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who we are


asphaleia started with four staff all sharing a passion for meeting the needs of children and young people and a willingness to take a risk!


From those beginnings, asphaleia now comprises a limited company and a registered international charity. These operate as four ventures. We use the word venture because it carries the sense of adventure that has led us on our unique and fascinating journey. The three different ventures sitting within the company are; care, fostering and training. asphaleia action, our charity has been pioneering new projects to meet ever increasing needs of young people both in the UK and internationally for almost 20 years.


mission statement


The asphaleia mission is simple – to impact as many lives of children and young people who have experienced disadvantage as we can. We believe it is a simple, but very powerful mission that drives forward every aspect of our delivery and ensures we place children and young people at the heart of everything we do.


We aim to achieve our mission by;


  • Delivering a diverse range of services to children and young people that contribute significantly to their development and well being in various regions 

  • Providing support services to the organisations that work with children and young people 

  • Creating new services 

  • Creating and delivering additional charitable projects that deliver innovative, action based services to children and young people




We believe:

  • The inherent value, equality and significance of the individual regardless of ability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and political viewpoint.

  • The importance of an individual’s unique sense of identity and their cultural and family origins.

  • The importance of delivering our services within a framework that includes appropriate policy, practice and procedure ensuring our staff work towards the best interests of the children and young people we work with.

  • The potential of every individual to make progress. Whilst we are empathetic & professional regarding a person’s history, our focus is always on this potential.

  • The power of choice. asphaleia’s programmes & services stimulate reflection to empower people to make informed choices.

  • Setting boundaries to ensure a safe environment for everyone.

  • The significance of the client/worker relationship in contributing to creating excellent outcomes for our service users

  • Any problem can be solved; there is always an answer.

  • In creative thinking. Innovation is encouraged as it may lead to improved care.

  • In valuing the work and opinions of others we work with through support and encouragement as well as constructive criticism.

  • In providing excellent value for money to those who purchase our services.

  • In listening to our service purchasers and users in order to evaluate, improve and develop our provision.

  • Staff and volunteers are our primary resource for delivering services of excellence. Their growth will be the fuel for the growth of the organisation.


Our values are summed up by three simple principles and these, when in action, create the asphaleia way of doing things. When working with children and young people, other professionals or colleagues we believe service and co-operation can only begin to be achieved to a high standard by considering the world of others. However, we believe it is not enough to solely believe the world of others matters – this is only a starting place. The asphaleia group believe in demonstrating our value of those we deliver services to, those who pay for our services and those we work with in every possible way.

Finally, we believe we should aim to do everything well. We realise excellence is a journey and not a finitely achievable thing. Therefore even when we have done something well we should then aim to do it even better!

Click here to see who we work with.

our founder

Dave Cottrell, CEO of asphaleia, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2015. This was a deeply shocking and upsetting experience for Dave’s family, staff and all those associated with asphaleia. 

Dave was passionate about children and young people, believing that all had the right to a positive future, the right to have the opportunity to dream big and ultimately, the right to believe that they are worth something valuable.


When a young person arrives at asphaleia all previous labels are removed; whatever has led them to us, we offer them the chance to start over. Dave did not want any young person to think they were not worthy of people who supported them to achieve their ambitions and their goals.


His dream, vision and sheer determination to provide alternative options for vulnerable children and young people was, and still remains, the driving force behind asphaleia and all who work here.

Many staff will speak about being inspired by Dave and throughout your interaction with asphaleia he will be referred to. His passion and dedication to the care and investment in the potential of young people has shaped the organisation we are.

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