Didcot TRAIN Youth Project


Last week here at TRAIN was certainly packed to the brim! Highlights included:

  • One to one mentoring – Justina met with new young people at UTC she will be carrying out a series of mentoring sessions with this term.


  • Head Start – week 2 of the programme for young people at All Saints at Willowcroft Primary Schools. It was great to see the young people showing greater confidence in voicing their ideas and opinions in the group mentoring sessions compared with the prior week. This week’s topics focused on the effect of stress on the body and how it can be healthily managed, looking at the ‘emotional toolkit’. It has also been brilliant to have already received positive feedback from parents.
  • Young Men’s Group – a brilliant session with young people becoming highly engaged in discussions around the differences between banter and bullying.
  • Dinner and Debate – young people each completed Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale in Tuesday’s session, a self-esteemmeasure widely used in social-science research. Thursday then saw young people focus on the topic of abusive relationships, to support them in better understanding different forms of abuse to recognise the warning signs. One of TRAIN’s Young Leader’s also did a fantastic job supporting with the session.
  • What’s Up – another very positive session with many young people coming along for an evening of games, during which they engaged in both critical and light-hearted conversations.
  • Detached and Outreach – as well as checking key areas around the town to engage with young people out and about, detached and outreach continued to be particularly important for visiting Burger King, following ASB reports.
  • Chill out Friday – following the recent reports of ASB in the town centre, we trialed running a more relaxed, open session on Friday night. With music, games and bean bags, this aimed to offer young people a positive alternative space to spend the evening. All proved very successful, with many young people coming along. As a result we will be continuing with the session for the coming few weeks.
  • Staff also attended multi-agency meetings one of which, held with The Police, Orchard Centre and Burger King staff, supported positive collaborations to address the ASB at Burger King. Following on from our actions last month in response to the reports, TRAIN are continuing to offer 6 days a week of detached and outreach as well as added group mentoring sessions to offer young people an alternative space to socialise in. We continue to support the community but also advocate for the YP.

We hope you all have great weeks and thank you as always for your support. 

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

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Dear all,

Happy New Year and we hope you all had brilliant Christmas’s. We kicked off 2020 with a busy but very positive week jumping back in to our provision, following staff taking a well deserved rest over the Christmas period. This included:

  • Young Women’s Group – young women who came along engaged very well in a session looking at the differences between banter and bullying, including the consequences of each and importance of building others up.
  • Young Men’s Group – the session’s topic of healthy relationships online led to the young men initiating conversations around online porn. A report commissioned by the NSPCC offers concrete evidence proving that children and young people are at risk of becoming ‘desensitised’ to online porn. Discussing the topic in more detail was therefore very positive for enhancing their understandings of the effects watching porn can have.
  • Detached and Outreach – staff engaged with young people around the town during usual afternoons and evenings, including dropping into Burger King to discourage ASB. As usual interactions supported staff in building relationships with young people and in keeping us aware of any matters effecting them.
  • Dinner and Debate – it was great to welcome new young people to the sessions, alongside many already known to us, this week held around healthy relationships online.
  • Head Start – Week 1 of the second 2 groups we are running the 6 week programme with, following a very successful first two programmes we ran before Christmas. This month sees us delivering the sessions in Mental Health and Wellbeing with new young people at All Saints and Willowcroft Primary Schools. All young people responded very well to Week 1’s sessions, being eager to listen and learn what the coming few weeks will have in store. It was great to receive positive feedback from teachers and parents after and we can’t wait to see how they come to grow and benefit from the programme over the coming weeks.
  • What’s Up – a number of young people attended the first group mentoring session to be delivered of Lisa’s What’s Up project, she is delivering as part of her Youth Work course at Ruskin College with fellow students Zane and Will. The plan is to use games each week to explore critical thinking and problem solving amongst those who attend.


Looking forward to Week 2 of the year and as always get in touch if you have any questions or ideas for us! Look out for monthly newsletter and in the meantime if you have any questions for us feel free to email us give us a call on 07305042427.

Some light reading over Christmas! We wish you all brilliant and very restful Christmas's and New Years. 

Dear all,

The past week has seen us continue with our sessions from Didcot Methodist Church, also now alongside our admin based work, after the Church Council kindly offering us a space to use whilst we continue our search for alternative premises. A further premises update will be included in our December Newsletter at the end of the week.

Considering last week’s youth work activities, the week included a number of brilliant sessions including:

- Young Women’s Group – many came along for a creative session to educate on positive wellbeing. Conversations were also held around politics with the upcoming election.

- Detached and Outreach – focused around the Orchard Centre in response to recent anti-social behaviour. It has been great to be able to run an additional weekly session of detached throughout December, as part of Lisa’s ‘What’s Up’ project with Ruskin College. Fellow students William and Zane have been joining her for the session as part of their work - we welcome to both to the team!

- Dinner and Debate – over 25 YP attended the sessions across the week, centred around engaging YP in positive activities, as opposed to ASB.

- Head Start - the last week of the first 6 week programme of the year, for 16 11 year olds at Stephen Freeman and Willowcroft Primary Schools. YP explored their support networks, being encouraged to reach out to friends and professionals when in need of guidance. Each group then importantly reflected on their progress over the programme, which we will offer an update on in our January newsletter. We have encouraged to the come along to our Dinner and Debate sessions in the new year. This will support each in continuing to build their confidence in looking after their mental health and wellbeing, as we are passionate about not just offering small, one-off interventions, but the opportunity for YP to step into our service.  

Alice also attended a multi-agency meeting with The Police, Orchard Centre and Burger King staff, to support a positive approach to recent reports of ASB.  Train has been able to offer 6 days a week of detached and outreach and has also offered training to staff around YP’s actions.  All staff have introduced themselves to BK staff and given them their work phone numbers. We continue to support the community but also advocate for the YP.

This week will be a particularly exciting one, before staff and volunteers have a well-earned rest to refresh themselves for the new year. This will include:

- Taking YP who engaged on Head Start to the Cornerstone’s Pinocchio pantomime, after the centre generously donating us tickets! This will be a fantastic way to award the YP for their excellent and enthusiastic engagement in the programme.  

- A trip for all YP to Oxfordshire Youth’s Midnight Ice-Skating at Oxford Ice Rink on Saturday evening.

We are looking forward to filling the week with excitement and fun for all who engage with us, considering Christmas can be a difficult time for many YP. We will also importantly be reminding YP throughout the week of the support accessible to them throughout the Christmas period.

We hope you all have good weeks, amidst the rush of all the Christmas preparations! Also to add that with the many requests we have received of how best to support us considering our recent premises circumstances, we have set up a fundraising page for anyone wishing to make a financial contribution. This will particularly go towards supporting us in our need to now hire temporary spaces for sessions for an unknown period of time. Please head to our Wonderful page for more information.

Look out for our Newsletter to be release this Friday and in the meantime if you have any questions for us feel free to give us a call on 07305042427 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Dear all,

We hope you have all had good weekends. It was positive that the majority of our sessions could take place from Didcot Methodist Church last week, following the closure of our office the week before. YP were very interested to explore the temporary space. They also expressed their sadness at the closure of the office through collectively writing a letter to voice their feelings around the situation. Their action to then promote the letters, including taking it round schools to gain signatures has been heart-warming. See the link at the bottom of the page to have a read.

The week saw us cracking on with our usual provision schedule including:

  • Heads Up: young people enjoyed a session focused on friendships, including what constitutes a good and bad friend. This aimed to support the Year 6’s in better understanding what is deemed as an equal relationship, including what is acceptable and unacceptable within one.
  • Dinner and Debate: sessions involved a mixture of intuitive discussions, around stereotypes for example, and various games such as Jenga, between the usual Gregg’s trips.
  • Football: after now opening football sessions up to both gender groups, following a keen interest from young men to join in with the young women, those who attended had a great kickabout on Friday afternoon.
  • Detached: many young people engaged with us this week during our walkabouts around the town, especially on Friday evening when they were all hugely excited when to be greeted with pizza! It was also very positive that a number also showed enthusiasm to engage in our new group mentoring sessions to begin in January, centred around anti-social behaviour.
  • Willowcroft Wellbeing Evening – it was great to attend an evening held at Willowcroft Primary School for parents to gain more information about the various services open to young people for support around mental health and wellbeing. This tied in nicely to the sessions we have been delivering around the topics through Head Start at the school. Thank you very much for having us again!

See our timetable below for the coming 2 weeks up till Christmas, which will be continuing from the Methodist Church for the time being.  If you have any questions for us feel free to give us a  call on 07305042427 or email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We hope you all have great weeks, as Christmas races towards us!

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team  


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Dear all,

Firstly Happy December!

Last week proved an eventful last week of the month at TRAIN despite the unfortunate, but necessary, precautions we put in place to pause running sessions at the TRAIN office. This followed from concerns raised to us of the safety of our windows. As a result we have been focusing our efforts into our detached youth work provision. Detached has been a hugely important means for us to continue reaching out to young people in the community, encouraging positive decision making and also keeping us informed of anti-social behaviour related matters: particularly important considering a number having recently been raised to us.

To offer another update on our premises: we have kindly been offered use of the rooms at the Methodist Church, opposite TRAIN, to run sessions from for the time being! So for now all sessions: Young Women’s, Dinner and Debates and Young Men’s groups will run from there.

The hunt continues for a more permanent home but this is a positive first step.

We cant thank all at the Methodist Church more highly for there support and warmth to us at our time of need.

You may have noticed our office windows having recently been boarded up. The windows have been deemed unsafe not due to being vandalised, but from a health and safety point of view, following a recent survey carried out by our landlords SODC. SODC own all 3 premises: what was No Two Things, ourselves and The Food Bank.

However it is more than just our windows that are unsafe. As a result, we have been informed that the office is no longer safe to work from. Obviously this means big changes for us. After many years we are leaving 118, Broadway, in search of a new premises. From now on we will be working from home and running sessions in various locations around the town to ensure we that TRAIN does not let down Didcot’s young people. We are truly saddened to have to close the door on what has been a second home for both young people, staff and volunteers, but will not let the circumstances dim the future of TRAIN!

For updates on session locations and times we would advise keeping an eye on our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook page and please feel free to get in touch with us via our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email at any time. Thank you. 

Young people if you’re reading this, TRAIN is still here for you!


Dear all,

We hope you all had lovely weekends. To update you all on our regular delivery, the past week included:

  • Young Women’s Group – this week focused on body image, educating the young women on the importance of being mindful of advertising, considering the prevalence of airbrushing and other portrayals of perfection commonly applied.   
  • Head Start – two fantastic sessions addressing the differences between passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour and mindsets. Staff were impressed by the rapid improvements in the behaviour and focus of many of the young people from Week 1.
  • Dinner and Debate – it was very positive to see a number of new young people attend the sessions. All were very excitable and energised throughout both but had a great time socialising and engaging in the team building games. Comments received in feedback surveys completed after included having found the session ‘creative’, ‘exciting, ‘fun’ and ‘valuable’.
  • Detached – offered a good opportunity as always for interacting with young people over hot chocolate and keeping us aware of local, particularly anti-social behaviour related matters, to support our ability to address matters across our wider provision.

It was also very exciting to welcome AlterEgo Creative Solutions on Wednesday evening for their CountyLines performance currently touring schools. An incredibly powerful performance, valuable in raising understandings around the issue of County Lines and where to go for help and advice. Thank you to all the young people, parents and professionals who attended, of course AlterEgo for venturing all the way here and performing and Thames Valley Police for flagging the opportunity to us.

We also enjoyed delivering assemblies to each Year Group at Didcot Girl’s School throughout the week - a great opportunity to spread the word about TRAIN and help us become more recognisable to young people who come to meet us on the streets during detached and outreach sessions. Thanks you DGS for having us!

Also in case you have noticed the new boards up covering our office windows, they have been put in place to ensure our windows are safe and secure, whilst we wait for new ones! You can still get in touch with us by calling 01235 519 315, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through our @Didcot TRAIN Facebook and Twitter pages. Thursday’s Street Fair will offer another good opportunity if you have any questions as we will have an information stand in the Methodist Church, in addition to stalls outside Neater Dry Cleaners and our office with Christmas gifts to buy and a much loved tombola - which we welcome donations for!

We hope you all have great weeks and fun at the Street Fair on Thursday if you are going along!

Kind regards,

The TRAIN team

Please let us know if you wish to sign up to receive​ email reminders for the Weekly Update and/or our monthly newsletter​. 

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.