Enhance your learning with a Distance Learning course

Clare has recently finished our Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health Distance Learning course and has found that it has supported her role working with Primary school aged children, helped within her home life and has helped her consider taking on a new career.

I have really enjoyed this course. The content has been of great interest and of a suitable and sufficient depth to enhance my learning, and support my role working with primary children. I also have two children aged 10 and 13, and the course has at times, instigated reflection on my own parenting and challenges. I am considering a career in teaching (currently working as a teaching assistant) so this course has provided a good foundation of knowledge. Whilst my previous employment has always been focused on adult mental health, this course has helped me understand the mental health challenges for younger children.

I am a great believer in developing positivity, resilience, and mental wellbeing and this course has helped me cement my knowledge and understanding and provide real structure as to how this can be further accomplished.

Find out more and enrol on our FREE Level 2 Distance Learning courses today, with nine new courses now available, on our Distance Learning page.

International Women’s Day 2021

For International Women’s Day 2021 the theme is #ChoosetoChallenge. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. For this International Women’s Day we interviewed Robyn Kohler, CEO of Aspire Sussex to celebrate her lifetime of achievements.

“I have been asked to write something today about International Women’s Day, and to embrace the #choosetochallenge.

I am in fact quite proud and privileged to be asked to do something like this, as for all of my working life, success has always taken me by surprise. I put success down to doing what I believe in, really believing in what I’m doing, and having the courage of my convictions to carry something through.

The other essential ingredient is ensuring that I have a good team around me who respect and value each other’s similarities and differences, and take the opportunity to promote each other’s success as much as their own.

I’m fortunate to have attended an international girl’s school- in a school of 300 we had 200 different nationalities, and our ages ranged from 4 to 21. Difference has been celebrated throughout my life and I am lucky that this has been my norm. It therefore sits with everyone to ensure that we are working towards it being a norm for us all.

At my first job interview after university I was turned down- I was told I was too nice to do the job….

It brings out a level of determination in you, that’s for sure! I have always been determined that it is possible to succeed without losing integrity, and operating with kindness.

I went for another identical job-I was appointed – and by the time I left work to have my daughters I was 150% of my target…Apparently being nice is not a bad attribute to have and should never hold us back. I guess the trick is to take up the challenge, speak up when things don’t look right, and embrace change.

Now, some 35 years later, I am lucky to be working in an organisation where I can give something back to communities, and in a way, to colleagues too. We include this way of working in our behaviours and values.

In the week of International Women’s’ Day, take risks, believe in yourself and take the opportunity to celebrate your own and others’ success.

And remember, however quiet and unassuming you may be, you have every right to have an opinion.”

Looking to develop your skills for a new role like Sarah?

Sarah has taken two distance learning courses with Aspire Sussex since the start of the pandemic, helping prepare her for a new career path after being furloughed and then made redundant.

“I was furloughed by my employer at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and saw it as an opportunity to make time to develop my skills and learn something new. As a mother of two primary school age children, I have experienced first-hand the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of my children and their peers. When I saw an advert for a distance learning course in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health with Aspire Sussex, it seemed the perfect opportunity to increase my awareness and understanding and put myself in a better position to support them.

I hadn’t formally studied in over 15 years, so the thought of ‘going back to school’ was initially quite a daunting prospect. However, I need not have worried. The induction meeting with my assessor was very reassuring and I quickly established a routine to complete the coursework around my other commitments at home. My assessor has guided and supported me through every step of the course; giving regular constructive feedback, encouraging me and helping me to improve and refine the content of my coursework. The whole experience has been enlightening and a huge boost to my confidence.

When I was made redundant eight months into being furloughed from my job, I used it as an opportunity to consider the future of my career and decided to embark on a second distance learning course with Aspire Sussex on Safeguarding and Prevent. I have since secured a new job at one of the leading sixth form colleges in the county, where the knowledge I have gained from both of my courses with Aspire Sussex will be invaluable.

I am so glad that I decided to study with Aspire Sussex as it has given me insight into a new profession and helped to guide me on a new career path. I would heartily recommend Aspire Sussex to anyone considering adult education as an ideal route to achieving your personal aspirations.”

Find out more and enrol on our FREE Level 2 Distance Learning courses today, with nine new courses now available, on our Distance Learning page.

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

Latest Government Guidance

31st December 2020

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2021.

We have reviewed the latest Government guidance, issued on December 30th 2020, and are therefore delaying the start of face-to-face learning this term. If your course is online, this will continue as planned. For those of you who have enrolled on a face-to-face course, our team will be sending you an email to inform you of the delay. We expect face-to-face learning to start on the week commencing the 18th January but will let you know if there are any further updates.

We hope to welcome you back to our centres soon and look forward to seeing you online in the meantime.

Best wishes

The Aspire Sussex team

Helpful Christmas Information

This Christmas will be a bit unusual for us all, so we’ve put together some helpful, practical Christmas information to help make it a bit easier!

Recycling and Rubbish collections at this time of year can be a bit difficult to keep up with. Not sure when yours will be? Check out Rubbish Collection Days on the West Sussex County Council website to find out when yours is! Definitely need to visit the tip? There’s also help on their website about local Recycling Sites opening times and information about their services. Do you know which wrapping paper you can and can’t recycle? It’s all down to how it scrunches! See the video below for a demonstration!

Interested in reducing your waste overall? West Sussex County Council even provide information on how to Reduce Your Waste, with information on best practises for composting, cooking and shopping!

On the more personal side, there is still support available from West Sussex Mind for those struggling with mental health. It is especially important with everything going on at the moment to take a moment to check in with yourself and see how you are doing.

Christmas Cheer

This year, we all need a little pick up so we’ve put together resources to help you out and to inspire you over this Christmas period!

Christmas Food and Drink
Treat yourself and your family to some delicious Christmas food, from Christmas dinner to festive desserts, with a fantastic range of Christmas recipes from BBC Food and Olive Magazine. If you want to get your little ones involved in some cooking, CBeebies have an easy guide for cooking and decorating Gingerbread Reindeer for you to do together!

Do It Yourself Christmas Ideas
For those of you looking to get crafty over the Christmas period, Gathered has a whole archive of fantastic crafting ideas and projects, including Christmas and Winter themed ideas. For any garderners out there, the National Garden Scheme has a great Winter Gradening To-Do List to help you keep your garden in tip-top shape!

Fun Activities For Your Kids
This Christmas break could be quite different than what your kids are used to but we’ve collected some ideas to keep them busy! If you have a back garden, try to complete the 50 Things Activities To Do In Your Back Garden list from the National Trust or try a Classic Outside Game suggested by WIRED.

If they want to stay inside, they can learn Coding at Home with West Sussex Libraries, local history with the Amberley Museum’s Family At Home Activities, or science with online games and apps from the Science Museum.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources
Christmas can be a difficult time for people and this year has already put a lot of extra strain on people’s mental health. If you need some help or support with your mental health, Young Minds, Mind and Age UK have helplines you can contact and online resources available. For those looking for guidance with their physical health, the NHS Fitness Studio has free online workout plans with advice on exercising in general. If you have any concerns with your physical health, please visit your GP.

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