Neda’s Story

15-year-old Neda loves a challenge.

She’s motivated and determined, and has big dreams for the future. After studying engineering at university, she wants to travel and set up her own charity.

But aiming high has not always come easy.

Moving to the UK when she was seven and being separated from most of her family for several years was very hard.

She experiences high levels of anxiety, a feeling she likens to being in a cage.

However, since getting involved in new activities like Army Cadets, swimming and youth Alpha, Neda’s confidence has grown.

Thanks to Thrive Teams supporters, she has found people who believe in her. What’s more, recognising her impressive drive and leadership qualities, they have helped her to believe in herself.

She’s also found a channel for expressing her anxieties.

‘I know that even when I’m anxious God is there for me.’ When faced with a tough situation, Neda has been finding it’s helpful to pray.

For example, it was her turn to lead the marching at cadets recently. What made this even more stressful for Neda was that the practice was being filmed. But when she realised all eyes were on her, she said a quick silent prayer – and then got it spot-on, right down to stopping the band at the perfect point.

She’s also been wanting to read the Bible more and more. Rather than rely on the youth materials designed to simplify it, she’s keen to go deeper, engaging with what she finds and asking lots of questions.

When she felt nervous about going to cadet camp last year, she took her Bible to read, sleeping with it under her pillow and locking it away carefully when she went out.

The comfort she’s found in it has been contagious. When a friend with depression was feeling very low she shared some verses with him and saw how it helped to calm him.

It’s not just with friends that she’s growing in confidence. She’s also been learning about ways to forgive people. Sleep can be a struggle, but after choosing to pray for a teacher she finds difficult she found she fell asleep quickly and slept peacefully.

‘I’m so happy Thrive Teams introduced me to God.’

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