SSG Together Newsletter – January & February 2023

Our SSG staff team are extremely important to us, so when we can, we like to support them in their own activities.

Sharing, Caring, Community.


At SSG we have been helping children and young people to learn to swim for almost 20 years, with our swim schools being one of our very first projects. 2023 brought us a new milestone in our Fish2Water Swim Schools with over 700 swimmers per week being reached meaning we are supporting more families than ever with their water safety and swimming development.

We have continued to grow and develop our support of pupils in several secondary schools, with a new ‘Alternative Education’ programme in partnership with Lincroft School Alternative Education. Tutor and Business Development Coordinator Nicole has been working hard with a group of learners to help their personal development and future steps focus.


Everything we do at SSG has to adhere to a high standard and be achieving the right outcomes for everyone involved. This was clearly evidenced with the news that after a short December trial, St John’s Special school in Kempston would continue to bring in our Active Schools team to deliver aspects of their school Physical Education lessons. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this another new successful area of delivery for SSG and thanks to the school and their staff for making us welcome and their support in making this work so well.

We are extremely committed to support young people who want to develop their own skills in sport leadership, whether to transfer to other areas of interest or as an entry point into employment with ourselves at SSG and the Sports & Activities Services. It’s for this reason we have, through our Foundation, offered fully funded scholarships for young people in school years 9, 10 & 11 on a 12-week ‘Sports Leaders Level 2 Course’, in which they are shown the core skills to sport leadership and given invaluable leadership experiences. This year’s first course kicked off in January and is proving very exciting with 16 amazing young people who will hopefully be part of the workforce of the future.


We have been delighted to report record levels of client and partner engagement taking place as we kick off 2023, with over 25 working partners referring more than 200 adult learners to our courses already. Our business development team have been operating at full steam in towns across various counties to provide as many people as possible with the vital employability opportunities they need to ensure they have the best year & future possible.

We were delighted to have been a core part of the recent Bedford Borough SEND Family Fun Day. SSG & Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum planned and implemented a fantastic day, working with several partner services and hundreds of families. There were so many smiles and happy families, and it was a delight to see. This showed us what a great need there is for events like this for families who have children with SEND where there is no judgement and families who have the same struggles can get together and talk whilst their children are having fun.

Some of the feedback we received from parents:

"Just wanted to say a massive thank you for yesterday’s event. We all had such a great day and it was refreshing to be amongst a group of parents who are in the same boat"

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for today. My children had an absolutely amazing time. It was so well organised, with such a huge variety of activities for people to choose from. Never before have we been to a SEN event that actually feels like it’s being run by people who fully understand autism”.

“The huge response shows the absolute need for this!” “Thanks so much the event was super great! We all had so much fun specially the volunteers helped us so much. Very well organised” ‘‘It was a brilliant day, thank you to everyone who ran it, my son had a great time!”

‘‘We want to say thank you so much for organization Family Fun Day on 11 of January. We are enjoy it a lots and what you made it was fantastic day for kids and they parents. Thank you so much” “I attended the fun day with my kids on Saturday. It was a truly enjoyable experience for me and my kids. They loved it. It was well organised and your staff for very pleasant and friendly. You had good activities to keep the kids busy and entertained.”


We are delighted to have received confirmation that our desire to continue to support families with high quality school holiday provision has been achieved with the approval for us to continue to deliver the Governments ‘Holiday Activity & Food Fund’ (HAFF) programmes across Bedford Borough for another year AND to start to delivery into Central Bedfordshire for the first time. The additional funding opportunities will allow even more eligible families access our amazing and popular programmes. We plan to be establishing more school holiday club sites throughout 2023 and can’t wait to work with even more families.

Instilling an aspirational attitude is a theme we thread through all of our educational programmes, and we love nothing more when our students are able to truly recognise their potential and achieve their hopes and dreams for their future. This was really demonstrated by recent feedback we received from one particular adult learner:


While we have always done all we can to be inclusive to children and young people with ‘Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities’ in our programmes, we had a wonderful opportunity to really take this forward a few years ago with the introduction of a short breaks club for families, where children and young people could spend Saturday mornings with us, doing fun activities independent of their parents/carers. Not only have we secured funding to continue this service for and beyond 2023, we have been asked to introduce two new weekday evening clubs which we are all really excited about at SSG. We cannot wait to get started.

We pride ourselves on ensuring our staff develop a deep and broad understanding around differences to facilitate total acceptance in what they do and who they work with. This was at the core of training we recently facilitated over two CPD days. This included a relaxed and fun approach to getting to know each other better and identifying the positive differences between staff members’ strengths and experiences and how together they form a stronger and more effective team.


The SSG College team had a wonderful experience while attending a super positive school engagement event in Milton Keynes recently. We attended the Southeast Midland Careers Hub for Secondary School headteachers, careers leads and local post 16 providers. This landmark event was the first of its kind and we were delighted to be a part of this wonderful and extremely important event and look forward to being part of many more.

While we love doing loads and loads of positive things for our customers, students, families and partners, we also love to sometimes take some time and do things for our amazing staff and we did just that at the end of January when a whole bunch of us had a fun filled evening at Hollywood Bowl. There was some friendly competition and lots of laughs through the evening.

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