An Oxfordshire charity is celebrating ten years of supporting young people from across the region.
OYAP Trust, which is supported with funding from Sanctuary Housing, has worked with over twenty thousand 11 to 25 year olds in Oxfordshire, supporting them to run creative events that celebrate the areas where they live, with a motto of ‘Changing the community for the better: young people inspiring and being inspired.’
Working in partnership
Sanctuary has worked in partnership with the charity since 2014, helping them to continue running their activities over a three year period. The funding has supported the development of OYAPs Youth Action Teams (YATs) in Bretch Hill, Grimsbury and Bicester. YATs give young people the support, encouragement and skills needed to lead positive change in the community.
What has OYAP achieved?
Some of the recent achievements of the Bretch Hill YATs, hosted by The Hill Community Centre, include the 30 Acts of Kindness summer activity. Over 30 days, 30 young people carried out good deeds in Banbury ranging from producing textile art work and cupcakes to organising pamper nights, odd job days and litter picks.
The charity was recognised for its work at the 2015 Sanctuary Community Awards, winning the accolade for Most Innovative Community Project for the ‘I am Bob’ project, run by the Bicester YAT. The project saw young people interviewing residents, as well as researching the community they lived in, before presenting their findings in a published book, based on the famous Humans of New York project.
The Grimsbury YAT added to these successful activities with projects including a community quilt project, displayed at the Museums Live event, and designing and making cushions which were gifted to older people in a care home.
The YATs have plenty of exciting projects planned for the months ahead, including a 2016 calendar and event planning for Arts Awards.
What do OYAP think about their success?
Ambereene Hitchcox, general manager from OYAP, commented: “The Youth Action Teams are the key to making a difference for and with young people in the district. They give a legitimate and safe focus for all sorts of exciting and innovative creative activities led by young people, and open up a route for members to arts-based qualifications via OYAP and the nationally-recognised Arts Awards.
“Our collaboration with Sanctuary Housing means we can give sustained support to growing numbers of young people in an increasing number of YATs and advise them in making a real contribution to their communities.”