We hope you have all had great weekends. To run over what we got up to last week here at TRAIN, highlights include:
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.
The TRAIN Team
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!
The TRAIN team
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.
The TRAIN team
Welcoming Harry to the TRAIN team last Monday, it was exciting to have our first full week with all our new members of staff. This made for a lively week in running our refreshed provision timetable, with each of them now leading their own sessions.
- Young Women’s Group – young women who attended engaged well in the Cyber Safety focused session, enhancing their awareness of the importance in being cautious online.
- Young Men’s Group – a great opportunity for Harry to meet and get to know the young men who came along, over pizza, along with volunteer Darren
- Dinner and Debate – two really positive sessions were held, from discussions being facilitated around societal expectations, to a game of million-pound drop! Having now divided the sessions into one for year 7’s and 8’s and another for older young people, it was brilliant to see as many as 13 coming along for the latter and 5 new young people at the younger session!
- 1:1 Mentoring – Justina began mentoring at UTC and continued sessions at DGS, offering valuable tailored support to a number of young people to address any personal issues.
- Detached and Outreach – carried out by all members of staff throughout the week and supported by volunteer Rhonda on Tuesday, many new young people were met and certain behavioural concerns escalated to relevant agencies
- Young Women’s Football – a number of young women really enjoyed a good kick-about at Edmunds, the first session run by Lisa, along with volunteer Martin.
This week will see our schedule continuing, the youth work team continuing to build positive relationships with those engaging and meeting new young people around the town and likely in group sessions!
We hope you all have great weeks!
The TRAIN Team
With today being the first day of Autumn and the shades of the season starting to emerge, it has certainly also been a period of change here at TRAIN. Last week we welcomed our new Youth Workers Charlotte and Lisa to the team and today then also marks Harry’s first day. It seemed an unusual team meeting this morning with 6 staff members round the table - the most we have ever had – but clearly very exciting, being a clear sign of TRAIN’s growth. We welcome them all to the team and are sure you will start seeing them all around the town during their detached and outreach sessions.
To ease Charlotte and Lisa into our provision, a number of sessions were held last week: Dinner and Debate, Detached, our LGBTI TOPAZ Group and Young Women’s Group. Justina also began sessions in one to one mentoring, which we will be building on over the coming weeks in collaboration with the local secondary schools.
On another note, it was a privilege to attend the Police Property Act Funding Ceremony to present on the work we have carried out with the grant we were very grateful to be awarded from the fund over the past year, jointly managed between The Police and Crime Commissioner and Thames Valley Police.
A number of us also had a great time attending St Peter’s Church’s monthly Quiz ’n’ Chips night, after they proposed to fundraise for TRAIN through the evening’s raffle. A huge thank you to all involved in the organisation for the support.
With all new members of staff now being with us, our provision for the weeks ahead is looking very lively. Please take a look at the timetable below and feel free to spread the word. Keep an eye on our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook and Twitter pages to keep informed of what we are getting up to. For the case of young people, we would recommend friending our staff accounts as updates on session times and changes will be posted through these – @ Alice TRAIN, Justina TRAIN, Charlotte TRAIN, Lisa TRAIN and Harry TRAIN!
We are also looking for more volunteers! Volunteers are hugely important to ensure as much of our provision can run as possible, so we would love to hear from anyone who may be interested. Please head to our Volunteer page for further information.
The TRAIN Team
Want to play a key role in enabling TRAIN to thrive?
With the start of the new school year, we are looking for more volunteers to support our new timetable and staff!
As a volunteer you will be helping make a real difference to young people's lives, as our fantastic TRAIN volunteer team are key in enabling our weekly provision to run.
We have a few specific volunteering role descriptions advertised on our volunteering page:
... however if you are not fully sure what aspect of our work you would like to support with or have other skills you feel could benefit our work (e.g. admin, maintenance, sport), we’re open to all sorts – to flag your interest please fill out one of our volunteer application forms (link below) and we’ll be in touch!
The May half-term went off with a bang on Tuesday with a trip to Thorpe Park for a group of 6 young people who have demostrated positive behaviour at TRAIN over the past term. Some of the group had never been to a theme park before so it was their first experience of going on a rollercoaster, pushing them outside their comfort zones. All thoroughly enjoyed the day - it offered a great release for each of them and opportunity to simply have a bit of fun, as well as to challenge themselves.