This is why it's ALL WORTH IT!
This is the part of our website that makes all the hard work worth it. Please click on the images below to hear directly how we've made a difference to children and young people. Further down the page you can see further successes presented by volunteers, sponsors and care professionals.
Four years on with Aspired, David has blossomed, the joint commitment of his Aunt, Aspired Futures and his school has given him a future. He can now integrate in a group and has begun to recognise his own behaviour management.
Tracy currently attends a small group, every Thursday to ensure we can provide her with a one to one throughout the session. Tracey has a flair for textiles and enjoys making things. She appears proud of her achievements. She likes praise.
During the 2 months that Kim has been with Aspired Futures, she has shown a flare for art and always volunteers to help out. Her smile has appeared.
“When you come here and you listen to the other kids stories you can’t believe they can look so happy and then you feel you should get on with it as well, if they can be happy after what they have been through then I feel I should try to be happy as well”
M aged 15
“I like it when someone picks me up about 9.30 and everyone chats in the car on the way, it makes me feel happy”
R aged 8
“When I come here it gives my mum and dad some space to get everything sorted and I get to play”
C aged 9
“It gives me a chance not to be naughty and to be good, I am better behaved now”
J aged 10
“I can do things I can’t at home, I’m learning to drum, I love it”
N aged 11
“I was scared when I came the first Saturday but it was brilliant and I hoped I would be coming back as in the past people had promised me things but let me down but I have been coming over a year now things in my life have changed, I went to a foster place and now I have contact with my mum”
H aged 10
“If I wasn’t here I’ll just be sitting at home, here I got to do a lot of sport”
A, aged 11
“Gives my mum a break, time on her own. Stops me getting into trouble, I get led easy so if someone tells me to do something I’ll do it. This keeps me away from those people. I like gardening.
J aged 12
“If I didn’t come I’d cry my eyes out at home, I’ve got lots of friends here”
C aged 11
“I have been here for 2 years and this has meant a lot to me and I have learned a lot of things and I have confidence in me”
A aged 13
“I started with Aspired Futures 4 years ago. I came because I have ADHD and my mum wanted me to come because she thought it would help both me and my mum as my mum sometimes struggles with my behaviour at home. Since then I have made lots of friends and my life has been changed for the better. AF has made me more confident, getting me involved with Drama, performing in front of an audience. I am now involved in the football on a Monday which keeps me going throughout the week. AF has helped me to control my behaviour dramatically which has helped my mum when I am a t home. This year we had the opportunity to go to the Lakes where we did scrambling and climbing on the high ropes. This experience gave me confidence and also an opportunity I may never get again. I have recently joint the Junior Board for the Sandcastle Waterpark, where I can give my views to the rest of the team”
L aged 14
‘Aspired Futures support quite a few of our vulnerable cyp and their families, they offer a wrap-around package at the weekends and out of school hours. We praise the work they do, this reflects in the children and young people’s school life. Aspired Futures carry out deep sensitive work taking children out and empowering them and their parents.’
Kim West St Marys high school
‘I have worked with Aspired futures for the past year. As a professional I would highly recommend this service to any child/young person. Aspired Futures has enabled a child I currently work with to engage in positive activities, socialise with other children and has enabled this child to become more confident and feeling of safe and secure. I believe aspired futures work with children who are living or have a complex or chaotic life who require some support outside of the home. Aspired futures is set in a lovely homely building where the children are able to participate in a variety of activities, have one to one support and have their needs met. This child I work with has experienced high emotional needs to be met and professionals who are able to understand him to a high level. I believe this has been achieved.’
Social Worker Blackpool Council
‘Aspired Futures provides a long term stable environment for the children who feel safe and learn emotional, social and life skills. They build on their education and get support in this area also. Children grow in confidence, friendship groups and value positive activities aspired futures provide. Children with life trauma and difficulties are able to access a specialised provision consistently on a regular basis offering them familiarity and a safe place. The staff are helpful and share information proactively in a multi-agency work setting.’
Families in Need Social Worker Blackpool Council
‘Aspired Futures is an agency who provide one to one support for children from the most deprived backgrounds. This improves not only the physical health of the children by teaching them basic life skills, such as preparing meals and self-care activities, but provides fun activities, exercise, e.g. gymnastics. Children often present with very challenging behaviour due to their home environment and Aspired Futures provide a high level of staff to child ratio so that every effort is made to keep them involved. The children receive high levels of emotional support and love. Aspired Futures are in it for the “long haul”. This is the only agency I know of who provides this long term child focused support for children from socially deprived backgrounds. Statutory agencies are often involved with whole families for short periods only.
I hope with your help, Aspired Futures can continue their fantastic work.’
Barbara Wilson, School Nurse
‘Since starting at Aspired Futures in September 2014 I was made to feel most welcome by the staff, other volunteers and the children. The whole place has such a warm, family-like feel to it, where everyone looks after each other and
works together for the common good of the children.
I love the enthusiasm and wholehearted commitment shown by all involved. Aspired Futures to me is not just a place children come to experience new opportunities like a youth club may be, it is much more than that.
To me, Aspired Futures provides life-changing nurturing, mentoring and positive experiences that will shape the lives of children forever. Without Aspired Futures these children would have little hope of making it through. I know the people, staff, volunteers and students who work here will not let the children down. The children know this and that’s what makes them feel safe and secure.
What sums it up for me is when I heard one child describe Aspired Futures as, ‘my other family’.
Long may Aspired Futures continue!’
‘Having successfully run drama fun clubs in four local primary schools, since 2008, I felt that such a club would be of significant benefit to the children at Aspired Futures.
In October 2013, we ran a pilot drama fun-club, to run over a twelve-week period, on Saturday afternoons at Kensington House. Eleven children joined the club and it was agreed that the play to be performed should be one previously performed at one of the schools. The school in question agreed to host the performance and to invite parents and children to attend. Following discussion with the children, new characters were introduced, dialogue edited, amended, removed and added; and new songs were introduced.
Every single child performed confidently in front of an audience of strangers. Every one attended regularly. Every one learned something new, engaging fully and enjoying learning. Every one left the hall on performance night, with a smile on his or her face.
Throughout the twelve weeks, the behaviour of the children and young people was exemplary and there was a definite sense of group solidarity. On the few occasions upon which individual members became emotional, or experienced temporary difficulties, their fellow members were supportive and encouraging.
Feedback from the audience was outstanding. In a school in which high quality performance has come to be the norm, the children and young people of Aspired Futures had excelled. They received a standing ovation, not out of kindness, but because they had earned it.
Mike Brabin, Drama Consultant
‘My name is Barbara and I decided to become a volunteer when I retired from my job as a secretary with the NHS. Earlier this year a friend of mine introduced me to Aspired Futures.
From day one I liked the concept of the organisation and the shear dedication of the professional staff that run Aspired Futures.
It’s so rewarding to be a volunteer amongst the children, to help them with their social skills, to be creative, focus on their goals, and reassure them when they need it, to watch them grow into responsible teenagers and generally enjoying themselves.
Recently I joined a group of children and staff for their weeks’ vacation to lake Coniston, It was amazing to watch the children encouraging one another to join in all of the activities and each day watch them grow in confidence.
I consider myself very privileged to be able to work with such a worthwhile organisation.’
‘My son, being on the Autistic Spectrum has had a very difficult start in life, but thanks to the excellent work by Aspired Futures he now has a Future he can Aspire to. Aspired Futures have helped to turn my autistic son’s life around, giving him a safe environment where he can learn new things and improve on his social skills.’
‘Our foster child Chloe feels that she has been pushed from pillar to post by other services involved in her life over the years, but AF really makes her feel wanted and cared for and that there is a future’.