ASA Newsletter – December 2018

ASA Training

Mental Health Awareness for Frontline Workers
The date for 22 January 2019 is fully booked, but we are arranging 2 more dates for early 2019. If you have expressed an interest in this training, your name is on our waiting list, and you will be emailed with the new dates when we’ve got them finalised.

Stay Well, Stay Focused – Skills and Strategies for Managing High Workloads in Advice Services
We are arranging one or two more sessions for this course and will circulate the new date(s) when we’ve got them. In the meantime if you’re interested email us at

Take Charge of Your Career and Personal Development
Date to be arranged for early 2019

A repeat of the one day session first held in October is being arranged for next quarter.

Managing Workplace Projects Accredited Training
Final group dates to be arranged for around February 2019. We’ve got a waiting list, so we’ll email those on the list as soon as we’ve got the dates.

Our ASA Internal training delivery next quarter will include
How to do a PIP Appeal, a one day session on how to prepare for a PIP appeal (but not covering attendance at Tribunal); and Introduction to Universal Credit, a one day session delivered by staff from Citizens Advice Halton (where Full Service has been live for over 2 years).


We’re asking people to think about what learning they might need between May to July 2019 – as our procurement processes take a while to do, we’re asking for subject areas by the start of January, so we can do a short programme of learning before the summer holiday time.

As part of the May to July programme we’ll be thinking about different ways that people can learn, through things like Action Learning, mentoring, as well as training.  If you’re interested in different areas of learning, then speak to your line manager, or your ASA Link Staff.

Digital Champions Network

The Digital Champions Network provides online learning and other resources to help and encourage people to become Digital Champions.

So far we’ve got 18 Digital Champions signed up, and between them they’ve completed 132 short online courses including things like:

  • Digital Champions Essentials
  • Using your role to help get customers online
  • Using government services online
  • Helping someone with an accessibility need: working with people with learning difficulties and/or learning disabilities

If you’re interested in joining the ASA Digital Champions project then email us at

Learn Something Today

This Month’s Bitesize Learning

One of the seven ‘soft’ skills that can help you grow and succeed is Adaptability.

Adaptability as a skill refers to the ability of a person to change their actions, course or approach to doing things in order to suit a new situation.

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future” – John F. Kennedy

Adaptability is a natural skill, but it can be developed and mastered as well. Some tips to help improve your adaptability are:

  • Observe and monitor changes in your environment
  • Be willing to learn
  • Avoid procrastination
  • Acknowledge the fact that changes are likely to happen sometimes

For a range of Worksheets to increase your level of adaptability, and links to TED Talks and more, visit the Unimenta website.

Why not watch this 11 minute video:

The Adaptable Mind – a film that explores what skills we need in the 21st century – and illustrates that being human is the most important of all…

Listening is a key skill to have for good communication with clients, and anyone that you work with. 

We’re encouraged to have good communication skills in terms of being assertive and explaining ourselves clearly, but without listening to others we can’t find out what matters to them, what they’ve understood about what we talk about, or build better working relationships.

This article on the Power of Listening by Pete Lowe provides his Top 5 listening tips, and the article on listening by Skills You Need website has links to further articles on Active Listening and Types of Listening.

Developing in your role doesn’t always need to be about getting a different job, but does mean you need to think about what new skills you need.

This article explores ways you can reflect on where you are now, what skills you might want to develop for the future, and how you can start developing skills in your current job.

Advice Skills Academy has a range of ways you can start to think about the skills you need – from a range of bitesize learning, to the Learning Directory, training in ‘Take charge of your career and personal development’, and opportunities to be a mentor, or to get a mentor.

For a very short article on other ways to think about developing in your current role have a look at this Developing in your role article.

World Aids Day

1 December

World Aids Day takes place on 1 December every year. The day is an opportunity to focus on the fight against HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an Aids-related illness. 

World Aids Day is important because it reminds the public and governments that HIV hasn’t gone away.

  • In the UK there are over 100,000 living with HIV
  • Over 100,000 in the UK, with around 5,000 people diagnosed with HIV each year
  • It’s estimated that there are 36.7 million people across the world with HIV

In 2018 people are being encouraged to ‘Rock the Ribbon’ – Red ribbons are available in MAC Cosmetics shops, and selected Morrisons stores, or you can order one online for £1.50 at the National Aids Trust (NAT) website.

In Liverpool, the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Trail is being launched in November – to enable people to view North West quilts created by lovers, friends and families of people who died from AIDS. These 12 foot by 12 foot panels were last displayed in 1992 in Liverpool Cathedral – for more information visit the Sahir House website.

As 1 December 2018 marks the 30 anniversary of the first World Aids day, there is a candlelit vigil at St George’s Hall Concert Room, with guest speakers, ‘World AIDS day monologues’, Liverpool Community Choir, and an opportunity to view the memorial quilts.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

3 December

International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities.

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. People with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

international day of persons with disablities

In 2018, the theme is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’ – which focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

2 December

There are currently an estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery – 24.9 million in forced labour, and 15.4 million in forced marriage.

2 December each year is the date the United Nations has set as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.  The focus of the day is on eradicating modern forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.

Some more facts and figures (source UN website) on modern slavery:

  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million people in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
  • Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors.

Human Rights Day

10 December

70 Years Old This Year – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.


Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

For more information on the Declaration of Human Rights, including the full 30 articles that are enshrined in the declaration, visit:

If you’re interested in campaigning and getting involved in human rights issues have a look at the Human Rights Watch, or Amnesty International websites: