Didcot TRAIN Youth Project


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. 

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