ABOUT OXFORD YOUTH WORKS

 
Mission Statement
Oxford Youth Works is committed to enabling young people to realise their full potential as children of God through nurturing positive relationships and challenging and equipping the wider Christian community
 

Oxford Youth Works offers long-term relational care to young people. We seek to care for them unconditionally and encourage them to achieve their full potential. We want to explore with them a wider range of opportunities than they think possible and teach restorative resolutions to life’s turbulence. We have been doing youth work within Oxford’s schools and communities for over 25 years. We are an ecumenical charity and we work with local schools, churches and other organisations to provide a high standard of youth work. We seek to serve and invest in all young people, regardless of cultural, faith or socio-economic background. Through our partnership with Oxford CYM we enthusiastically support the training and further development of professional youth, schools, children’s’ and family workers.

  1. We believe young people deserve unconditional support, respect and care, as people created in God’s image. We believe they should have freedom to choose and take responsibility for their own lives and actions.
  2. We seek to encourage young people to engage with the Gospel and to reflect and act on its challenge to their lives and culture.
  3. We want to teach young people the skill of continually discovering and growing into their full potential as it grows and develops with them.
  4. We believe young people need positive examples of constructive participation in society, leading to active citizenship.
  5. We go where the young people are, physically, culturally and spiritually. We seek to share life and live out our faith through worship, service, prayer and restorative relationships.
  6. We seek justice and righteousness at personal, community and structural levels, challenging oppression and hypocrisy both within OYW and society.
  7. We seek restorative responses to conflict, both within the youth work team and within the youth work.
  8. We are an inclusive worshipping community of Christians who believe the Bible is God’s word. We are from a variety of traditions and we actively support and encourage each other in our faith.
  9. We believe all those working with young people should receive high quality training, supervision and support.

  • We seek to provide caring, long-term adult relationships with young people through running and initiating a variety of high quality projects in local schools and communities. We seek to invest in and support existing projects within these schools and communities.
  • We seek to provide caring, long-term adult relationships with young people through running and initiating a variety of high quality projects in local schools and communities. We seek to invest in and support existing projects within these schools and communities.
  • We operate as a supportive network of people engaged in critical reflection & integrity of practice.
  • We are committed to training and equipping Professional Youth Workers through our partnership in the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission.
  • All who work for or train with OYW are united in seeking, unconditionally, the growth and maturity of young people in all areas of their lives; physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, within their community and in relationship with Christ and the Church.

OYW began in the early 80’s when the founders Pete Ward, Ken Wilson and Bob Dupee identified a common goal; introducing Christianity to young people who wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with the Church. The OYW team began offering youth work training, which grew into a one year training course and eventually the CYM degree course, Masters course, and other training opportunities.

The language and missiology they used evolved as they looked at the culture of the young people they wanted to reach, and created an incarnational approach to youth work –  following the counter-cultural example Jesus set as He sought to see people treated with worth, challenging societal cultural norms that refuted this. The OYW team has changed over the years, and focus has been given to different projects and communities (both geographical and cultural). There has always been an emphasis on creativity. OYW still makes it a priority to engage with young people unlikely to come into contact with the Church.

MEET THE TEAM

HANNAH WOODS

HANNAH WOODS

Director of Youth Work

E: hannahwoods@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk

Hannah leads the vision and youth work at Oxford Youth Works

She is based in Oxford Spires Academy, and her youth work there currently involves a lot of time in the school library.

Hannah is married to Jon; they have two small children. She worships at St Aldates Church, where she runs the community toddler group and is regularly grateful for how her youth work training applies in this new role.

What makes Hannah happy: knitting and sunny days with her family

ROB TUMILTY

ROB TUMILTY

Senior Youth Worker / Volunteering Project Manager

E: robtumilty@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk

Rob is passionate about enabling young people to make a difference within their own communities. Also a tutor with Oxford CYM, his role bridges the two halves of the organisation. He is currently piloting a Level 2 course with Year 12’s, at St. Gregory the Great School, called Explore – Youth Work and Peer Leadership and is a Chaplain at Oxford FE College. Rob has held various community and church leadership roles including youth worker, elder and ministry leader for 0-18’s. Rob has three fantastic children with his wife Rachel.

What makes Rob happy: West Ham United FC, Daim Bars and keeping chickens!

 

 LIZ RIDLER

LIZ RIDLER

Business Manager

E: lizridler@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk

Liz is based in the office, with a range of responsibilities from financial reporting to database maintenance and mailings. She is passionate about releasing youth workers to spend as much time as possible with young people.

Liz worships at Hook Norton Baptist Church, where she is Treasurer. She richly enjoys family time with husband Steve, two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren.

What makes Liz happy: baking and cross-stitching

 

ADAM OVERTON

ADAM OVERTON

M.A. Placement Youth Worker

E: adamoverton@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk

Adam leads the OYW work at Cheney School and helps run the JOY community group. He loves encouraging young people to discover their God given potential through music, sport and creative learning. Adam is also studying for an MA in Youth, Community and Practical Theology at CYM. He is a member of Headington Baptist Church and involved in youth & community ministry and worship. Adam and his wife Ellie moved to Barton 2 years ago and are passionate about serving God in the community- they love the people they have met there! They are both actively involved in the ministry of Barton Community Church and volunteer with the Thrive: Barton team as mentors and group work leaders.

What makes Adam happy: musical ‘jams’ and song-writing sessions, fitness challenges and Pastries.

How We Work

We serve the local Youth Work communities in the following ways:

Schools Work

Teenagers on Computer at Home

Youth Work

C:Websites from 2011Oxford Youth WorksGraphics300 x 170

Faith Work

Teenagers playing tug of war

Schools Work

 

Oxford Youth Works have a long history of work within the key East Oxford secondary schools; Cheney School, Oxford Spires Academy (as was Oxford School and Oxford Community School), St Gregory the Great Catholic School and the Oxford Academy (as was Peers School). Our work is currently focused in Cheney and Oxford Spires Academy (OSA).

Our schools work runs in three strands: behavioural or lesson support, clubs, and detached work. It is very important to us that young people are free to voluntarily choose whether or not they want to participate in the work we are doing, and we endeavour to structure as much of our work as is possible with that flexibility.

Our youth workers are encouraged to engage with subjects or clubs which they are interested in. This enthusiasm and interest communicates itself to young people, and gathers like-minded young people to the project.

Portrait Of Teenage Girls And Boys

For many young people, having a safe space to explore and work through strong emotions can make the difference between being able to engage with school or becoming disengaged and demotivated. Within the lesson support we seek to help young people engage with the subject in a joyful and life-giving way; we have the freedom to concentrate on helping one young person for an entire lesson, and can support the work of the teaching staff from a slightly different angle.

Projects include:

  • Individual mentoring sessions using the MyLife mentoring program
  • Work within behavioural support bases and achievement centres
  • Literacy Support (reading with individuals and facilitating group discussion on books)
  • Small group work

We want young people to have the opportunity to succeed, and to receive encouragement and support to grow and develop in something they enjoy and demonstrate aptitude in. Most of our clubs are done in the context of joining in with something the school is offering, or working with school staff to develop and set up a provision.

Clubs include:

  • The Book Club
  • The Mountain Biking Club
  • ‘Beatz’ Music Workshop
  • The Cupcake Club
  • The Knitting Club

In addition to supporting young people through behavioural and lesson support, and clubs, we also consider detached work within the schools as an integral part of the role of a relational youth worker.

Detached work consists of meeting young people where they are at, within their social setting and the geographical space in the school they choose to congregate. This can be the most challenging and the most rewarding part of our work. Youth workers endeavour to explore the school grounds during break and lunchtimes, catching up with young people we know and starting conversations with those we have yet to get to know.

Part of our remit for helping young people to unlock their full potential is helping them discover their strengths; learning employment skills and a strong work ethic. Our volunteering project, Volume, seeks to help young people engage in activities which suit and develop their skill-sets, give them opportunities to try out new skills and experiences and develop the responsibility and work ethic necessary to become an active and participating member of society.

Within the school context we look for ways to encourage Sixth Formers and older pupils to support and mentor younger pupils. We have found this to be very beneficial for both the older and the younger pupils, and in many circumstances clubs would not have had enough personnel to really flourish without these volunteers. We are keen to involve younger students in relevant and suitable ways as well, and are seeking ways of helping young people contribute back to their school community.

Youth Work

Working with young people across Oxfordshire

group-study


Residentials have always been important to OYW – a mix of outdoor adventures, fun, time for reflection, and then more fun. We aim to help young people realise they are capable of more than they believe. Seeing people overcome their fears, grow in confidence and get a sense of achievement as a result is awesome. It’s life-changing. We see young people grow as much in one week of residential as we do in twelve months of ordinary time at home, in the best of ways.

Outside of school term time we run day trips and events. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to get to know young people outside of the school context and explore new and/or common interests together. The trips are often run according to the interests and the creativity of the youth workers, and in the past these have included a wide range of activities:

  • Canoeing and raft-building
  • Hiking to the nearby scout camp
  • Picnics
  • Shopping trips to retail centres
  • Visits to local churches
  • Bowling
  • Cinema trips
  • Board Game afternoons
  • Museum trips
  • Mountain biking
  • Local city events (The Christmas Light Night was AMAZING!)
  • Meals out
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Nativity Stations
  • Rowing

Part of our remit for helping young people to unlock their full potential is helping them discover their strengths; learning employment skills and a strong work ethic. Our volunteering project, Volume, seeks to help young people engage in activities which suit and develop their skill-sets, give them opportunities to try out new skills and experiences and develop the responsibility and work ethic necessary to become an active and participating member of society.

Within the school context we look for ways to encourage Sixth Formers and older pupils to support and mentor younger pupils. We have found this to be very beneficial for both the older and the younger pupils, and in many circumstances clubs would not have had enough personnel to really flourish without these volunteers. We are keen to involve younger students in relevant and suitable ways as well, and are seeking ways of helping young people contribute back to their school community.

Faith Work

Our interactive faith works takes place in a variety of contexts

students-study-group-with-teacher

A community exploring the Christian way of life

Church is not like the rest of society – some of the things we do are unusual and take some getting used to. JOY creates an accessible setting which celebrates the culture of the young people AND the sacredness of Church.

At JOY young people from wildly different background share their hopes and dreams with vulnerable honesty. They engage with the  Bible and the Truth and God in a way that turns everything upside down and makes you believe in it anew or for the first time.

At this time JOY meets in a café in Oxford’s Cowley Road. People join in prayer to offer real needs and give thanks with disarming frankness. It is a small, genuine community and it is a sanctuary for all who attend.

“The Grace Space prayer room in Oxford Spires Academy seeks to be a sanctuary for young people to find security away from the pressures of life. We want young people to be the best they can be, and we want to help them find inspiration and courage on the journey there.” The Grace Space is a dedicated prayer room at Oxford Spires Academy which was opened In July 2013 to serve the community at Oxford Spires Academy. The Grace Space is run in partnership with Oxfordshire Prayer Spaces in Schools, Oxford Schools Chaplaincy and a number of local churches. Through these partnerships with local churches, we seek to connect young people to suitable local people in their communities, providing a “wrap-around” support where we are able to impact the lives of young people through interactions in and out of the school setting. The Grace Space has been well received from both staff and students at Oxford Spires Academy: Head teacher Sue Croft said that the space “fits the needs of the pupils and the ethos of the school”, and one of the pupils who attends regularly left feedback which simply said “This place could change someone’s life!”

OYW News & Events

News Feature Coming Soon . . .

News about current and upcoming training and events will follow shortly

 

News Feature Coming Soon . . .

News about current and upcoming training and events will follow shortly

 

News Feature Coming Soon . . .

News about current and upcoming training and events will follow shortly

 

CONNECTIONS

Oxford CYM – Our Training Arm

The Oxford Centre for Youth Ministry is a transformational learning community (a well-spring) OCYM offers a number of courses to suit a variety of abilities and qualification needs If you work alongside young people why not see if it offers the right course for you

Our mission is to transform the Christian community’s engagement with children and young people through:

  • delivering accredited training courses, professional education and ministerial formation
  • doing (publishing) practical theology and critical (research into and) reflection on Christian practice
  • inspiring, challenging, resourcing and supporting individuals, organisations and churches to engage creatively and responsively with children and young people
  • being a Creator-called, Christ-like, Spirit-enabled movement for change
  • helping the church to participate in God’s passionate mission to children and young people, families and communities

Introduction to Oxford CYM We are the host partner of Oxford CYM, a consortium of Christian youth work organisations (Oxford Youth Works our local host partner, Youth for Christ, Frontier Youth Trust, Youth Link) and theological colleges (Belfast Bible College, Bristol Baptist College, Ridley Hall Cambridge + St John’s Nottingham), founded in 1996.  Visit Oxford CYM

What is CYM? CYM exists to stimulate and support Christians working with, young people, children, families and schools through practical theological education, professional training, consultancy and research.  With courses designed for volunteers through to experienced professional, CYM is committed to innovating in training to help meet the needs of those who innovate in practice.

Student

OCYM Logo

We do all of this through 5 CYM regional learning centres (Bristol, Cambridge, Ireland, Nottingham + Oxford) providing training, undertaking research and generating resources for Christian work with children, youth and families.

Oxford CYM is  a regional CYM centre  – serving the south central region.  Our ‘strap    line’ is ‘joining the dots’.  We oversee the post-graduate programme nationally and    have around 30 undergraduate students based here for study and working in churches and para-church organisations from Croydon to Wolverhampton.

We currently have approximately 240 undergraduate students and 50 postgraduate students studying with the Universities of Gloucestershire or Staffordshire, in addition to over 200 FE learners.

See www.centreforyouthministry.ac.uk for details

 

CONTACT US

We’d love to hear from you – please do get in touch! Our team are all part-time so bear with us on the reply time, we will get back to you as soon as we can. Oxford Youth Works CMS House Watlington Road Oxford OX4 6BZ T: 01865 787460 E: admin@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk  

 

Contact Oxford Youth Works

Oxford Youth Works

Oxford Youth Works CMS House Watlington Road Oxford OX4 68Z T: 01865 787460 E: admin@oxfordyouthworks.co.uk

Website concept & design by Lesley Wells of InfoGrafs

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