Didcot TRAIN Youth Project


Dear all, 

We hope you all had great weekends. To sum up last week at TRAIN, a few bits we got up to included:

- Head Start - Week 2 of the programme delivered at Willowcroft and Stephen Freeman Primary Schools, which again were very well received. This week's sessions were focused on enhancing the Year 6's understandings of how to manage stress, in order to better take care of their mental health and wellbeing. 

- Young Women's - a busy session focused around our 'Reach Out' activity, whereby the young women were encouraged to consider the different services and individuals they can reach out to for support, writing them out onto paper hands as a regular reminder. This was also complemented by fun playing board games and a bit of Just Dance! 

- Detached and Outreach - sessions around the town proved effective, as always, for keeping us informed of local matters and interacting with new young people over hot chocolate. It was fantastic to see many who we had met then coming along to Dinner and Debate. 

- Young Women's Football - our first session at UTC's outdoor pitch, considering the increasing challenge in running sessions at Edmunds with the darkening evenings. The new environment made for a really focused session, until the heavy downpour! 

- Dinner and Debate - a couple of great sessions, one involving watching 'Deep It' - an Award Winning short Youtube film about knife crime - and the other focused on stereotypes, for which young people offered some really insight ideas around. 

We also had fun celebrating Children in Need throughout the week - this included Alice and Justina being interviewed on the Kat Orman Show on BBC Radio Oxford Thursday morning, to discuss TRAIN's life skill programme CIN funding has been supporting. It has been wonderful to see the progress in young people who have engaged in the life skill sessions across the year, so their discussion was a brilliant reminder of the funding's incredible value. It is still available to be listened to back, so scroll across to 10 minutes in through the following link to have a listen! https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07rtdyg

​Also a little request - a​s we are hoping to run a couple of fundraising stalls at the Street Fair next week, we would be really grateful to receive ​any donations of tombola prizes or cakes! So if you have any spare tins lurking at the back of your cupboards or other prizes or baked goods, feel free to pop into the office or to get in touch! 

As always, if you have any ​alternative ​questions​ for us​ or wish to sign up to receive​e​ email reminders for the Weekly Update and/or our monthly newsletter​, please also let us know. Thank you for reading​ and ​I hope this week is a good one for you all​. ​  

​Kind regards, 

the TRAIN Team​

In celebration of Children in Need's Annual Appeal Week, it was fantastic to be invited by BBC Radio Oxford on the 14th November to talk about the valuable support TRAIN has received from CIN over the year.

Alice and Justina had a brilliant discussion about the life skill programme the funding has enabled with the very welcoming Kat Orman. 

Click the following link and scroll across to 10 minutes in to have a listen back!


With there being so many young people across the country going through incredibly challenging times, the value of all donations to the appeal is huge. We wish the BBC all the best of luck for an incredible success of an a week!


Have a read of our November newsletter for a summary of our youth work delivery over the Autumn so far. 

Dear all,
Following our action packed October half-term, last week proved a great start to the run up to Christmas:
  • Head Start - it was very exciting to launch our new Head Start programme, delivering group mentoring sessions to Year 6's in local Primary Schools. This follows on from the importance we have recognised over the years in working with the lower end of our 11-18 age range. Students at Stephen Freeman and Willowcroft Primary Schools engaged excellently in the sessions delivered around promoting wellbeing and mental health. We look forward to observing each growing and developing over the coming 6 weeks in their self-esteem and emotional wellbeing.   
  • Young Men's - a representative from drugs, alcohol and gambling support service Aquarius, delivered a fantastic session with the young men about the risks associated with substance misuse and harm reduction.
  • Participation - many young people got involved in art and crafts and discussing ideas in preparation for the Christmas Street Fair. This also included going out their comfort zones to visit local businesses to ask for donations and support, which we were very grateful to receive brilliant responses from.     
  • Detached and Outreach - lots of young people were met around the town after school and in the evenings, with a large degree of interest from new young people to come to sessions. 
  • Dinner and Debate - young people had fun playing the debate focused game 'The World Cup of Everything' and also offered their ideas on rules to be followed in sessions by forming a group contract. All took this very seriously, the majority even being enthusiastic to ban the use of phones during sessions!
Keep an eye on our staff Facebook pages for updates on all we get up to this week. With this week being the annual Children in Need Appeal Week, we are particularly looking forward to being interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford Thursday morning to discuss the valuable support we have received from CIN over the year!
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or if you wish to sign up to receiving email reminders for the Weekly Update and/or our monthly newsletter. 
Kind regards, 
the TRAIN Team

With christmas fast approaching it is time for us to start thinking about our Annual Midnight Ice Skating Trip hosted by Oxfordshire Youth.

This trip is open to all young people (11-18) we will need to know numbers by December so make sure you pick up a letter from our office or download the form below. Return to the office and this will then secure your place!!!


Saturday 21st December


Oxford Ice Rink


Young people to make their own way to TRAIN Office. Minibus/ staff cars will pick us up and drop back to the office. 


10:30pm return for 1:30am (we strongly recommend that young people are dropped off and picked up but untimely this is not our responsibility)


£5.00 per person

If you wish your young person to be part of this trip, please fill in the parent Information from and consent form attached and return it to the TRAIN Office 118, Broadway, Didcot, OX11 8AB

Deadline for returning the form is Friday 6th December 2019.

If you require any further details or assistance with finance for the trip please do contact me on 01235 519315.

Dear all,

Last week made quite a lively end to October at TRAIN, having a few different activities on for half-term which included:

  • Kickboxing – a brilliant session delivered by Lisa which a number of young people. The activity proved a really positive release for each, all enjoying learning the techniques, most taking it really quite seriously!
  • Movie night – lots of young people came along for a relaxed evening watching a film and tucking into pizza.
  • Pumpkin Carving at Dinner and Debate
  • Thorpe Park – young people had an exciting (and brave) trip to Thorpe Park’s Fright Night on Friday evening. Grumbles raised when the time came to reconvene and return home shows how thoroughly the night was enjoyed!

With young people obviously being out and about around the town more so than usual, much detached and outreach was also held across the week.  This supported our ability to react to individual’s arising needs, supporting where we could and offering reminders of the additional activities we had on across the week.

Our regular timetable will run this week, with the addition of our new Head Start group mentoring Programme. The programme, focused around topics including mental health, positive behaviour and self-esteem, will take place both in primary schools and as an open session at the office for Year 6’s and 7's. Considering the local demand for wider support for those below the age of 11, we are really very excited to begin running the programme and observing its outcomes.

If you are aware of a young person who may be interested in coming along to the open session Wednesday evenings 6-7pm, please get in touch with us to sign them up!  Take a look at the project page for further details.

With that, we hope you all have great weeks as we head into November and please get in touch if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Dear all,

As we edge towards the end of October already, here is a few snippets of what we got up to last week here at TRAIN:

  • Young Men’s – a workshop in First Aid, as the young men work towards certification with the Red Cross
  • Young Women’s Football – those who came along engaged really positively in a bit of training at Edmunds Park
  • Detached and Outreach – good sessions throughout the week, including lots of young people coming along and enjoying some pizza at our bean bag set up one evening, reducing their engagement in anti-social behaviour and substance misuse.
  • Social Action – young people came along for Didcot Town Council’s Litter Pick at Great Western Park on Saturday. All did a brilliant job, especially considering the early morning start and the drizzly, windy weather which made it quite a challenge working with the flapping bin bag and prizing up the damp litter!

With this week being half term week we have a number of fun activities for young people to get involved in, including a Halloween themed outreach night on the night itself and a trip to Thorpe park’s Fright Night. To see the week’s schedule head to: https://www.didcottrain.org.uk/about-train/news/october-half-term-is-nearly-here

We also have news that after receiving a fantastic response to our new Head Start programme from primary schools, we are now also going to be offering an open Head Start programme on Wednesdays 6-7pm: for any young people living or attending school in Didcot in year 6 and 7. Each programme will compromise of 6 sessions, focused on promoting wellbeing and exploring mental health. Parents will need to sign up young people beforehand by so please get in touch with us if interested and for further details take a look at https://www.didcottrain.org.uk/what-we-do/projects/head-start-programme

We hope you all have really great weeks. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, queries on 01235 519315 or through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

October half term is nearly here take a look at everything we have going on. 

Dear all,

We hope you have all had great weekends. To run over what we got up to last week here at TRAIN, highlights include:

  • Young Women’s Group – young people engaging well in a Drugs and Alcohol focused session.
  • Young Men’s Group – this week centred around enhancing the young men’s awareness of the UK voting system through team building games and discussions.
  • Dinner and Debate – a fun session, building the young people’s communication and debating skills through various questions from the book ‘The World Cup of Everything’!
  • Football – young people had another great kickabout at Edmunds.
  • Detached – many young people were met out on detached, a great opportunity as always for building rapport.

We also had exciting news, launching our Head Start Programme for year 6’s attending local primary schools. The group mentoring programme will be centred around topics of well-being, mental health, positive behaviour and self-esteem. We welcome any Primary Schools interested to please get in touch.  

Also congratulations to TRAIN volunteers Rhonda and Darren who were runners up for The John Eldridge Award at this year’s Didcot Town Council Awards Evening for their volunteering over the past year. Both are incredible assets to TRAIN, going above and beyond to support our work: not only in their support to our regular provision, but for example securing tickets to shows at the Cornerstone, organising a walk for young people round White Horse Hill, Darren joining on our residential to France this Summer, amongst much more! We are hugely thankful for their dedication to TRAIN and inspired by their commendable generosity to the community as a whole, so appreciate the recognition they gained from the Council at the ceremony.

The evening itself was a brilliant opportunity to celebrate all the work being carried out by so many in Didcot to better the lives of those around them. A really inspiring occasion.  

It is also important that we thank the rest of the TRAIN Volunteer team for their dedicated support to us and who are all hugely worthy of awards as well! The energy, ideas and enthusiasm they bring to TRAIN and the young people is huge part of what makes TRAIN the positive, inspiring place to be that it is. We are incredibly grateful for them all.

On that note, we hope you all have good weeks and please feel free as always to get in touch with us if you have any questions for us on 01235 519315 or through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Dear all, 

I hope you are all well. To offer an update on last week at TRAIN, highlights in addition to our detached, outreach and one to one mentoring included:

- Young Women’s and Young Men’s – ‘Be the Judge’ was the focus of this week’s sessions: an interactive website developed by the Ministry of Justice to educate on court sentencing, by allowing the young people to put themselves in the judging seat by evaluating various scenarios. Real-life cases the young people were introduced to were based around teen crime and drugs.

- Dinner and Debate – two positive sessions based around team building games and ‘Bite the Ballot’, enhancing understandings of the voting system. Two young people did really brilliantly individually taking a lead on large parts of each session.

- Participation Pathway – more planning was carried out by a number on the Pathway for Didcot Street Fair and ‘TRAIN Fest’: a fete/festival type event Harry plans to run next Summer! You may have also been given one of our timetables on Saturday by 1 of 4 young people who did a great job enthusiastically handing them out along the Broadway on Saturday.

- Young Women’s Football – a number of young people came along for their weekly kickabout, despite the drizzly weather.

We also had a brilliant meeting with our volunteer team to catch up and discuss more strategic matters - a really positive opportunity to ensure they feel fully involved at TRAIN, considering how key each of them are to our work. We also welcomed Eleonora to the team, who will be supporting Harry with his Participation Pathway meetings!

To enable us to deliver as many sessions as we can, we are always in need of more volunteers. So a reminder to take a look at our volunteering pages if you may be interested or know someone who might be: https://www.didcottrain.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteering-with-train. We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for your support and as always please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

We hope the miserable weather today does not stop you having enjoyable weeks!

Kind regards,

The TRAIN team

Dear all, 

I hope you have all had good weekends. 

It was very sad to receive the news last week that our previous Chair, Michael Howlett passed away. We really cannot thank him enough for the love and commitment he put into TRAIN over the years, without which we would not be able to offer the level of support we provide to Didcot’s young people today. He was a true Unsung Hero, quietly working throughout his life to the greatest benefit of the people of the town. We will miss him and his regular drop ins to the office greatly.  

In regards to our provision schedule, last week was very busy, but really very positive. As the young people are gradually getting to know the new staff better, there has been a rise in energy and general enthusiasm to engage throughout our weekly sessions. 


Highlights of the week include:

- 1:1 Mentoring – Justina carried out mentoring at UTC and DGS with a number of students, continuing to build relationships with each.

- Young Women’s – a really brilliant session based around the ‘First to a Million’ interactive film. Addressing the risks of online activity, the film gave the young people power to influence the scenario by responding to options given throughout.

- Young Women’s Football – a fantastic turn out of 10 young women, who had a great time engaging in a match. 

- Young Men’s –  6 young men put on their creative caps to design and make milkshakes before pitching their creations. All thoroughly enjoyed the session, even showing lots of enthusiasm to tidy up all the chocolate wrappers afterwards!

- Participation – Harry held two sessions with young people keen to gain greater responsibility at TRAIN, during which 3 were awarded Young Leader and Ambassador titles! Lots of mind-mapping was carried out of ideas for various projects they would like to pursue. 

- TOPAZ – young people who came along enjoyed watching the documentary Queer Eye.

- Dinner and Debate – two positive sessions with team building games (‘Splat’ and Million pound drop) and discussions, as well as the all important Gregg’s delivery. 

- Detached and Outreach – a number of young people were met by the team during their visits around the town. 


To hear about all we got up to over the previous month please have a read of our latest newsletter: 



We hope you all have lovely weeks and, as always, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. 


Kind regards,

The TRAIN team



Take a look at our September newsletter to hear about all we have been getting up to this new academic year!

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