Didcot TRAIN Youth Project


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:

  • The importance in being mindful of their wellbeing
  • Practices and coping strategies to support their mental health (MW)
  • Where they can go for support
  • The importance in looking out for others so we can all support each other’s wellbeing - kindness being the theme for the week this year





Hello all! In a similar fashion to prior weeks, last week saw the youth work team offering a range of activities and means for young people to access our support.

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! 

If you would like to sign up to our mailing list to receive email notifications for the newsletter and/or our weekly updates please do let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sending us a message through Facebook @Didcot TRAIN. 

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:

  • Instagram polls to encourage reflections on a number of thought-provoking statements, building young people’s critical thinking and communication skills. Example topics from this week ranged from: 'friendship is the most important relationship in life' to ‘social media promotes healthy lifestyles'. 
  • Drawing tutorials to demonstrate to young people how simple and calming it can be taking up some art.
  • Daily plan tutorial - a great way of inspiring young people to have a go at adding more structure to their days throughout the lockdown period, helping them stay motivated to get everyday tasks and school work done and stay positive as a result!
  • Kahoots quizzes - this week including one centered around fake news and COVID19, to enhance young people’s awareness of the potential inaccuracies that can crop up throughout the media and the importance in us sharing accurate information for both the sakes of ourselves and others. 
  • Regular 1:1 check-ins and structured mentoring with those signed up to our free mentoring programme - please click here for further information on how to make a referral. 


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. 

Best wishes,

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. 

Best wishes,

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. 

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team






It has certainly been an unexpected past few weeks, with us having to swiftly adapt to the current circumstances, but they have equally brought much positivity to reflect on. For an overview of all the term has brought, please have a read of our latest newsletter.

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 🌟

Alice leaving


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:

  • Joining in on the colourful message being spread nationally using rainbow drawings – young people joined Charlotte drawing their own to display in their windows as a sign of hope
  • Treasure Hunt – a number had a great time running round their homes excitedly searching for the 10 items given to them to find by Lisa and Charlotte
  • Clap for the NHS – many joined Charlotte for the hugely worthy clap the country carried out for the NHS last Wednesday
  • Daily Plan tutorial – young people were shown how to plan their days in a creative and fun way, empowering them to take a positive approach throughout this period and instead embrace it as a time for personal growth.

Daily Plan Charlotte

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!

Take care,

The TRAIN Team

Timetable 26.03


TRAIN’s Trustees are taking the coronavirus outbreak very seriously. Intending to maintain delivery as much as possible, we must also abide by our duty of care to our employees and the young people TRAIN supports.
Considering the updated government guidelines, the decision has been made to pause all TRAIN’s face to face delivery for the time being. All provision will instead be run virtually, including former group sessions and also with added new opportunities - please see our renewed timetable below. This will ensure staff can continue to reach out to young people and vice versa in this confusing and unsettling time for them. Young people can connect with the Youth Work team and gain updates on sessions through friending them on Facebook: @JustinaTRAIN @LisaTRAIN @CharlotteTRAIN @HarryTRAIN. 
Explore More 2020 has also been postponed due to the travel restrictions in place and insurance implications. TRAIN will seek to schedule alternative dates once circumstances change.
The Trustees are continuing to follow government advice as well as listening to other youth charities in Oxfordshire, actively seeking to minimise risk for each aspect of delivery. In the meantime, please do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all in regards to any of the above by: emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., calling 07305042427 or messaging us through Facebook @DidcotTRAIN. 
We do hope you are all keeping well through these difficult circumstances. 
Timetable 26.03

It was really positive to have a busy, energised week of provision last week. Highlights included:

  • Outreach at Aureus: Harry and Lisa enjoyed visiting on Tuesday to engage with young people during their lunchbreak - a really positive opportunity for young people to get to know the team better and, as a result, the additional support they can access from TRAIN outside of school hours.
  • Young Women’s Group: great discussions were held around the topic of passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour, exploring how to handle difficult situations in a positive way.
  • Young Men’s Group: stereotypes was the subject of this week’s session, addressed through many a team building game.
  • Dinner and Debate: Tuesday’s hour saw young people given hard hitting questions to discuss, covering a number of areas from drugs to terrorism. Resulting in a heated debating battle, it was great to see them exercising their skills in persuasion and assertion, whilst also being open to alternative viewpoints, some coming to switch opinions throughout. Many interesting views were also shared in Thursday’s session focused on disability awareness. It was clear certain young people left the room with completely different attitudes towards the topic and inspired to look out for others witnessed being stigmatised.
  • Head Start: young people engaged very well in sessions focused on how to recognise different feelings, manage negative emotions in a healthy way and passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour.

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!


If you have any questions on any of the above (or anything completly un-coronavirus related!), please do not hesistate to get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., through our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook page or calling 07305042427.

Take care and stay positive 🌞

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Timetable 16.03.20

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:

  • Detached: this week’s detached proved particularly important for keeping us aware of local ASB, both witnessed by staff and communicated to us by local services in the Orchard Centre. Meetings have been arranged with impacted agencies to enable us to support one another in addressing matters. As always, young people were discouraged from engaging in negative behaviour and encouraged along to our sessions.
  • 1:1 Mentoring: young people undergoing mentoring programmes at UTC and Aureus engaged very well in their weekly session, areas explored including wellbeing, food and mood and anxiety.
  • Young Women’s Group: this week’s session revolved around food and sleep, with a quiz and lots of interesting discussions.
  • Head Start: another positive week of sessions with Aureus and Stephen Freeman primary schools, focused on the topics of reputations and the affect of stress on the body. 
  • Dinner and Debate: a couple of extremely energised sessions with lots of young people coming along! Lots of good ideas were shared on peer pressure, looking into different scenarios. A number of opinions voiced by young people have also brought about ideas for topics there would be benefit covering in future sessions.
  • Young Men’s: another positive session, including participation centered discussions around community activities the young people may be interested in getting involved in over the coming weeks.
  • Friday Fitness and Chill: it was brilliant to have a number of young people come along again, as usual enjoying having a positive space to socialise in, whilst taking it in turns to do one on one pad work with Lisa.

Other news:

  • Last week also came with some sad news with Alice, Director of Youth Work Services, sharing that this will be her last month with us at TRAIN! Having been with TRAIN for the past 4 years, it really won’t be the same without her. Inspiring does not even begin to cover the dedication she has shown to TRAIN, building it up from being just 1 Youth Worker strong to the team of 6 we are today. She has truly gone above and beyond to support all the young people who have engaged with her over the years. We wish her the best of luck at her new opportunity with Ark T. 
  • It has also been very exciting to begin planning for this year’s Explore More intensive personal development programmes in France, set to take place this Summer!
  • It was a lovely surprise to be donated £80 from the Ridgeway Division of Trefoil Guild, part of Girl Guiding UK! Rather than organising a typical Secret Santa, the group had the very kind idea of each generously contributing a donation this Christmas. We are incredibly grateful to all at the group so a very big thank you.

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.  

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

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