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

At TRAIN the young people we know and work with are the most important part of the charity.

One of the ways we recognise this is giving them responsibility and leadership within some of the projects that we run.

Currently we have six junior leaders who we are supporting in their development and they help to run our junior football project which takes place once a week.

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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 really value our volunteer workforce and all the work that they do behind the scenes and face to face with the young people.

We also have a wide ranging skill base in our volunteer workforce and each volunteer has an important part to play within TRAIN.

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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.

I became a trustee and secretary of TRAIN in September 2015, having lived in Didcot since 2013. At TRAIN’s annual review I was impressed by a presentation on TRAIN’s Kenyan dam-building project for ex-offenders, which planted a seed in my mind about getting involved with TRAIN. Having retired from my work as an insurance actuary, I am an adviser at Citizens Advice. I am also secretary to the steering group of Didcot Community Bank, which launched in September 2015. I am on the board of Swan Credit Union and a member of Didcot Methodist Church.

I arrived in Oxfordshire about 20 years ago and found a ‘home’ in the local area. Although the house and community in which I have lived has varied, it became clear to me in the late 90s that Didcot was where my heart was. I have been a member of the local Church here ever since and was finally able to move to Didcot in 2012. My day job is within the booking office at Didcot Parkway station, where I enjoy the opportunity to meet and help a wide variety of people.

My involvement with TRAIN began with its first discussions in CTDD (Churches Together in Didcot and District) and I have had very much a background, supporting role until now. With over 25 years’ experience in voluntary attached youth work, mostly through the Church, I am very aware of the number of young people in Didcot alone who face incredible challenges and do not have the support network they need. TRAIN is vital to Didcot, offering our young people help, support and encouragement when they need it the most. I believe that enabling and performing this work is perhaps the most important thing I will ever do.

Noora has been volunteering in a Strategic Support role since March 2016. She has offered hundreds of hours of work to strengthen TRAIN's policies and procedures. She has also been a strong ambassador for TRAIN, meeting many different local community groups to look at ways in which we can collaborate.   

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. I trained with KPMG, where I specialised in the finances and administration of charities. I then worked for 19 years with the United Bible Societies. I am now Academy Accountant at Wallingford School.

I have lived in Didcot for over 25 years – most of my adult life – and my children go to St Birinus and Didcot Girls’ Schools. We worship at English Martyrs RC Church, where I sing and play flute with the music group and am a Minister of the Word.

I have watched TRAIN grow into a very special expression of the Didcot community’s care and hopes for our young people: our desire that each young person who grows up in our town has a sense of their value and dignity as human beings and members of our community. It is a privilege to play a part in this as the charity’s Treasurer.

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 originally trained as a Social Worker, but found that my real passion lay in working with young people, particularly in the charity sector. I've seen that young people can do incredible things when given the tools to do it, and someone who believes in them.

Alongside being a Trustee for TRAIN, I also work at Oxfordshire Youth as the Training Manager, creating and coordinating training programmes for young people.
I first heard about TRAIN's work through my role at Oxfordshire Youth, and now am fortunate to line manage our Lead Youth Worker, Alice, and support the great work she does.

Alice is our Lead Youth Worker and has over 8 years’ experience in the Youth Sector. She has had experience in both the Public and Voluntary Sectors. She has previously worked at Oxfordshire Youth as the Youth Support and Participation Coordinator. She has also worked on the National Citizen Service, to name a few.    

Alice is inspired by how positive young people can be even when facing adversity. 

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 provisions including detached youth work, open-access center-based youth work, young carers’ provisions in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, Alternative Education, NCS, and more. 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.

Karolina is working for Didcot TRAIN Youth Project as the part-time Youth Worker from February 2017. She worked with the European Voluntary Service, volunteering in a Youth Center in Latvia. From 2014 she was a volunteer, animation, mentor of EVS volunteers and coordinator of Polish-Lithuanian Youth Exchange in Center for Creative Activity Foundation in Poland. 
She has also worked in Local Committee for protection of the Rights of the Child and Crisis Intervention Center in Poland.


Karolina deeply believes in W. Disney’s words :”If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Carolina is the part-time Youth Worker Facilitator for TRAIN overseeing the day to day admin tasks of the organisation, managing communications, coordinating volunteers and supporting Alice our lead youth worker and trustees. She currently works at Oxfam GB as the Education and Youth Advisor and is very passionate about supporting young people to make positive decisions and believes everyone should be given the chance to make their way in the world. 

Paul came to speak at my church in October 2013 and that's how I first became involved with TRAIN. I go into the Boys School once a week and I love it! Working with young people is one of the most rewarding activities I do in my life; being with them and listening to them, is the reason I get up in the morning. I am looking forward to the future and volunteering in some of the other areas TRAIN works in.

Hayden has been volunteering as a detached volunteer for 4 year. He primarily volunteers on the football projects. He said Volunteering for TRAIN is good fun, and its giving back to the town and working towards something bigger and better, and I get to be a part of that: that's the main reason for me turning up each week. Plus, I get to play football with some great players and interesting characters... What's not to like!



Alice has been volunteering as a detached volunteer since April 2016. She has been supporting detached sessions twice a week. She has also supported TRAIN on many trips thoughout the summer.  

Georg has been volunteering as a detached volunteer since April 2016. He has been supporting detached session once a week. Georg is a very talented skateboarder who often competes in competitions. He has therefore been a great asset to the work we do with the skating community. 

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. 

Lindsay-Dee has been volunteering for train since april 2017

She will be getting involved by helping with the detached sessions, gender group, and the youth work facilitator. She use to come to TRAIN a few years ago for support herself as a teenager and found it very helpful. The youth workers were friendly and easy to talk to. 


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 peopl'es lives. 

Their roles within this football session include, setting up equipment, collecting the admission charge and looking after the young people who attend. In addition they attend termly meetings which enable them to learn what is required of them as junior leaders. They receive debriefing after each session and are treated in the same way as our adult volunteers. We believe that this approach gives them valuable skills for the working environment they will face in the near future. Their time and effort is acknowledged in our annual Celebration event by awarding them a certificate of merit.

Our junior leaders are young people who have been personally helped and supported by TRAIN and are now volunteering to help the next generation of young people.

They are involved in our annual residential weekend during which each junior leader is allocated a role which means they have to assume responsibility for a specific aspect of the programme. This is another way of developing their team working and leadership skills. The creation of junior leaders has taken place over the last 5 years and one previous junior leader recently said of her experience:

"I'm very excited to being the step closer to becoming a nurse and who would have thought it lol, I defiantly didn't think it would be me about 4 years ago lol, which I really want to say a big thanks to u guys at train because if it wasn't for u guys showing me and helping me find the right direction in life I really don't think I would be where I am today."

TRAIN is in contact with 350 young people in an average year and 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 model 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 asked to evaluate each activity that we run and we aim to undertake an annual evaluation which measures how effective TRAIN has been in helping them, and as a result we are more able to target our support for them. These results are used to formulate the forward direction of the charity and the quality of the work our youth workers bring to the young people they support.