YOUTH CHALLENGE OXFORDSHIRE (YoCO) is a local charity supporting young people aged 14 -21 to develop resilience and confidence so that they can overcome the problems that they face during teenage years.
The young people follow an exciting 18 month programme which helps them to overcome the key 7 challenges facing them today, such as pressures of social media, bullying and peer influence to take unnecessary risks. The programme designed and delivered by YoCO is run by youth group leaders at weekly meetings with a professional team at YoCO in support.
After 6 months, each youth group spends a residential weekend away together developing leadership and team working skills. This offers more opportunities for personal development and reflection. The young people may also volunteer for a life-changing trip to the Nasio Trust charity in Western Kenya. If there are some who would prefer to support the group rather than travel to Kenya they will be also become a key part of the project.
There follows a year of preparation for this challenge which includes fund raising, learning some basic Swahili and planning the work they will do in Kenya. The visit of ten days involves helping local teachers working with 400 HIV orphans in two schools, helping in a local hospital and building a home for a local Kenyan family. Through this challenging and rewarding work the young people discover how much they can contribute to those far less fortunate than themselves and just how valued they and their contributions are. They return to the UK with a greater understanding of themselves and the value of volunteering in the community.
After Kenya, the young people are supported by YoCO for as long as they need with help and advice for applications to educational courses, apprenticeships and employment. Many wish to continue to work with YoCO as young leaders, inspiring others to develop that important resiliance and confidence of their own.
Read more about our projects >>>
Contact us if you would like to start a group >>>
Download the YoCO registration form for a young person
Youth Challenge Oxfordshire (YoCO) is a registered charity administered under the Charity Commission with trustees and officers:
Jane Cranston (Chair)
Jane was the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire for the Shrieval Year 2017/18 and she is now a Deputy Lieutenant. She has recently retired from the Wine Trade, where she was a shareholder in and managing director of a wine importing company she helped to set up 40 years ago. She is now a Trustee of Vale House Care Home and a Governor, having recently stepped down after 12 years as Chairman, of St Helen & St Katharine in Abingdon. She has also until recently been a governor at both Abingdon School and The Manor Prep School. She currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Community Shop in Appleton where they are very proud of having 104 volunteers!
Born in Kenya, the 13th child of the tribal chief of Musanda, Nancy Hunt (Mudenyo) has devoted her life to meeting the needs of vulnerable children and in 2015 was recognised as the UK's most inspirational woman (NatWest Venus Awards).
Nancy and Jonathan Hunt founded The Nasio Trust in 2004, but the mission really started in 2000 when Nancy’s elderly mother, Irene Mudenyo, found an abandoned baby in a sugarcane field. From there the Early Childhood Development Centres developed to take care of orphans after Irene passed away. Nancy has worked tirelessly to develop the programme for young people in the UK which offers them the opportunity to volunteer to work for the Nasio Trust in Kenya. Read more about the Nasio Trust >>>
Felicity is a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire; a Trustee of Oxfordshire Youth and Earthtrust; Patron of OxPat (Oxford Poverty Action Group) and Archway (alleviating loneliness and isolation); an Ambassador for PACT (Parents and Children Together) and a founding Director of Appleton Community Shop Ltd, She has experience of working with young people in Oxfordshire as she ran a Sure Start Family Centre (under the auspices of PACT) between 2005 and 2008. Her passion is to give better opportunities to young people, particularly those from difficult backgrounds, opportunities and experiences that will enhance their life chances and opportunities to get good jobs. She has much experience of volunteer fundraising for the above charities, the community and the local church over the last thirty five years!
Keith Budgen CBE
Keith Budgen CBE is a retired Senior Civil Servant who held a range of posts in the Ministry of Justice where he was responsible for the improvement of the administration of justice. His last appointment was as Regional Director for Her Majesty's Courts Service, for the South East of England. Since 2011 he has been an Assistant Commissioner to the Boundary Commission for England, advised on improvements to the administration of justice in Kenya, Seychelles and the Middle East and is currently a chairman/panel member of selection panels at the Judicial Appointments Commission. Keith has been a volunteer with The Nasio Trust since 2011 and is now the Chair of Trustees.
Canon Sue Booys
Canon Sue Booys is the Rector of Dorchester Abbey and Team Rector of the Dorchester Team Ministry which includes Berinsfield from which the original NASIO Trust Exit 7 groups visited in Mumias. In common with many of her parishioners Sue and her husband Richard can remember buying one of the original ‘pink bricks’ which helped to build the Noah’s Ark Day Centre which YoCO groups will visit and volunteer at. Sue trained as a teacher and followed God’s call to ordained ministry in the early 1990’s when her three children were still young. Since being ordained she and Richard have continued to make Oxfordshire their home and enjoy walking and boating when they have a chance! Both also enjoy travelling to other countries, Sue has visited the NASIO centres at Mumias and Musanda three times, most recently with Richard and her daughter Jenny. Sue and Richard also spent three months living and working in South Africa where they enjoy links with another project that cares for children
Simon qualified as a solicitor and practised in the City of London for 7 years. Since 1995 he has specialised in learning and development for professionals, holding a number of roles with leading law firms, most recently EMEA Director of People Development for White & Case. Since 2017, Simon has worked as an independent consultant. Simon lives in North London and is married with two teenage children and two black labradors. Simon is also a governor of Papplewick Preparatory School.
Christine Douglas - Project Director
Christine has worked with young people for most of her career. Initially as a geography teacher, then in education senior management, latterly as a school inspector and recently through volunteering with the Nasio Trust as a group leader. She has a wealth of experience and understanding of the challenges facing young people; understanding the ways in which their confidence and skills need to be built so that they can achieve their full potential. As Project Director for YoCO her aim is to ensure a sustainable, enjoyable and challenging programme is in place preparing youth groups for their life changing, volunteering trip to the Nasio Trust’s project in western Kenya. Here they will work in homes, schools and a medical centre providing much needed support for orphaned young children and their guardians.
Keith Budgen - Treasurer
Andrew Douglas - Charity Administrator
In the Office
Mihaela Reade - Assistant Project Director
Registered Charity Number: 1171054
Registered Address: Midland House, West Way, Oxford OX2 0PH
Youth Challenge Oxfordshire is a registered charity: Number 1171054 :: Midland House, West Way, Oxford OX2 0PH :: 07999 340597
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