Duke of Sussex gives young people a voice

Tuesday 14th May was a big step in the life of many of our young people as HRH The Duke of Sussex visited our Thrive Teams programme in Barton.

Duke of Sussex gives young people a voiceThe Duke spent time meeting and chatting with nine young people who are involved with our programmes in Barton, The Leys and South Abingdon. Meeting youth workers too, the Duke saw some of our leadership development in action. In an exercise using bread crates and narrow planks of wood to build bridges, two of the boys nearly lost their balance. The Duke encouraged them saying; ‘You’ve got to hold onto each other. That’s the point’.

Thrive Teams Regional Manager, Sarah James led the Duke through the newly refurbished community centre and said of the day;

“I was really proud of the way the team and young people each played their part in showing the Duke the value of team and the importance of mentors in their lives. The activities the young people took part in demonstrated the need for self-esteem and resilience in facing life’s challenges.

As valued supporters of Thrive Teams, you know how key that message is to young people growing up in disadvantaged communities. It was thrilling to see young lives inspired today by the Duke’s visit.

Our prayer is that the Duke’s visit will have been a wonderful encouragement. We know that it is only one day in the life of these young people who face a daily struggle to reach their potential. However, we strongly believe that The Duke’s visit can be the inspiration that launches them and their communities onto the road of transformation.

As Bradley, age 14, said after meeting the Duke; “It’s not every day you get to meet somebody from the Royal Family. I hope today has been an eye opener for him. Meeting Prince Harry has given young people here a voice.”

Photograph taken by Jonathan Self, 2019.

What others are saying about Thrive

“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