Last week TRAIN saw the count down to Christmas kick off in full swing with a lot of season themed activities going on!
On Thursday 30 November TRAIN set up a stall for Didcot X'Mas Street Fair where our Young Leaders helped sell baked goods which were all home made and arts and craft which were also handmade by our youth worker Karo. The young people worked incredibly hard- from setting up the stall, placing the products, lifting the gazebo outside and decorating TRAIN office! It was an extremely cold night and the Young Leaders did a fantastic job standing outside, raising money for TRAIN and helping manage the sales, very well done to all!
Finally, on Sunday 3rd December Medlock Grove House had their official Lights Up event. There were a lot of people there and the effort the family went to to decorate their house so beautifully all for TRAIN this year made it even more amazing!
We will be reporting on all of TRAIN's X'mas festivities this year- our next event for all young people will be the Midnight Iceskating trip on 16th December- there are limited spaces so sign up ASAP! Volunteers welcome :)
As we gear up to Christmas TRAIN has some exciting news!
We are delighted and honoured to have been chosen by a supporter and fellow member of the community as their chosen charity for this year's grand X'mas house decoration fundraiser!
For the past 10 years (10!) this family have been decorating their house to the MAX! The effort, time and energy it takes them to light up and adorn their lovely home in which all money raised goes to their chosen charity of the year is remarkable. This year TRAIN has been chosen and we have all been invited to attend the official X'mas Lights Switch On which will be 3rd December at 6:30 PM at 7 Medlock Grove, OX11 7XY.
Many thanks once again to Medlock Grove Lights Up 2017 for choosing TRAIN as their charity for this year's Christmas light up!
Lydia our young ambassador and work placement student is holding a table top sale on Saturday 16th December 12- 2 PM in aid of TRAIN.
We welcome all donations- clothes, home accessories, toys, stuffed teddys etc.
If you have items to donate TRAIN office is open every Monday from 10 AM- 8 PM.
Money raised will go towards funding activities and new TRAIN hoodies for our new cohort of young leaders.
The theme of 'Youth Services' chosen by the National Youth Agency as the focus of Youth Work Week this year has been a fantastic opportunity for all to explore why young people need great youth work and great youth work services. This theme has also given our team here at Didcot TRAIN Youth Project an opportunity to reflect upon the wide variety of youth work practice we have delivered since the Charity began.
Didcot TRAIN Youth Project first began to operate in 2002. Our name is an acronym, drawn from our guiding principle which is - To Reach out And INteract with young people. TRAIN works with and for all young people in Didcot, especially those who, for whatever reason, are having a tough time. Young people can become vulnerable and disadvantaged in a whole range of ways. TRAIN is there to help them to see they do have options. TRAIN helps the young people in Didcot make informed choices, avoid risky behaviours, find ways out of difficult situations, find their own voices, and be who they want to be.
Our work is primarily focused on those in the 11 to 18 age range, our professional youth workers and team of volunteers establish relationships with young people and build trust in order to try to understand their needs. We can then offer help and support with any challenges the young people face and if appropriate, put them in contact with other relevant services. Through building a positive rapport with the young people, we are also able to find out what young people like to do and offer ways in which they can develop stimulating and positive interests in their leisure time and provide them with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of alternative activities to engage in.
Our core form of youth work which we are proud to deliver is Detached youth work, this means heading out to meet young people where they are rather than the young people coming to us to access our provision. On a typical winter evening, this would mean heading our with plenty of hot chocolate and blankets around the popular spots with the young people and building a positive rapport with them. TRAIN also frequently does outreach, such as in the summer when we take our TRAIN Gazebo with us, plenty of beanbags, games, squash and activities and engage with young people. In addition, we deliver fun-packed holiday programmes each school holiday. This summer we delivered an activity or trip every work day of the week, these activities ranged from Zorb Football, Sports activities, Yoga, Well-being and Mindfulness, Music Workshops, International Cooking Workshops, Trip to RUSH Trampoline Park, Trip to Thorpe Park, Trip to Corby Skate Park and much more.
Young People are at the very core of what we do, we believe this is essential in effective youth work practice and have a team of Young Ambassadors who sit in a strategic position in line with our Trustees of the Charity. This summer TRAIN were able to TRAIN take 6 young people including some of our Young Ambassadors to France for a week long residential; the purpose of the trip was to offer vulnerable young people an opportunity to challenge themselves mentally, physically and socially in a completely new environment. During their stay on the olive farm surrounded by mountains and acres of farmland the young people woke up at 7am every day to do stone picking followed by different activities in the afternoon such as canyoning, zip wire, swimming, scuba diving, hiking and more! They also tried new foods such as snails, wild bore, French cheeses and venison which was shot within the grounds! It was an amazing experience and we are very proud with what the young people were able to achieve in just a week.
At TRAIN we also encourage our young people to embark on Oxfordshire Youth's Young Leaders Programme which involves typically a 2 night residential trip, this year alone we have taken 14 young people onto the course with us. The Young Leaders Programme results in a Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills, and is accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). The programme is nationally recognised, meaning that employers, colleges and universities will hold it in high regard. It’s also equivalent to an A*-C at GCSE. Many of our young people are also encouraged and supported in completeing their V-Inspired Certificates for the wonderful efforts they put in whilst volunteering at TRAIN.
In addition to our Detached and Outreach Youth Work, our activities and trips, we also offer targeted both 1:1 and Group Mentoring sessions. At present we run a weekly group mentoring session, this gender group will be aimed at all young people who identify as females aged 11-18 years. The group will provide an opportunity for the young people to engage in workshops covering a wide variety of topics detailed below and to engage in a wide variety of positive and empowering activities in a safe and nurturing environment. Each month, we will be covering a different topic with the young people, some elements will be hands on and interactive whilst other elements might take the form of a discussion. Topic will be chosen on a flexible basis based on the young people’s interests, if the young people would like to spend more or less time on certain topics then there will be capacity for this. The topics covered include future career building skills, body-image, drugs and alcohol, life-hacks, gender and society, cyber-safety, bullying, basic DIY, exploring creativity, and much more.
At present we offer a range of fun and engageing activities for the young people to get involved in, in addition to the above, we currently also deliver a weekly football session, a weekly music production session whilst teaming up with a local organisation, we deliver the S-Card scheme to ensure that the young people have access to free contraception and information and advice about healthy relationships, we deliver detached youth work four times a week, and more.
We have worked hard to build an excellent relationship with the young people and we are continuously engaging with more and more young people. Between April 2017 and October 2017 alone, we are proud to have delivered 557 hours of detached youth work, we have engaged with 328 Young People, we have improved the health and wellbeing of 271 young people, we have supported 87 young people to sustain or access employment, education or training, we have reduced anti-social behaviour in 197 young people, we have referred 166 young people to specialist agencies, we have supported 63 young people in reducing substance mis-use, and we have improved the confidence of 143 young people.
Feel free to take a look at some of our favourite quotes from our young people are below:
"I just reckon, it's an amazing job that the youth workers actually do. Because they come out of detached and actually sit there and put effort in to helping you no matter what. So, I don't feel like there is enough of them, we need to get some more." - TRAIN Young Person
To find out more about Youth Work Week, check out the National Youth Agency site here: http://www.nya.org.uk/supporting-youth-work/youth-work-week/
This week marks a special time in TRAIN's calendar as it's Youth Work Week!
To celebrate TRAIN's work with young people we thought it would be great to share with you all an infographic (please see attached below) of our most up to date figures from the past 6 months. Here at TRAIN we believe no child should be left behind and we work with lots of young people by empowering them to make informed decisions attain stability, and become integrated members of society. We also have some fantastic case studies and testomonials here from this year's AGM which highlights the importance of our work within the community and throughout this week we will be sharing anecdotes and stories on our Twitter page, which can be found here !
Happy Youth Work Week to all and never forget as the famous African proverb goes-
‘If you think you’re too small to make a difference,
try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito!"
October saw the first half term of this academic year (23-27) and TRAIN offered a variety of workshops and sessions to meet all needs and interests. Our half term programme started with our Gender Group on Monday's to Intro to Handball to Board Games Cafe, Music workshop, Bracelet Making session during detached and more!
Here are a few pictures of the week!
Towards the end of September TRAIN took 6 young people to France for a week long residential; the purpose of the trip was to offer vulnerable young people an opportunity to challenge themselves mentally, physically and socially in a completely new environment. During their stay on the olive farm surrounded by mountains and acres of farmland the young people woke up at 7am every day to do stone picking followed by different activities in the afternoon such as canyoning, zip wire, swimming, scuba diving, hiking and more! They also tried new foods such as snails, wild bore, French cheeses and venison which was shot within the grounds! It was an amazing experience and we are very proud with what the young people were able to achieve in just a week.
After our successful AGM evening on Tuesday 12th September where we discussed TRAIN'S governance, youth work and finances for the financial year 16/17 our report is now open to the public for reading. You can find the most recent report here.
Many thanks once again for your continung support!
Here at TRAIN we cannot believe it's that time already for our young people to go on their life changing trip to France!
As some of you may remember, Alice our lead youth worker discussed the opportunity back in early May on TV which can be seen here and now they have jetted off and will be having an action packed week at Querubi Camp in France!
We wish them the very best of luck and watch this space for a detailed account of their trip when they return!
TRAIN is currently looking to recruit volunteers who are able to spare a few hours a week supporting our youth workers out on detached and on our activities! If you have a free evening or two and would love to be more involved with TRAIN and be on the front line of our youth work then please don't hesitate to apply here and leave the rest to us!
In return TRAIN offers excellent professional and personal development opportunties along with support from our staff and free training workshops!
It's a fun, open and welcoming space in which we all have a passion for making a difference, in what ever way possible to young people's lives.
Well, it has been an action packed summer to say the least!
We ended our summer programme on a high with a trip to CORBY- Europe's largest urban sports venue. A lot of young people have engaged with TRAIN this summer, gone on outings, trips, taken part in a variety of workshops, activites and even yoga sessions!
On behalf of everyone at TRAIN, we want to thank our young people, volunteers, staff and supporters for collectively making it another great summer at TRAIN.
Stay tuned for our term time programme out soon!
TRAIN team x
Happy Friday everyone!
We have some great news to share with you all, starting with the Paris to Rome bike ride that Jack and Dom began 2.5 weeks ago.
After blood, sweat and tears they have both made it to Rome!
Here's some stats on their incredible achievement:
Averaged 20.1kph over the whole trip
Consumed 3.5kg of peanut m & m's.
They really want to get to £2000 so please click on the link below to sponsor this amazing accomplishment!
In other news, one of our volunteers- Georg Wanek is also doing a spot of fundraising for TRAIN!
Georg is a skateboard enthusiast and volunteers his time weekly to support our youth workers when out at the skateparks. For this reason he will dedicate one of six skateboard tricks in return for a donation and create a short youtube video. He will then announce the dedication and then do the trick on camera.
To donate, find out more and to see what kind of tricks Georg has to offer please follow the link below:
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend wherever you are!