This Christmas, many young people in Oxford’s most challenging estates are struggling and have little to look forward to. We have been offered £10,000 of matched funding for Thrive Teams, meaning that any gift you are able to give will be doubled. With your help, Thrive Teams can reach out to the most marginalised – through the Christmas holidays and beyond.

Any gift you are able to give will be doubled

Coronavirus has disrupted school work, throttled friendships, and compounded financial pressures. Winter has come, but people can’t socialise indoors. It is no surprise that young people living in disadvantage are facing some increasingly challenging situations at the moment. Circumstances outside of their control rob them of opportunity, aggravated by a lack of positive role models and people who are willing to invest in them. Incidents of safeguarding have increased with young people not knowing where to turn.

Resilience and hope

But. (Isn’t there always a but?) But Thrive Teams are incubating resilience and hope. Jake* is a bit of a ringleader. He’s the lad that his peers respect and follow – through the good and the bad. He lives with his gran and rarely see his parents. He isn’t a regular attender at school and doesn’t see the point in getting a formal education. But with time, mentoring and a space to talk, we see enormous leadership potential in him, an unlikely leader.

Logan* has 13 siblings, with five different fathers. Logan never sees his own dad. He joined Thrive Team’s gaming club two years ago and his behaviour proved to be a challenge, regularly swearing and picking fights. But now, after some clear boundaries were laid out, his behavior has improved, he knows how to focus his energy more positively, and he’s in the top set for maths at school. He has become more reflective and thinks now, before acting. Your investment in Thrive Teams is changing lives for the better.

A Christmas to look forward to

We are committed to these young people year-round. But right now, we want to give them a Christmas to look forward to. We’ve listened carefully to what they want, and from hot chocolates to gaming tournaments, Thrive Teams are bringing some Christmas cheer to the end of a desperately challenging year (further details below).

Please give generously to support Thrive Teams this Christmas, and into the new year. Wonderfully we have been offered £10,000 in matched funding for Thrive Teams, meaning that any gift you give before Christmas Day will double in size. Please remember young people in Oxford’s most disadvantaged estates this Christmas, and invest, as you are able, in giving them a better Christmas now – and a better future to come.

Thrive Teams Christmas events!

For the young people in Thrive Teams, Christmas often isn’t a special time of year – or even a pleasant one. It’s not always a time for family, carols or Christingles; some of the young people told us it’s “boring, meaningless”, just like any other time of year. We have worked hard on some creative ideas for this coronavirus Christmas, giving young people some things to look forward to within the Tier 2 guidelines. Ideas include….

  • An exciting Christmas Eve gaming tournament – either Rocket League or FIFA – with prizes
  • Setting up gazebos in prominent places to serve hot chocolate, play games, and sing Christmas carols
  • Socially distanced walks around the estates
  • A Christmas film night
  • A session talking about hardship and family issues at Christmas, led by Thrive Teams young leaders

*We have changed the names of these 13-year-old boys, because we want to share real lives and stories with you whilst also protecting their identities.