Didcot TRAIN Youth Project

Our People

TRAIN stands for; To Reach out And Interact with youNg people and therefore the charity's primary aim is about reaching out to them wherever they are. We couldn't do this without some very important people who work behind the scenes as well as those who help to deliver our face-to-face work. The information below describes the structure of TRAIN.

Young People

Young People

Young people’s involvement has hugely benefitted TRAIN over the last year as well as the young people themselves. We believe that programs that are developed in partnership with young people are more likely to be effective at engaging them and, therefore, have a greater impact.

Encouraging young people in actively making decisions that affect them has increased the likelihood that the decisions will be accepted, adopted, and become part of their everyday lives.

In addition, empowering the young people of Didcot to identify and respond to community needs helps them become empathetic, reflective individuals, setting them on a course to potentially continue this important work in their future.

The past years have seen young people attending trustee meetings, sitting on interviews panels for members of staff and volunteers, taking up work placements at TRAIN, completing the ILM Level 2 Leadership Qualification, supporting other charities such as Secret Santa and becoming involved in community events, from litter picks to the annual Street Fair.

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The staff team at TRAIN is small but we work as hard as possible to support the young people with whom we come into contact with. We have team meetings and regularly provide peer support to each other as part of our day to day work.

We have a wide variety of skills to draw upon and this helps us to work to our strengths in our team.

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The volunteer workforce are essential to TRAIN and the work it does, without them we would not be able to function or exist! We have a wide ranging skill base in within our volunteer team and really value all the work that they do behind the scenes and face to face with the young people. Each volunteer has a hugely important part to play within TRAIN.

To read more about volunterring at TRAIN please take a look at our Volunteering with TRAIN page. 

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Trustees and Management Committee

The Trustees and management are the governing body of TRAIN and oversee all of the work that takes place. These two groups of Trustees and management work together to ensure that TRAIN is operating effectively. They provide policy formation and overall governance support to enable the work to take place safely. The trustees are also responsible for the Vision of the charity and its five year business plan. They are accountable to the Charity Commission.

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I have lived in the area for over ten years now. I first became aware of the unique work of TRAIN when my eldest daughter hit her mid-teens … and now my youngest daughter is at that stage too. It’s a time when young people need someone to turn to who won’t judge them; people with whom they can be themselves, and to whom they can turn for unconditional support. As a parent, I’ve been hugely impressed by what TRAIN manages to offer, and as a new trustee, I’m committed to taking that provision as far as we possibly can.

In my day job, I run an academic publishing company based at the UCL Institute of Education. It’s a university press that’s entirely dedicated to improving the educational opportunities of all, with a strong emphasis on social justice, and so joining TRAIN is a great opportunity for me to try to put these principles into practice. And, of course, a great privilege.

Hi, I am Brian McNamee and I have lived in Didcot since the tender age of 1 year old. I have been aware for some time of the great work being done for the young people in Didcot by TRAIN and know how vitally important it is. When the opportunity came to be a part of things I was delighted to be able to step forward along with many others. I believe we can continue to do great things into the future and would like to thank everyone who gives us their resources, time and support so that we can encourage our Youth in their personal development.










I am a chartered accountant and a CFA charterholder. I trained with Price Waterhouse in London and worked in investment banking before moving into training. I currently work for Fitch Learning as a Financial Trainer. 

moved to the Didcot area in 2016 and became involved in TRAIN the following year. I have been impressed and inspired by the dedication of the staff, volunteers and trustees alike and by the generosity of the sponsors and donors. It is a privilege to play a part as the charity’s Treasurer

As Didcot expands, I hope that the community spirit evidenced to date will carry on and that TRAIN will thrive, so that it can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of young people living in Didcot

Having been involved with youth organisations for the past 12 years, I have never ceased to be inspired by both the services and people who devote their energy to nurturing talent, encouraging aspiration and delivering opportunities to disadvantaged young people, empowering and enabling them to reach their full potential. I spend most of my time as Head of Client Services at a regional charity in the South East of England, and also as member of the Foyer Federation Quality Council, overseeing the accreditation of Young People’s accommodation and training services nationally. I first took an interest and became involved with TRAIN in September 2016 and was instantly impressed by the genuine passion and desire of all those involved with the charity to make a positive impact on the lives of young people living in Didcot and on the community as a whole.

I have lived in the Didcot area for the past 4 years and got involved with TRAIN in December 2018. Whilst my role and responsibilities within TRAIN are yet to be fully defined, I am helping in all the areas relevant to my work and life experience.  

In my working life, I am a senior manager with a solid operational and commercial background in the Telecoms industry. With a strong focus on continuous improvement and customer experience I develop motivated, strong and innovative teams delivering business valued outputs. Throughout my career I had an opportunity to contribute into both personal and career development of many young people and I enjoyed every bit of it.

As the Didcot town grows, I can see a great potential in what TRAIN can do for the local young people in need and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute into this project.

Maria joined TRAIN as our Operational Trustee in Summer 2019. 

I am responsible for the day to day running of Didcot TRAIN. I have extensive experience of working with Young People and have worked with them for over 10 years in both the Public but mainly the Third Sector. This has involved working with a diverse range of organisations and young people. My role enables me to work both strategically and with young people face to face. I work with the trustees, staff, volunteers, other organisations and of course young people to ensure that together, we create a positive community where young people feel supported to reach their full potential.

Justina is one of our Youth Workers and has over 8 years’ experience in the Youth Work sector. Justina has delivered and led a broad range of youth work. Justina is also the Senior Youth Worker at the Sweatbox Youth Centre in Wantage delivering open-access youth work and a smaller group called Beatbox for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Justina is passionate about empowering young people in making a positive difference in their lives and thriving  despite the challenges they may face.

My role here at TRAIN involves a variety of responsibilities to generally support the Youth Work team, from communications and general admin to volunteer coordination and reporting. My time at university (studying geography), travels and experiences working in a number of different positions, from customer service to reporting focused roles, all come in very handy for such a varied role – one which is hugely rewarding. I was drawn to work at TRAIN considering the hugely valuable purpose of the charity. Seeing how much our support means to so many young people and how meaningful interactions with staff and volunteers can be, TRAIN is a truly inspiring place to work!

My name is Charlotte and I’m really excited to be starting my career with TRAIN. When I was younger I was involved with many organisations, one of which being TRAIN. I then started to work
retail jobs until I built up the confidence to start a job within education, working with young people who needed additional support. I have a passion for working with young people who may need extra support and it is what motivates me to work hard as it is really rewarding.

Hello my name is Lisa and I’m currently a Youth Worker at Train while studying for my final year for a degree in Community Development and Youth Work, I have previously worked at a youth club in Oxford where I grew up. As a young person I enjoyed the time I spent in my youth club and this pursued my passion to become a Youth Worker and formed some of my attributes, hobbies and inspirations I hold today. I enjoy boxing, rock climbing and adventures. I believe keeping active is crucial not just for a healthy body but also a healthy mind, this is something I will support and encourage while at WYPC, along with any other areas the young people want to cover.

Hi my name is Harry, I’m really looking forward to working with Train and helping young people within the Didcot area. I have worked with young people for a few years now both in a professional and volunteering capacity and I have a passion for outdoor adventure activities. I studied Outdoor Education at university and I love to see how these skills reflect on my youth work. I am most looking forward to getting involved in the local community and seeing what I can teach the young people and what they can teach me!

Martin has been volunteering with TRAIN for many years. He has supported TRAIN by being the man in the know when it comes to IT. He has spent many hours setting up new PCs and laptops and is always at the end of the phone to ask if we have turned it off and on again. 

Jonathan has been volunteering with TRAIN for many years. He has supported many trips out by driving the minibus, often giving up hours of time and even supporting residentals. 

Darren and I moved to Didcot in 2015. I noticed the TRAIN premises practically straight away and thought that was an organisation I would like to know more about. However we were very busy, looking for a house, renovating it, building an extension, developing the garden. By the time we had more time it was 2018. I noticed there was a volunteering fair in Didcot so I suggested we went along to see what we could get involved in. We met Justina at the fair who suggested we visit the TRAIN website and complete a volunteering application. We were contacted by Carolina , the volunteer coordinator, went in for a chat, got our DBS’s done and the rest is history. Volunteering for TRAIN is fun, worthwhile, gratifying, challenging and amazing. The young people are wonderful and it feels so good when we’re recognised and accepted. We continue to develop our skills working closely with the youth workers. TRAIN is expanding and we will be with them all the way for many years to come. 

I became aware of Didcot TRAIN through an event at Cornerstone in June 2018 that was promoting local organisations and volunteering opportunities. After to moving to Didcot in August 2015, I was looking to be part of a local community organisation and after speaking with Carolina at the event, Didcot TRAIN felt like it would be a good fit. I enjoy working as a volunteer with young people and seeing them develop and grow while developing my own skills and capabilities. Working as part of TRAIN team through a variety of activities including detached social work, young men’s group and sports/ community projects is personally rewarding.

I browsed different volunteering opportunities for a while, looking for something which combined a cause I cared about, with community contribution and a very social interactive element as I spend my days working alone. Joining the team at TRAIN has been an absolute breath of fresh air - and lots of fun!

I have always loved working with young people and it's so refreshing to find a charitable organisation that makes it easy to get involved and stuck in, with loads of flexibility around the activities you can volunteer for, and ways you can contribute. 

The team at TRAIN are incredible, especially with the young people. It's so inspiring to see the level of respect these kids have for the youth workers — a total testament to the work the team put in, the genuine care they have for each and every young person, and the strong relationships and trust that they forge. 

Being a part of TRAIN has been so rewarding; I always come home with a smile on my face. It's amazing the impact you can have with young people simply by treating them with the same level of respect and kindness that you'd expect to be treated with yourself. Their home circumstances, their age, or their background shouldn't make them any less deserving of that — TRAIN understands that. At TRAIN, they're not excluded, they're not "different", or "trouble" or "insignificant". At TRAIN they belong and they matter. That's worth everything."

Martin joined us in 2019, supporting our football programme and detached work. 

Ossa supports our weekly Young Women's Group.

Originally from Italy, Eleonora joined us in September 2019 and supports us with our Participation focused work. 

TRAIN's Participation Pathway gives young people the opportunity to progress and gain more responsibility through engaging with TRAIN at a variety of different strategic levels.

Young Ambassadors – Young people are engaged at a strategic level and represent TRAIN and other young people at trustee meetings, local community meetings, regional meetings and also interview volunteers and staff.

Young Leaders – Young people who take a leadership role in planning and delivering events or trips to benefit other young people and their community. Engaging in local social action and planning their own community social action projects.

Young Volunteers – Young people that are at the beginning of their additional engagement with TRAIN. Offering their time to support the young ambassadors and young leaders at events.

All young people are encouraged to work towards V-inspired awards to recognise their volunteering commitment.

 What I have got from being a young ambassador is a great sense of responsibility. It’s helped me to grow up and realise my potential. It’s also a great feeling being able to work along side others that I may not have worked with before. It’s important to have young people at the heart of TRAIN as it gives us a sense of responsibility and we get to get involved with fund raising and helping the charity to progress forward.

TRAIN is in contact with 400 young people in an average year. We believe in the importance of them having a voice about how TRAIN should run and that their opinions are valued and respected. TRAIN's ethos of youth work reflects this emphasis as we take the initiative to go out and meet young people where they are, regardless of whether that is on the streets, in local parks or in the schools at lunchtimes.

By meeting young people on "their patch" it means that our emphasis of 'What can we do for you"? is genuine because we have intentionally sought them out and not just expected them to come to us. Through discussion and relationship building the young people choose what alternative activities and projects we offer them.

Our young people are regularly asked to evaluate our activities and we are continuously evaluating our effectiveness in helping them through our regular reporting to funders. This supports us in being able to better target our support for them into the future, formulate the forward direction of the charity and the quality of the work the Youth Work team.