On the 21st November it came as a surprise when the windows of the TRAIN office were boarded up. The following week, the decision was made for us to leave
after being informed by our landlords SODC that results from a recent survey highlighted significant health and safety concerns – an environment too unsafe to operate in.
We are hugely grateful to have received a great deal of support from the community. This includes Didcot Methodist Church, generously allowing us use of their spaces for sessions and also now our admin based work for the time being, whilst we continue our search for permanent premises.
However a considerable challenge has been presented in managing the circumstances. This includes temporarily loosing TRAIN’s drop in aspect whereby young people can access us for support when in crisis or in particular times of need. In many ways, a second home for the young people: “families have homes, but ours has been taken away”.
This comes at a time when youth work is arguably more important than ever, with concerns over issues such as County Lines, all forms of exploitation, young people’s mental health, loneliness and more extreme youth violence. With these concerns continuously rising to local and national headlines, the whole circumstances are a huge shame. We find ourselves in a strange situation, being centreless, when we have grown so considerably over the years and have so much potential.
As many people have asked how they can support us, we have set up this page for those who wish to make a financial contribution to TRAIN at this challenging time. This will include supporting us in hiring temporary spaces to carry out sessions from for an unknown period of time, ensuring we can continue doing our best to support Didcot’s young people into the new year. All funds raised will be passed to the charity irrespective of whether our target is reached, not reached or exceeded.
A huge thank you for your support, which means so much both to us and the young people accessing TRAIN.