Didcot TRAIN Youth Project

Items filtered by date: February 2020

Monday, 24 February 2020 16:57

Weekly Update 24.02.20

Where to start! The half-term holiday was packed to the brim here at TRAIN. We offered a number of different activities for young people to get involved in across the week, to support the development of invaluable life-skills, offer positive alternatives to more anti-social behaviour many may otherwise be inclined to partake in and simply as opportunities to have a bit of fun!

Alongside our regular sessions, added trips and positive activities included:

  • Youlbury Scouts Adventure Centre – young people who have taken part in our Head Start programme at Willowcroft and All Saints Primary Schools since the new year joined us for a morning of crate stacking! The activity clearly exemplified the progressions each have made over the weeks in their journeys of self-confidence – it was fantastic to see all having a go and working as a team throughout.
  • Retreat Afternoon – a number of the young people who had taken part in the morning’s crate stacking stayed on for a more relaxed afternoon focused around mindfulness. All loved trying out various techniques to cultivate mental spaciousness and calmness, from arts and crafts to meditation.
  • Revolution Revolt Trampolining – those who have been coming along to What’s Up sessions run since January were treated to a trip to Bicester’s trampolining centre. All thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed on afterwards for their last session of what proved to be a very successful, really well received programme. A big thank you to Lisa and her fellow Ruskin students Zane and Will for running the programme as part of their course!
  • Ice-skating – Young Men’s group were very excited to get the train into Oxford on the Thursday for an afternoon of ice-skating. Having raised the funds for the trip themselves from an afternoon of fundraising at Didcot’s Tesco store on Saturday, it was so great to see their hard work pay off and the sense of achievement all gained from it. A huge thank you to Darren as well for your amazing support on the day, and also to all who donated whilst doing their weekend shopping!
  • Mosaic Workshop – thank you to Soha Housing, Creating ARTand Cornerstone for kindly putting on a workshop for young people engaging at TRAIN Friday morning. It was a great way of demonstrating the enjoyment and reward that can be gained from getting creative, young people creating colourful tiled leaves to be merged into a giant mosaic tree.
  • Social Action for Mind – Charlotte and Harry were joined by a number of a young people Saturday afternoon to raise awareness of charity Mind and the valuable support it can offer for those struggling with their mental health. Well done to all who got involved!

We are hugely pleased with how the week went and seeing the young people making the most of the opportunities and enjoying themselves so much was really very rewarding to see.

This week will see us continuing with our regular detached, outreach and mentoring sessions. This will include meeting a number of new young people for 1:1 mentoring and beginning our Head Start programme with two new groups of young people at Aureus and Stephen Freeman Primary Schools!

Please get in touch if you have any questions for us over the coming days or if you would like to be added to our mailing list for reminders of the weekly update and/or monthly newsletter.  We hope you all have great weeks.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Published in News
Sunday, 16 February 2020 18:24

February Half-Term

Half-term = a big week here at TRAIN! We have always been very passionate about offering many positive activities for young people during holiday periods, as they can be so important in acting as:

  • Invaluable life-skill building opportunities
  • Positive alternatives to more anti-social behaviour many may otherwise be inclined to partake in whilst being off school
  • Simply as opportunities to have a bit of fun!

This final point is especially important considering many of the young people engaging with us are often going through very difficult times. Having something positive to look forward to can therefore be so valuable in supporting the mental health of these young people. We also ensure that our activities are at a very low cost or often completely free to maximise their accessibility to all.

See our timetable below for a flavour of the exciting things we have on offer for young people this week. If you know of a young person who may be keen to get involved, please do get in touch with us for a chat!

Thank you.

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Published in News
Friday, 14 February 2020 17:26

January - February Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is here! Offering an update of our work with Didcot's young people over the first half of the Spring Term.


Published in News
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 11:41

Weekly Update 11.02.20

It was a great first week of February here at TRAIN. Alongside our one to one mentoring and detached work, we had a number of fun and insightful sessions across the week including:

  • Graffiti Workshop – a few of the young people were treated to a graffiti workshop by New York artist Tommy Watkins on Saturday! http://www.tommywatkins.com/ It was a fantastic afternoon, the young people relishing the opportunity to express themselves on canvas and producing some really quite impressive colourful pieces. We’re very grateful to Tommy for taking the time to deliver the workshop and very excited to see the work displayed at the Cornerstone from 11th-23rd Feb!
  • Head Start – this week’s session with the 16 young people we are mentoring at All Saints and Willowcroft primary schools were focused on relationships. This included expressing what it means to have a healthy, equal relationship, signs of abuse and the impact relationships can have on emotional health and self-esteem. Sessions were again very well received by the young people and it was brilliant to see more gaining the confidence to come along to our Dinner and Debate session on the Thursday.
  • Young Women’s, Young Men’s, What’s Up and Dinner and Debate – topics covered in sessions across the week included body image, identity, drugs and alcohol through discussions, interactive activities and debates. It was brilliant to see a few new faces, alongside young people who regularly attend TRAIN.
  • Friday Fun and Fitness – it was great to see young people really working as a team, helping and encouraging each other in their pad work during this week’s Friday Fitness session. Young people then had the opportunity to stay on to socialise in our open session, offering them a safe, positive space to spend their Friday evenings.

Considering the week ahead, we’re very much looking forward to heading to Cornerstone tonight 6-8pm for a ‘meet the artists’ evening - marking Day 1 of the gallery the young people’s paintings from Saturday’s graffiti session are being displayed in! You will be able to view their creations in the Centre up till 23rd February, but tonight will be a really nice opportunity to meet the young people and celebrate with them in having their work displayed in a public gallery! As Tommy will also be present, it will also be a great opportunity to chat to him about his work and really quite impressive background. So we do hope to see many of you there!

Alongside sessions, the team will also be busy planning for half-term, throughout which we will be holding a number of positive activities for young people to get involved in. You may also see a few young people at Tesco over the week doing some fundraising to raise money for an ice-skating trip they are keen to go on!

So we hope to meet many of you across the coming days and, if not, hope you all have good weeks. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions at all or if you would like to be added to our mailing list for reminders of the weekly update and/or monthly newsletter.  

Thank you.

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Published in News
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:12

Weekly Update 04.02.20

It was really great to see signs of young people engaging in our sessions growing in their confidence and self-esteem over the past week, as well as new young people coming to access our provision. This week’s highlights included:

  • Head Start - food, sleep and mood were the focus themes of sessions at Willowcroft and All Saint’s Primary Schools, to enhance the young people's awareness of the relationships between each. As with the session's held on the topic for previous groups, Justina and Charlotte whipped up a lovely blend of mars bars, energy drinks and other unhealthy ingredients to mimic the concoction foods such as these come to create when consumed! The young people then loved the healthier Innocent smoothies they were treated to instead, to demonstrate how good healthy alternatives can make you feel as well as taste.
  • Dinner and Debate and Young Men’s – this week saw young people have creative, cooking sessions making pitta bread pizzas! Dinner and Debate took a Dragon’s Den style format, with the young people designing the branding and packaging of their pizzas, which they then pitched to the group – the winning creation to be announced at this week’s session! All thoroughly enjoyed both the making and eating and staff were impressed by the enthusiasm, creative ideas and presentation skills demonstrated. It was also brilliant to welcome more young people who have been engaging in our Head Start sessions at Primary Schools.
  • What’s Up – many young people came along for another great session of games, focused on developing critical thinking and team work skills.
  • Friday Fitness and Fun –Friday evenings are now taking the format of a fitness focused session, followed by an open session for young people – offering an alternative location to the town centre where they can come and socialise positively with their peers. This Friday proved a great success, many coming along and getting involved in some pad fitness training with great enthusiasm and appreciating the welcoming space to spend their time in for the evening. Carrying out detached prior and following the session also worked well for spreading the word and then checking all had headed elsewhere safely afterwards.
  • Detached and Outreach – detached and outreach sessions over the week proved as important as ever for conversations held with young people around the town. Regular interactions ensure young people remain aware of our additional provision available to them and continue to further the positive relationships established with each to build their confidence in approaching us for support. Following our efforts to also encourage pro-social behaviour, it was also brilliant to see a number of young people acting very positively in the town centre.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, queries or ideas for us over the coming week, including if you may be interested in signing up to receive​ email reminders for the Weekly Update and/or our monthly newsletter​. 

Another notice to highlight is that VOXY (Voice of Oxfordshire's Youth) and The Children’s Trust are looking for feedback from all children and young people in Oxfordshire about how supported they feel by the services they use. First shared in January 2019, this follow up survey will be important for observing any change in how supported children and young people feel one year on, so there’s great worth in spreading the word. Head here for more information and the survey link.

Other than that, we hope the first week of February treats you all well and thank you as ever for your support. 

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Published in News