Being a young person in the UK today is not easy. But young people growing up in disadvantage face an even tougher challenge.

In many disadvantaged communities, money is tight, stress is high and opportunities hard to find.

When life’s a daily struggle there are few reasons to believe the future will be any different. That’s why many young people are growing up with low self-esteem and little aspiration.

But we know that young people in places like Oxford’s Barton, Leys and South Abingdon estates have great potential.

Experience shows us that when a young person gets help to unlock that potential, their life starts to change – and so does their community.

Thrive Teams is Innovista’s initiative for growing life-changing leadership in young people in hard-to-reach places in the UK.

For the last decade we’ve been helping young people across three Oxford estates to realise and release their God-given talent. To believe that their lives matter and they have a unique contribution to make.

Our work

Community-transforming change takes time. That’s why Thrive Teams members move to live on the estates we serve, where we:

Identify and build relationships of trust with young people through activities in the community. These include street and school-based youth work, sports sessions and open access clubs. That’s how we find those with leadership potential.

Equip young people through mentoring to increase their skills, confidence and resilience. In group and 1:1 settings, our team of experienced youth workers and trained volunteers help young people to recognise and reach their full potential.

Develop young people’s leadership skills through our Young Leaders programme. Through a combination of coaching and weekly training sessions we empower young people to catalyse change in their own lives and across their community.

  • Our approach

    The foundation to our work is our Christian faith. We believe every young person has a God-given potential and purpose. We want to see young people changing their own futures and that of their communities.

    As Christians, our approach to achieving these things is based on Jesus’ approach:

    Focussing on people who are on the margins of society: Thrive Teams are based in disadvantaged communities where many people feel marginalised. We want to empower young people to be the change and break the cycle of deprivation and flourish in their communities.

    Living among the people we serve: Thrive Teams are committed long term to the young people and community, recognising that life changing leadership takes time. Our teams live and play an active part in the community and are committed to enabling long term change through young people.

    Being open to everyone we meet: We know that young people of all faiths and none in disadvantaged communities face the same obstacles, and we are committed to working with anyone in our community, regardless of their beliefs.