am improving my language skills at Aspire although not so faster I wish. As well as, I started to practice my new knowledge in the fields of my interests.

‘Functional Skills English’ is a course that covers the famous sentence “Non scholae sed vitae discimus” it gives knowledge for Life that all of us need.”