Suffolk Adult Learners Awards 2015.

Wow what a night, Catching up with old friends and making new ones to celebrate Suffolk Adult Learners Awards 2015.
Phoenix Rising Achieved Runner-up of Tutor of the year, Runner-up of Learning project of the year for our Citizenship Course and Nominated for Learning Project of the Year for our Relationship Course.
We would like to to thank everyone for their support and nominations, as well as all our students, who are all awesome :o) !
And a big big thank you to Realise Futures for their support and funding, without which none of this would be possible.

Ria & Adrian Citizenship Course 11406319_1622402264643078_110461696323781580_o  10003814_1622403141309657_3081888652296122863_o

Learning Disability Awareness Week – Hear My Voice

Students from Phoenix Rising would like to tell you their stories about living with a disability share their achievements and raise awareness of their Hand of Friendship project. ACE Anglia will explain how they support people through advocacy.

Location: Conference Room, Landmark House

Date: Monday 15 June 1:30 – 3.30pm

Please come and show your support.

Adult Learners Week Award

Ellen nominated Ria for an Adult Learners Week Award from the National Voice of Lifelong Learning and Ria received a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of her commitment and dedication to learning and inspiring others.

Ria Adult Learners Week
Ellen nominated Ria for an Adult Learners Week Award from the National Voice of Lifelong Learning and Ria received a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of her commitment and dedication to learning and inspiring others.
Members of The Hand of Friendship join Ria to say congratulations
Members of The Hand of Friendship join Ria to say congratulations

 

Congratulations to all Phoenix Rising students who completed the Citizenship course, we can now announce we have just received a Certificate of Achievement from NIACE (The National Voice for long Life Learning) in recognition of your commitment to Adult Learning. Adult learners week 2015
Congratulations to all Phoenix Rising students who completed the Citizenship course, we can now announce we have just received a Certificate of Achievement from NIACE (The National Voice for long Life Learning) in recognition of your commitment to Adult Learning. Adult learners week 2015

Website Launch

Today we launched our new website website and Facebook page at the Info Bar in Bury St Edmunds! Phoenix Rising Directors were joined by Kate Evans (Manager at Leading Lives), staff from Leading Lives, Deborah Charles (Community Safety Co-Ordinator, Suffolk Hate Crime) and past students! Everyone had a great time and the cakes were delicious!

We had a fantastic response to our new website and you can see the photos of the launch in our gallery!

 

 

Love Your Vote Day

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Parliamentary Outreach team were unable to attend and the day was re-organized and the
Love your Vote workshops were run by Ria Towill and Adrian Figg from Phoenix Rising and Kate Evans from Leading Lives to enable people to find out about the importance of voting and politics on their day to day lives. A call went out and the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, local councillor, Deborah Charles Community Safety Coordinator and Chewy from ACE came to the rescue, 50 plus students including Info- bar customers attended the morning and afternoon sessions.

Deputy Mayor and Councillor Patrick Chung spoke about his job, how he became a councillor and what this meant to him. He also answered questions about his job and issues that concerned Phoenix Rising students and Info-Bar Customers
Deputy Mayor and Councillor Patrick Chung
spoke about his job, how he became a
councillor and what this meant to him. He also
answered questions about his job and issues
that concerned Phoenix Rising students and
Info-Bar Customers

The Deputy Mayor had a very positive reception and a number of challenging questions like “Why can we not use our bus before 9.30am” and “do you get paid for being a councillor”

Everyone the morning session was actively involved with questions to Beccy
Everyone the morning session was actively involved with questions to Beccy
A panel made up of The Mayor, Deborah Charles and Chewy made the final decision on which of the projects form the afternoon groups would get the £1000. This being the development of Abbey Gardens as this would be accessible by the whole community and bring money into the area which could be used for further projects
A panel made up of The Mayor, Deborah Charles and Chewy made the final decision on which of the projects form the afternoon groups would get the £1000. This being the development of Abbey Gardens as this would be accessible by the whole community and bring money into the area which could be used for further projects
The students and customers were so motivated by the speakers that the discussions carried on during the breaks
The students and customers were so motivated by the speakers that the discussions carried on during the breaks
Partnership working at its best, Deborah Charles, Chewy, The Mayor Robert Everitt, Kate Evans and Ria Towill who brought together a positive day and Phoenix Rising is supported and funded to deliver the citizenship course by Realise Futures which enables us to empower people to have a voice in their community.
Partnership working at its best, Deborah Charles, Chewy, The Mayor Robert Everitt, Kate Evans and Ria Towill who brought together a positive day and Phoenix Rising is supported and funded to deliver the citizenship course by Realise Futures which enables us to empower people to have a voice in their community.

BILD Confrence

Three Girls from Suffolk go to co-facilitate at a British Institute of Learning Disability (bild) Conference in Bristol 3rd October 2014

From left to right: Debbie Charles Community Safety Co-ordinator – Manager of Suffolk Hate Crime Service, Lynn Cross, Consultant for Lapwing, Ria Towill, Director and Tutor for Phoenix Rising
From left to right: Debbie Charles Community Safety Co-ordinator – Manager of Suffolk Hate Crime Service, Lynn Cross, Consultant for Lapwing, Ria Towill, Director and Tutor for Phoenix Rising

“BILD is the British Institute of Learning Disabilities. We want people with learning disabilities to be valued equally, participate fully in their communities and be treated with dignity and respect.”

www.bild.org.uk

Debbie Charles spoke about Mate Crime and how this can affect individuals, where you can go for support and the importance of reporting Mate Crime.  Debbie highlighted how this can affect the way people see the imbalance of a one way friendship and, through good support, education and better understanding of how mate crime can affect you, vulnerable individuals can be empowered to control their friendships and have a better understanding of how the law can protect them.

Lynn Cross spoke about the importance of understanding the different relationships we have in our lives, from professionals, friends, family and Adult Relationships, highlighting where the differences are, the depth and many steps it takes to have a trusting relationship.

Ria Towill spoke about the importance of understanding yourself and communicating to others your needs wants and desires and practicing safe sex, opening the question if you don’t understand yourself how you can expect others to understand you.

An element of the workshop was to empower people to look at their own safety and part of this was to enable people, many for the first time, to look at and hold different types of male and female condoms. This was well received and a very upbeat workshop, one conference attendee said “I am not comfortable describing words about sex”, but later felt comfortable putting a condom on a teaching aid.  “I have never been allowed to do this before, I loved it and I did not know there were so many different coloured condoms.” Hearing this made it worthwhile travelling from Suffolk to Bristol.

The conference for me was full of remarkable individuals who shared their positive stories about having relationships and getting married. But sadly for some in society, their lives can be made difficult  because they have fallen in love and want a relationship, and how we as a society can put up so many barriers saying that people with learning disabilities do not have the capacity to fall in love.

With positive support and enabling people to communicate their feelings, taking the time to understand individuals (only 7% of what we communicate is verbal) develops an holistic approach in the way we teach and support individuals to accomplish their aspirations.

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

Thomas Merton
This conference raised awareness of the barriers people, surprisingly in 2014, still face in their everyday lives, encouragingly many individuals and their partners have safe, mutual respect and loving relationships.

Reflecting the conference whilst at Liverpool street station at 10pm and eating a pasty and drinking coffee, is this not an aspiration for all of us?

This is my reflective thoughts of a positive and uplifting conference I would like to share with you.

Ria

 

National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Working in partnership with Deborah Charles, Community Safety Co ordinator – County lead for ASB & Hate Crime Service and Kate Evans, Manager Leading Lives and Info-Bar and Realise Futures.

Monday 13th October the vigil candle starts its journey at IO Radio, Ipswich where Kate, Ria and Debbie are interviewed by Ben on the importance of Hate and Mate Crime, how it effects people and the significance of education and independent support working in partnership to empower people to find their voices, to be respected and respect themselves.

The next time Phoenix Rising meets up with the vigil candle is on Wednesday 15th October where Ria and Kate talk to students, customers and staff about what is Hate Crime and what is Mate Crime. By reading out different scenarios they had to decide for themselves if this was Hate/ Mate Crime or something that is acceptable within an equal friendship, ensuring that they have confidence and can make informed choices even though they are perceived to be vulnerable.

phoenix rising meets

Phoenix Rising as part of their Citizenship course are looking at what makes a good Citizen and what are your rights and responsibilities.  They launched an election for The Hand of Friendship, which will give a peer to peer contact and support  to discuss any Hate/Mate Crime issues. This is run as a fair and democratic election, with candidates being nominated through speeches, individual campaigning and actions, leading to a secret ballot.

The students/Customers at the Info-Bar fully endorsed the Hate and Mate Crime campaign and the Hand of  Friendship as many had been affected by these issues and they felt this was a way of taking control and ownership of their own lives and moving things forward by leading by example.

PC John Firth, has committed himself to support the Info-bar in this campaign, and with students and customers came along when they met with MacDonald’s who have endorsed and joined the Stay Safe Scheme which will ensure vulnerable people have safe havens to go when out and about in town if they feel victimised.

Friday 17th October began for Ria and Deborah with an early morning live Radio interview with BBC Suffolk with Etholle George

The vigil candle arrives at BBC Suffolk at 7.20am.

Talking about the importance of education and partnership working and community as a whole being aware and reporting Hate/Mate Crime, and if you are victim knowing that there is support for you.

On Friday evening The vigil candle is finally  lit at The Mix, Stowmarket and reflections and thoughts for all victims.   Also present at the Vigil was Assistant Chief Constable David Skevington.  Ria and Kate had the opportunity to explain the Hand of Friendship to him.

Kate presents Assistant Chief Constable David Skevington with his Hand of Friendship badge which he wore with pride
Kate presents Assistant Chief Constable David Skevington with his Hand of Friendship badge which he wore with pride

.

Ria holds out her hand of friendship.
Ria holds out her hand of friendship.