SSG Together Newsletter – March & April 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.

Widely diverse Easter school holiday clubs

We feel so strongly about acceptance, we try our best to offer a range of provision that allows all children an opportunity to experience positive social opportunities through the school holiday periods. Easter 2023 really emphasised this for us as we were fortunate enough to have over 200 children and young people join us on a daily basis across a range of different projects and clubs in multiple venues.

Our regular Bedford based school holiday club catered for over 100 children per day with a wonderfully engaging themed curriculum of activities.

We also rolled out the same Active Care project across Queens Park, Shefford and Clapham.

In addition to our mainstream projects, we had opportunity to provide a range of activities and clubs for our highly valued SEND community with some wonderful inclusive opportunities.


It was a fantastic Easter for everyone and for that we want to thank our amazing team working so hard behind the scenes and in front of the participants to make it all go so successfully well.

Operation YES – Luton

SSG Services rolled out Operation YES (Youth Engagement Support) in April 23, based in the town centre of Luton working with young adults who have been previously part of the care system.

The aim of the project is to provide employment mentoring support to assist the individuals access work-based experience to build their CV for stronger career applications.

Working closely with Luton Borough Council Adult Skills, SSG asked Directors Chris Watson and Dan Yusuf to dust off their delivery skills and undertake the mentoring roles.

The first cohort has engaged successfully, with 11 individuals who are currently working through the employment engagement package with their mentor’s support and looking positively towards securing their first placements. Watch this space for future updates.

Stepping up with the set up!

We wanted to highlight the importance of a high standard and timely session set up with a shout out to our aspiring instructor Harry, who shared this picture of his recent gymnastics after school club.

There are many reasons why an appropriate set up is important:

  • shows you’re organised and ready for the session;
  • demonstrates creative planning for the session;
  • keeps your session safe for the participants;
  • engages and excites the participants on arrival.

Well done Harry for leading by example and keeping those standards high. We look forward to receiving more shared pictures of top rate set ups from instructors in the future.

The VALUE of a short ESCAPE away

Our recent leadership away day focused on driving our company values with greater impact throughout the business and all areas of its activity. We spent the morning at the amazing Box End Park in one of their meeting suites, sharing ideas, providing a much needed break away from the hectic day to day operations to allow our creative minds to explore and roam.

We then continued the temporary escape from day to day by locking everyone in a room, an Escape Room. They then spent the next hour in two groups bonding (that’s what we’re calling it) trying to race against each other to be the first to find their way out by completing a range of challenges, tasks and brain teasers. Great fun!

We finished the afternoon with a lovely Turkish meal and all went home for the weekend refreshed and refocused to ensure our leadership at SSG is as on point as it can be.

Bedford College Student Careers Event

Our very own Adam went along to Bedford College for the SSG debut at one of their wonderful employer engagement events. He spent the morning speaking to students interested in sports coaching as a possible career.

He shared with dozens of young people what it’s like to learn with SSG Sport Coaching Academy and what it’s like to work for SSG Services as part of both a market place and visiting small groups.


The whole event was fantastically positive and Adam came away with lots and lots of contact details of interested people who we hope to work with in the future. This is the first step in what we hope will be a well overdue working relationship between the town’s biggest post 16 education provider and the town’s biggest private activities and education provider. We are truly delighted and excited with this progression in our relationship..

Adventure & Challenge Staff Training

During the Easter school holidays we were able to put together a full day of comprehensive training for staff relating to our ‘Adventure and Challenge Experience’ projects.

This included how to facilitate and instruct on a wide range of team building activities, as well as our climbing wall, archery, archery tag and giant inflatable activities.

Over 30 staff members took part, preparing them all for another busy summer of projects at SSG including allowing them to competently work on our newest project ‘Adventure at the Manor’ for adults.

Feedback from the tutoring team leading the training was that everyone was super engaged and demonstrated exciting abilities in their safe and effective delivery to ensure we maintain the highest standards across all aspects of our services.

Well done to everyone involved and we look forward to reporting on future events you will be involved in delivering.

Teaching SSG College Students to save lives

Keeping people safe while with us on projects is a critical ingredient to the service we offer.

A group of staff from across the whole company came together to take part in one of our internal first aid courses facilitated by our very own Danny Burke.

Having fun whilst learning serious stuff was the perfect mix for those involved.

Staying Safe with our Sports Leaders

Sport & Activities ran a special ‘safety in sport’ workshop for our current cohort of ‘Young Sports Leaders’ who hope to progress into fully fledged members of the SSG team.

This course looked at a range of aspects of safety including people, equipment and venue through interactive activities.

The trainee candidates are reported to have been ‘on the ball’ with all aspects of safety and understanding dynamic risk assessments which is brilliant news to know our participants will continue to be in safe hands with the future staff of SSG.

Well done to the young leaders who took part in this session.

Just another day helping people access employment

Hannah took a trip out of the office to represent SSG at the Jobs 22 Partner Job Fair in Milton Keynes.

Providing much needed information, advice and guidance to many potential learners trying to decide what path they plan to take on the next steps of their career journey is so important to us and Hannah is an expert at having the conversations to decide where best for them to start their search.

Whether they choose to do something with SSG or another option we are always happy to help each individual we meet.

Double trouble representing in Hemel

The Job Centre Plus Hemel Careers Event didn’t know what had hit it when our Business Development tag team of Paul and Nicole visited to represent all things SSG Education and Training.

Another in a series of amazing JCP hosted events, bringing individuals looking for next step solutions together with employers and training providers to create a positive, ‘can do’ atmosphere and lots of some outstanding and impactful outcomes.

Despite Paul admitting his dislike for selfie style photos, with Nicole’s help we think they hit the bullseye with this one.

These JCP events are a critical to bringing all stakeholders together and allows us, along with the other providers and employers, to access the people who need our services to improve their lives and futures.

Keep up the good work Paul and Nicole.

‘Positive Praise’ of the highest order.

We receive lots and lots of positive feedback at SSG about our projects and our amazing staff but we thought this one deserved a special mention in the newsletter.

This was sent to us by professional colleague at another organisation, specifically about Mike in our Education and Training Department. We all know how amazing Mike is as a tutor working with adults in an impactful and inspiring way.

But to get this form of feedback is nothing less than outstanding and we are all super proud of Mike, as well as very grateful to have him as part of the SSG team.

We don’t know exactly what Mike’s secret ingredient is in achieving everything he does when he teaches people, but we pretty sure he must really enjoy his role and what he does to help people as he is always incredibly positive.

A massive well done, Mike and thank you for all you do for your students and for SSG and your team.

"I had the pleasure in working with Mike Sheldon on a few occasions now and I have also been very impressed as an employer on his professionalism, calm and caring manner and the amount of knowledge that he shares with all participants. I have always been impressed how he navigates in one group several possible sector interests and still makes the learning and experience fun and tailored to each sector.

As an employer I find his communication exemplary and always keen to understand what makes Choice Teachers the place it needs to be.

I couldn't recommend Mike and SSG MORE!"


A double return for the SSG ladies

Everyone at SSG was excited at the news that our two rugby superstars Emily and Emma were able to make a return to the field in March to represent their team Bedford Blues Ladies.

Both ladies had been out for a significant period of time with long term leg injuries, so it was tremendous to see them back on the pitch and playing before the season ends.

Their determination and commitment to their recovery is typical of both SSG managers who show this kind of attitude to everything they do at work and is one of the reasons both have followed similar journeys from instructor to department leads (which in itself is an incredible achievement).

We are looking forward to seeing them both have a much more game time next season and see their positive progression inside and outside SSG.

MOVING onwards and upwards

That’s a wrap. End of an era. Historic moment. After almost 20 years working out of the Alexander Sports Centre on various levels, we have had (as far as we believe) the final day in that relationship.

After 9 months of planning and building new relationships with partner venues, and two weeks of executing operation the BIG MOVE the final items were loaded onto vans, rooms completely cleared and cleaned, and multiple skips filled as we departed the venue which has been central to our operations and host to some of our biggest projects for the last five years.

We want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has contributed to making the relocation to all the different venues happen and in particular to those who were heavily involved over the final couple of weeks.

The hard work and commitment to making this happen was demonstrated particularly by the team on site on the final day who ‘grafted’ non-stop, to ensure everything was done in the time frame. The pressure was on but they stepped up and smashed it out of the park. Great work everyone.

Now we can all focus on the new beginning and fresh starts we have ahead of us across a range of amazing new venues, including:

  • Great Barford Primary Academy for our Gymnastics Academy & School Holiday Active Care
  • Woodlands Manor, Clapham for our Adventure & Challenge Provision
  • Bedford International Athletic Stadium for our Inflatable Parties
  • Ursula Taylor School, Clapham for School Holiday Active Care
  • Westfield School, Queens Park for School Holiday Active Care
  • Robert Bloomfeild School, Shefford for School Holiday Active Care
  • Raleigh House, Bedford for SSG College and Fun4All Active Care

We hope these are just the start to many more great new relationships as we grow and expand our amazing projects locally.

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