ASA Newsletter – April 2018

Welcome to the April edition of the Advice Skills Academy newsletter.  This month we’ve got bitesize learning on Learning to manage your attention, Stretch Assignments, and tips for using Microsoft Word – to help you be a Word whizz.

We’ve had feedback from people on our last newsletter, which had bitesize learning on Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts.  People found it really useful, and quick and easy to access, so we’ve included another IT based bitesize this month.  Missed the March edition of the newsletterClick here for the Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts 

7 April is World Health Day – which helps us all to remember that not everybody has access to the health services they need, that are affordable, and of a reasonable quality. This year marks the 70 anniversary of World Health Day, with the theme ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere’.

25 April is National Administration Professionals Day in USA, New Zealand and elsewhere (but not the UK) – but is an opportunity for us all to recognise and thank our administrative staff for all their hard work and support.

ASA training sessions in April:

19 April – Moving into leadership and managementA few places left

27 April – Universal Credit Problem AreasFULLY BOOKED

Learning Story

Hitesh Patel

CEO Citizens Advice Halton

We’ve all heard of the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”; it refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with a single image, or that an image of a subject can convey its meaning or essence more effectively than a wordy description does.

I used to enjoy drawing and painting at school, so for the last couple of months I’ve been learning how to doodle and draw. 

I haven’t got the time to attend any classes so, like many of us do when we want to learn something new, I watch YouTube videos. This learning isn’t going to make me into a graphic designer… I’m doing it because it’s fun, it’s relaxing and it’s helping me improve my creativity skills… Improving my creativity is something that also has its uses at work, as it helps me be more creative when thinking about fundraising and service delivery improvements.

One thing that interests me is the idea behind “Google Doodles”, which appear at the top of their search pages to celebrate people or events – these images make people curious, so they click on the image to read about the person/event being celebrated.  Imagine how fabulous it would be if we could create images that pique the interest of our clients, staff, volunteers, funders and other key stakeholders?

Learn Something Today

This Month’s Latest Bitesize Learning

With instant access to information and communication through the internet and social media, there’s never been a better time to get information as and when you need it, or keep up to date with people. But when there’s so many demands on our attention, sometimes the more opportunities there are, the more the distractions can impact on our ability to really focus on priorities.  This article explores why and how you can learn to manage your attention to achieve more.

Click to read the full article

The Mission has articles and podcasts on everything from Life and learning, to Tech and fitness, and Science and makers. The Mission aims to provide articles and podcasts that “make smart people smarter”. To see a range of articles, or subscribe to their newsletter visit the Mission website:

This article is a collection of tips that will help you save time when you’re using Microsoft Word.

If you seem to spend time formatting the same report every month, or every week, you can learn about ‘Quick Styles’, which changes the format of text in seconds, and if you’ve always wanted to know how to view two documents side by side, then this article is for you.

These 11 lesser-known tips can help to make Microsoft Word your new best work friend.

Click to read the full article

Stretch Assignments may sound like the latest craze in keep fit, but they are actually about stretching yourself in terms of your work and learning.  Stretch assignments (as they are known in the US) are planned and supported opportunities for workers to take on more responsibility and/or leadership and management tasks on a short term basis, to ‘learn by doing’. 

Experts in modern workplace learning have identified that one of the best ways to learn is to learn by doing, with support from a mentor, and opportunities for reflection being key parts of the process in stretch assignments.

If you’re interested in learning by doing, or you’re a manager that could have opportunities for staff to ‘stretch’ their experience, skills and knowledge base, have a look at these links to information on stretch assignments.

7 April is World Health Day, and this year marks the 70 anniversary of World Health Day.  The theme for World Health Day is ‘Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere’.  World Health Day is a reminder to us all, that Universal Health Coverage is something that many countries are still fighting for.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. UHC doesn’t necessarily mean free health coverage for all health interventions, but does mean that people have access to the services that address the most important causes of disease and death, and that the quality of those services is good enough to improve the health of the people who receive them.

In the 70th anniversary year of World Health Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on global leaders to live up to pledges they made in the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. WHO seeks to gain commitment from leaders to make concrete steps to advancing the health of all people.

To get involved in working towards Universal Health Coverage you can:

Communicate your needs, opinions and expectations to local policy-makers, politicians, ministers and other people representatives.

Make the necessary noise to ensure your community health needs are taken into account and prioritised at the local level, including through social media.

Invite civil society organizations to help raise your community needs to your policy-makers.

Share your stories as affected communities and patients with the media.

Organise activities like discussion fora, policy debates, concerts, marches and interviews to provide people an opportunity to interact with their representatives on the topic of UHC via media and social media.

For more information on World Health Day and the World Health Organisation Click Here

National Administration Professionals Day

(in USA, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong)
25 April 2018

On 25 April, in America and other countries, it’s National Administration Professionals Day.  There’s no similar day in the UK, but even without a national day, we know we’d all be lost without the support, hard work and patience of our administrative support colleagues.  Thanks to all of you!