Thanks to our amazing supporters, we develop young people to bring hope and lasting change to disadvantaged communities. We seek to have an impact that is wide, deep, and lasting.
Each year, we engage with over 200 young people in three locations to help them bring hope and lasting change to their communities, through detached youth work, sports outreach, one-to-one mentoring, a young achievers project and a young people programme.
An independent evaluation of the Thrive programme noted that, ‘Thrive is highly effective in engaging with young people … in particular those young people who are considered “hard-to-reach” … Thrive delivers a lot at low cost whereas other agencies cost significantly more but deliver very little.’ (A Review of Innovista’s Thrive Programme, Dr David Mundy, 2014)
We love interacting with large numbers of young people. And we’ve also seen the biggest changes in those young people we’ve been able to build one to one relationships with.
One of the young people we’ve built a relationship with is Morgan. When we first met him as a 14-year-old, he was obsessed with video games. He would play them for up to 12 hours straight. Morgan used school as a place to catch up on sleep!
‘No one in my family has a job. About half of the adults I know are unemployed.’
We challenged Morgan to think of business ideas that he could start now. So Morgan started his own pop-up restaurant business, and won the Inspiring Entrepreneur Award at the Oxfordshire Youth Awards!
But Morgan didn’t keep the money for himself! Instead, he used his profits to travel the Philippines to build a house for a family who didn’t have one. Morgan said, ‘If I can change someone’s life on the other side of the world, then I can definitely change my own.’
We want to see disadvantaged communities changed for good through the service of young people. Which means we’re looking to have a long-lasting impact.
Seven young people (aged 16-21) took part in our first ever Thrive Young Leaders programme. This group identified that the 7-13 year olds in Barton were the most under-served group, and decided to launch a weekly indoor Kids Club, knowing from their own experience of growing up here that this would appeal to them.
They decided on the different activities that they would run and worked as sub-teams to deliver their planned activities for the children. 72 young people aged between 7 and 13 years have benefitted from the Kids Club launched and hosted by these young people. Of the committed seven young people, five were not in education, employment or training (NEET) at the beginning of the project. Three of these have since started college or found work.
And, in the year that the young leaders’ Kids Club ran, Police reported a 31% drop in anti-social behaviour in Barton (compared to an average drop of 5% across Oxford)!
In fact, when we launched Thrive in Barton in 2010, two of Barton’s three neighbourhood areas were in the bottom 10% in England and Wales for crime. In the 2015 Indices of Deprivation, none of them were!
“I have known Thrive and the work it does for and with disadvantaged young people in Barton and Blackbird Leys for many years. Its enthusiastic young team, allied to its sound governance and long term approach, have made a significant difference to the lives of many whose prospects and opportunities would otherwise have been very poor. It is excellent that their model and work have now been extended into Abingdon. It is an organisation that richly deserves philanthropic support to both continue and expand its work.”
Tim Stevenson OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire