Didcot TRAIN Youth Project

Items filtered by date: March 2020

Tuesday, 31 March 2020 16:33

Weekly Update 31.03.20

We hope you are keeping well considering things at the moment. With the increasingly stringent government guidelines, TRAIN’s Trustees came to the decision last week to pause all face to face aspects of our delivery for the time being, abiding by their duty of care to staff and the young people TRAIN supports.

In order to ensure staff can continue to reach out to young people and vice versa, for now we have made the switch to running all provision virtually - please see our current programme below. It is obviously a learning process adjusting to this online format, but we were really pleased by the engagement we came to have across the week.

Staff largely focused on checking in with young people, considering the huge change in lifestyle each are facing. Over the week many conversations were held with young people and a range of tools experimented with, from games to group chats, to explore what engagement methods and activities are of most interest to them. Live social media videos proved to be particularly great for running a number of activities including:

  • Joining in on the colourful message being spread nationally using rainbow drawings – young people joined Charlotte drawing their own to display in their windows as a sign of hope
  • Treasure Hunt – a number had a great time running round their homes excitedly searching for the 10 items given to them to find by Lisa and Charlotte
  • Clap for the NHS – many joined Charlotte for the hugely worthy clap the country carried out for the NHS last Wednesday
  • Daily Plan tutorial – young people were shown how to plan their days in a creative and fun way, empowering them to take a positive approach throughout this period and instead embrace it as a time for personal growth.

Daily Plan Charlotte

Digital platforms also have their benefit in enabling Justina to continue one to one mentoring sessions with a number of the young people she has been working with at UTC. We hope to take up a number more for sessions over the coming few weeks also.

We look forward to the coming week to plan more bits and pieces for the young people to look forward to.

If you have any questions about what we will be offering online for the week ahead, please do get in touch. Otherwise, thank you as ever for your support. It has been so brilliant to see the sense of community that has grown throughout this period so far, from all working to bring out the positive in the negative!

Take care,

The TRAIN Team

Timetable 26.03


Published in News
Thursday, 26 March 2020 11:18

COVID-19 Update

TRAIN’s Trustees are taking the coronavirus outbreak very seriously. Intending to maintain delivery as much as possible, we must also abide by our duty of care to our employees and the young people TRAIN supports.
Considering the updated government guidelines, the decision has been made to pause all TRAIN’s face to face delivery for the time being. All provision will instead be run virtually, including former group sessions and also with added new opportunities - please see our renewed timetable below. This will ensure staff can continue to reach out to young people and vice versa in this confusing and unsettling time for them. Young people can connect with the Youth Work team and gain updates on sessions through friending them on Facebook: @JustinaTRAIN @LisaTRAIN @CharlotteTRAIN @HarryTRAIN. 
Explore More 2020 has also been postponed due to the travel restrictions in place and insurance implications. TRAIN will seek to schedule alternative dates once circumstances change.
The Trustees are continuing to follow government advice as well as listening to other youth charities in Oxfordshire, actively seeking to minimise risk for each aspect of delivery. In the meantime, please do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all in regards to any of the above by: emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., calling 07305042427 or messaging us through Facebook @DidcotTRAIN. 
We do hope you are all keeping well through these difficult circumstances. 
Timetable 26.03
Published in News
Monday, 16 March 2020 17:14

Weekly Update 16.03.20

It was really positive to have a busy, energised week of provision last week. Highlights included:

  • Outreach at Aureus: Harry and Lisa enjoyed visiting on Tuesday to engage with young people during their lunchbreak - a really positive opportunity for young people to get to know the team better and, as a result, the additional support they can access from TRAIN outside of school hours.
  • Young Women’s Group: great discussions were held around the topic of passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour, exploring how to handle difficult situations in a positive way.
  • Young Men’s Group: stereotypes was the subject of this week’s session, addressed through many a team building game.
  • Dinner and Debate: Tuesday’s hour saw young people given hard hitting questions to discuss, covering a number of areas from drugs to terrorism. Resulting in a heated debating battle, it was great to see them exercising their skills in persuasion and assertion, whilst also being open to alternative viewpoints, some coming to switch opinions throughout. Many interesting views were also shared in Thursday’s session focused on disability awareness. It was clear certain young people left the room with completely different attitudes towards the topic and inspired to look out for others witnessed being stigmatised.
  • Head Start: young people engaged very well in sessions focused on how to recognise different feelings, manage negative emotions in a healthy way and passive, assertive and aggressive behaviour.

Considering the strange circumstances we are currently experiencing and the health and safety of our TRAIN community being very important to us, the coming week will see us taking steps to prevent the further spread of cold, flu and the COVID-19 virus.

For the time being our group mentoring, outreach and detached sessions will be continuing to go ahead as usual, but staff will be working from home during time in between. For the upcoming week’s provision please see the timetable below. We will be updating and posting the schedule each week through staff Facebook accounts, as well as any updates on cancellations.


Further guidance on TRAIN’s response from the Trustees:
Didcot TRAIN is following government advice on how to proceed with coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus include:

- A new and persistent cough

- A fever

If you are exhibiting these symptoms, please self-isolate by staying at home for 7 days

- Use NHS online for updated advice

- Phone NHS 111 if symptoms deteriorate or persist

People exhibiting symptoms will be required to leave Didcot TRAIN premises and encouraged to self-isolate


- We are ensuring our staff are informed about the latest government advice at every team meeting

- Our staff, volunteers, and young people are encouraged to regularly wash their hands using warm water and soap or hand sanitiser (with at least 60% alcohol content)

- Our staff, volunteers, and young people are encouraged to use tissues to trap bodily fluids during sneezing/coughing

Young people experiencing symptoms are also being welcomed to video call youth workers during sessions to get involved from the sofa instead!


If you have any questions on any of the above (or anything completly un-coronavirus related!), please do not hesistate to get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., through our @DidcotTRAIN Facebook page or calling 07305042427.

Take care and stay positive 🌞

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Timetable 16.03.20

Published in News
Monday, 09 March 2020 14:42

Weekly Update 09.03.20

We hope you have all had great weekends. To offer an update on last week here at TRAIN, sessions across the past few days have included:

  • Detached: this week’s detached proved particularly important for keeping us aware of local ASB, both witnessed by staff and communicated to us by local services in the Orchard Centre. Meetings have been arranged with impacted agencies to enable us to support one another in addressing matters. As always, young people were discouraged from engaging in negative behaviour and encouraged along to our sessions.
  • 1:1 Mentoring: young people undergoing mentoring programmes at UTC and Aureus engaged very well in their weekly session, areas explored including wellbeing, food and mood and anxiety.
  • Young Women’s Group: this week’s session revolved around food and sleep, with a quiz and lots of interesting discussions.
  • Head Start: another positive week of sessions with Aureus and Stephen Freeman primary schools, focused on the topics of reputations and the affect of stress on the body. 
  • Dinner and Debate: a couple of extremely energised sessions with lots of young people coming along! Lots of good ideas were shared on peer pressure, looking into different scenarios. A number of opinions voiced by young people have also brought about ideas for topics there would be benefit covering in future sessions.
  • Young Men’s: another positive session, including participation centered discussions around community activities the young people may be interested in getting involved in over the coming weeks.
  • Friday Fitness and Chill: it was brilliant to have a number of young people come along again, as usual enjoying having a positive space to socialise in, whilst taking it in turns to do one on one pad work with Lisa.

Other news:

  • Last week also came with some sad news with Alice, Director of Youth Work Services, sharing that this will be her last month with us at TRAIN! Having been with TRAIN for the past 4 years, it really won’t be the same without her. Inspiring does not even begin to cover the dedication she has shown to TRAIN, building it up from being just 1 Youth Worker strong to the team of 6 we are today. She has truly gone above and beyond to support all the young people who have engaged with her over the years. We wish her the best of luck at her new opportunity with Ark T. 
  • It has also been very exciting to begin planning for this year’s Explore More intensive personal development programmes in France, set to take place this Summer!
  • It was a lovely surprise to be donated £80 from the Ridgeway Division of Trefoil Guild, part of Girl Guiding UK! Rather than organising a typical Secret Santa, the group had the very kind idea of each generously contributing a donation this Christmas. We are incredibly grateful to all at the group so a very big thank you.

We hope the coming week is a positive one for you all. 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.  

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Published in News
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 17:36

Weekly Update 02.03.20

After a big half-term week of positive activities, last week saw us reset for the upcoming term, continuing with our regular provision timetable. This included:

  • Head Start: it was lovely to meet the 16 new young people at Stephen Freeman and Aureus who we will be delivering our Head Start programme with up till Easter. Stephen Freeman are taking up our ‘Promoting well-being and exploring mental health’ stream of the programme, whereas Aureus will be the first to take up sessions in ‘Promoting positive behaviour in school’. All the young people engaged very well and we are hugely looking forward to observing the impact it will have on their behaviours and wellbeing going forward.
  • “Get Started with Emergency Services” reunion day: Charlotte very much enjoyed visiting Didcot Fire & Rescue Station for a reunion day for NEET young people who took part in a week long course held in January centred around offering an insight into the Fire and Rescue Service, whilst developing valuable skills – delivered in collaboration with The Prince’s Trust. It was a great opportunity for building awareness of TRAIN’s services amongst those who attended and for us to meet a number of other local organisations. We very much appreciate having been invited.
  • Young Women’s Group: a relaxed session, focused on gathering views for upcoming sessions. It was also brilliant to be joined by new volunteer Claudia who we are very pleased to be welcoming to the team!
  • Young Men’s Group: this week’s theme was rights and responsibilities, leading to interesting discussions around what young people’s rights are in the local community, reducing risks of getting into trouble. This was followed up by a team building activities, including the levitating stick and human knot challenges. It was excellent to see the young people working together really well and building their leadership skills.
  • Dinner and Debate: globalization was the topic of Tuesday’s D+D session. Many good ideas were shared, particularly around positive and negative ways in which the phenomenon is influencing local services and Didcot as a whole. Thursday’s session then saw young people take part in a quiz around body image and positive empowerment, before making posters celebrating why it’s good to be unique.
  • Detached and Outreach – as always sessions proved important for interacting with young people around the town, reminding them of our upcoming sessions and keeping in communication with local and key partner agencies to TRAIN.
  • Friday Fitness followed by Drop in and Chill: it was positive to have a good number of young people attending the entirety of the evening, many eagerly arriving early before Lisa and Charlotte had even arrived back from outreach! An hour of pad work was fully enjoyed before the more relaxed open ‘chill’ session. It was particularly positive to see signs of older young people looking out for those younger than them, integrating really positively together.

This week will see us continuing with our usual schedule which you are all, as always, very welcome to get in touch with us regarding if you have any questions.

We hope you all have enjoyable weeks!

Kind regards,

The TRAIN Team

Published in News