We hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend or found some time to rest in the week if you were busy working.
On the note of self-care, last week our provision was largely focused around Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), raising awareness to young people around:
Please click the link below to have a read of our May newsletter, offering an update on the online activities we have been offering to support young people throughout the lockdown – helping each in taking care of their mental health and wellbeing and generally staying positive!
The past week has seen us continue in delivering many different activities for Didcot and now also Harwell’s, young people to get involved in online including:
You may also be interested to watch a webinar Brian delivered for the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), following their generosity in granting us financial support from their Community Resilience Fund - created to support local community and voluntary organisations meeting the new needs and challenges created by the coronavirus. We are hugely grateful to OCF for the support and for inviting us to deliver the webinar, which sees Brian discuss the value the funding has had for us, alongside the adaptations we have made to our service delivery to ensure we can continue reaching out to young people throughout these strange times.
This week will also see Brian speaking with Kat Orman on BBC Radio Oxford Thursday morning, if you would like a listen! We hope all your weeks go well and you have lovely bank holiday weekends - or for those working, that you’re able to get at least a little rest in.
If you would like to receive email reminders for the weekly updates and/or our monthly newsletter please do let us know and as always we recommend advising all young people who would like to get involved in any of our activities to add our youth workers' professional accounts on Facebook and Instagram: Justina TRAIN, Charlotte TRAIN and Harry TRAIN who run all our various provisions.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and we continue to welcome you to please spread the word, to support us in reaching out to as many young people as we can in the area at this time.
Take care all.
The TRAIN Team
We hope you are all keeping well and were all able to enjoy the nice weather last week, even if just for your daily exercise outing.
TRAINwise we have been continuing to experiment with a range of activities for young people through social media, aiming to offer something for everyone! Our regular sessions and ‘virtual hangouts’ over last week included:
- Participation - thank you to all the young people who shared their thoughts and votes for potential themes for the new website being built behind the scenes for TRAIN!
- An art competition run for Earth Day, which it has been brilliant to have entries coming in for - raising awareness of the day’s important message of caring for our planet and the simple ways we can do so.
- Instagram poll’s were posted for Lunch & Debate sessions to spark conversations around a number of controversial topics (e.g. should animal testing be banned? Is social media a positive thing?). We received really positive engagement for these, with young people voting and posting their thoughts. Being anonymous, the polls offer the good opportunity for those who are perhaps usually less confident opening up before others to do so.
- Young Men’s Group had a very successful gaming session, a number of young people tuning in and enjoying the hour.
- More Kahoots quizzes - including one challenging young people on their citizenship knowledge!
In addition, we continued check-ins in with young people on a one to one basis to check they are doing ok throughout the lockdown period, as well as continuing our weekly structured sessions with those engaged on our one to one mentoring programmes. As we have a number of FREE spaces available for the programme, if you are aware of a young person who this may benefit, further information can be found on our Mentoring page. We welcome referrals from professionals and parents as well as young people themselves.
Another very exciting notice is that we are now opening up our provision to 11-18 year olds from Harwell as well as Didcot (or attending a Didcot school), so we welcome you to spread the word!
It was also a pleasure to be invited onto Radio Oxford’s Breakfast Show last Thursday ahead of Children in Need and Comic Relief’s Big Night In BBC 1. Justina has a great chat with Jerome Sale about CiN’s fantastic support in funding a number of TRAIN’s sessions, alongside various ways of supporting us. For a listen back head to bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0 and scroll to 2:42. TRAIN’s Chair Brian will also be speaking on the Kat Orman show this Thursday morning if you would like a listen!
To see our timetable for the week ahead please head to our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook page and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions for us, or wish to be added to our mailing list for reminders of our Weekly Updates and/or monthly newsletters.
Thank you for reading and take care.
The TRAIN Team
We hope you all had restful Easter weekends, or a past few days filled to the brim with chocolate if you have been working hard as a key worker.
The Youth Work team have been continuing to use a range of forms of engagement to keep young people uplifted over their very different to usual Easter breaks - from art tutorials to quizzes, video gaming and invitations to online sessions. One to one check-ins and mentoring have also been valuable for offering advice and encouraging young people in pursuing interests and hobbies around their school work. Across the week for example this included supportive discussions around sleep and relaxation in Young Women's Group and some virtual 1:1 sports coaching!
A reminder that we are now accepting referrals for free virtual 1:1 mentoring sessions for young people aged 11-18 living in Didcot or attending a Didcot School, so we encourage you to head to our Mentoring page for more information if interested.
Please see our timetable for the current week below, which will see us continuing to offer regular opportunities for young people to gain support, interact in a positive space with peers and engage in some light hearted fun. Please spread the word! As always, if you have any questions or ideas for us, or wish to be added to our mailing list for reminders of our Weekly Updates and/or monthly newsletters, please do get in touch.
Thank you all and take care.
The TRAIN Team
Today marks a sad day as we say goodbye to Alice! Having been with TRAIN for the past 4 years, it really won’t be the same without her.
Coming into the charity as the only Youth Worker, she has gone above and beyond to build it up to the team of 6 we are today, to whom she has been a wonderful leader as Director of Youth Work Services. Whilst doing so, she has never failed to always put the young people first. From designing numerous holiday programmes to the mammoth planning involved in the France residentials, alongside expanding our regular programme of mentoring and detached work, she has created countless opportunities to inspire and empower Didcot’s young people. We can’t thank her enough for her dedication.
You will be greatly missed not only by us, but by Didcot as a whole! Although we are very sad to lose her, we wish her the all best in her new role at Ark T where we know she is going to inspire many many more 🌟
We hope you are keeping well considering things at the moment. With the increasingly stringent government guidelines, TRAIN’s Trustees came to the decision last week to pause all face to face aspects of our delivery for the time being, abiding by their duty of care to staff and the young people TRAIN supports.
In order to ensure staff can continue to reach out to young people and vice versa, for now we have made the switch to running all provision virtually - please see our current programme below. It is obviously a learning process adjusting to this online format, but we were really pleased by the engagement we came to have across the week.
Staff largely focused on checking in with young people, considering the huge change in lifestyle each are facing. Over the week many conversations were held with young people and a range of tools experimented with, from games to group chats, to explore what engagement methods and activities are of most interest to them. Live social media videos proved to be particularly great for running a number of activities including:
Digital platforms also have their benefit in enabling Justina to continue one to one mentoring sessions with a number of the young people she has been working with at UTC. We hope to take up a number more for sessions over the coming few weeks also.
We look forward to the coming week to plan more bits and pieces for the young people to look forward to.
If you have any questions about what we will be offering online for the week ahead, please do get in touch. Otherwise, thank you as ever for your support. It has been so brilliant to see the sense of community that has grown throughout this period so far, from all working to bring out the positive in the negative!
The TRAIN Team
It was really positive to have a busy, energised week of provision last week. Highlights included:
Considering the strange circumstances we are currently experiencing and the health and safety of our TRAIN community being very important to us, the coming week will see us taking steps to prevent the further spread of cold, flu and the COVID-19 virus.
For the time being our group mentoring, outreach and detached sessions will be continuing to go ahead as usual, but staff will be working from home during time in between. For the upcoming week’s provision please see the timetable below. We will be updating and posting the schedule each week through staff Facebook accounts, as well as any updates on cancellations.
Further guidance on TRAIN’s response from the Trustees:
Didcot TRAIN is following government advice on how to proceed with coronavirus.
Symptoms of coronavirus include:
- A new and persistent cough
- A fever
If you are exhibiting these symptoms, please self-isolate by staying at home for 7 days
- Use NHS online for updated advice
- Phone NHS 111 if symptoms deteriorate or persist
People exhibiting symptoms will be required to leave Didcot TRAIN premises and encouraged to self-isolate
- We are ensuring our staff are informed about the latest government advice at every team meeting
- Our staff, volunteers, and young people are encouraged to regularly wash their hands using warm water and soap or hand sanitiser (with at least 60% alcohol content)
- Our staff, volunteers, and young people are encouraged to use tissues to trap bodily fluids during sneezing/coughing
Young people experiencing symptoms are also being welcomed to video call youth workers during sessions to get involved from the sofa instead!
Take care and stay positive 🌞
The TRAIN Team
We hope you have all had great weekends. To offer an update on last week here at TRAIN, sessions across the past few days have included:
We hope the coming week is a positive one for you all. Please get in touch if you have any questions for us over the coming days or if you would like to be added to our mailing list for reminders of the weekly update and/or monthly newsletter.
The TRAIN Team