Who are we?
YOUTH CHALLENGE OXFORDSHIRE (YoCO) is a local charity established to support young people aged 14 - 21 in youth groups following a guided 18 month programme designed to help them to overcome the problems that they face during teenage years by developing resilience and confidence.

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>>> Read our COVID-19 Policy

Support YoCO
  • With your time
  • With financial support
  • With your skills
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Developing young people through personal challenge:
YoCO offers young people an amazing opportunity for personal growth and development that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

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Are you ready for the challenge, Blackbird Leys?

Would you like to take part in an exciting 15-month programme including workshops, skills based activities, a residential weekend away to Youlbury Camp and a life-changing trip to volunteer with the Nasio Trust Charity in Kenya?

We are looking for young people aged 14-21 to join our Blackbird Leys group starting at 6.30pm on 13th October at BLAP - please come along!

You will take part in an exciting 15-month programme including workshops, skills based activities, a residential weekend away to Youlbury Camp and a life-changing trip to volunteer with the Nasio Trust Charity in Kenya. 

Please get in touch if you have any questions, or to refer yourself or a young person download the Referral Form and send it to YoCO's Project Director  info@yoco.online

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE COVID-19 SITUATION (September 2020)

In March (16/03/20) YoCO postponed all group meetings. But now it has been agreed by the trustees that, as from 18th September 2020, YOCO will resume its face to face sessions with young people. Our COVID-19 Policy will be regularly reviewed and amended to ensure YoCO is adhering to all current COVID-19 guidance and legislation.

If necessary we will run virtual sessions using Zoom which young people can access from their homes. We will continue to offer catch up sessions, quizzes, home-schooling help and advice, mental health advice and more. We have updated our social-media and safeguarding policies accordingly. We are offering this to our present YoCO groups (Faringdon), and our past YoCO groups (Berinsfield, Faringdon, Abingdon and Blackbird Leys).

If you are a current or post YoCO group member and would like some help or advice, please contact us, info@yoco.online

Stay safe and best wishes to all our YoCO friends and family. We look forward to updating you when we, and life returns to normal. 

'Virtual' Buttercup Run 2020

A HUGE Thank You to all those who took part in, donated, sponsored and shared the Virtual Buttercup Run 2020!

 Thanks to your amazing achievements through biking, running, swimming, bouncing our way to 5km, and so brilliantly supported by the generosity of the The Mosawi Foundation and The Beard Charitable Foundation we have raised...


£14,000!

Our 2020 Buttercup Run Heroes...

- Berinsfield YoCO group completed a 5km bike ride 
- John in Chesham completed 5,000 jumps on a trampoline
- Hamish and Pippa in Barcelona swam 5km
- Luke, aged 5, competed on his space hopper
- Nicky and the Beard family dressed in fancy dress for their 5km run/walk (including Maizey Hudson, the dog)
- The Nasio Team and Nasio sponsored children in Kenya ran races
- The Querailts, Dicks, Wiggs and friends completed their 5km on the real Buttercup course
-Pip ran 104km in a week!
- YoCO Trustee Christine and Andrew completed a 29km bike ride 
- Bruce, Lucy, Will, Nick, Ed and Craig completed a very cold 5km swim in the Thames
- Ted, 7, and Arthur, 5, cycled 5km
- Faringdon YoCO group ran/walked their 5km
- Ferdy in Devon ran 5km
- Andy Boyd proved even retirees can run 5km
- The Mosses completed a 40km bike ride
- The Westmacott family completed a triathlon
 
Thank you for your participation, support and sponsorship!
 

Start planning your activities for the weekend of  22nd/23rd May 2021.

Spotlight on our YoCO Community Heroes!

Camron Hignell, 21 tells us about what he has been up to during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Camron is a YoCO Berinsfield Alumni and has been through the YoCO programme in 2019.

In life we all make choices, some are good and some are bad right? But what if all of a sudden the world broke into a massive pandemic!

My name’s Camron Hignell I’m 21 and I’m helping my local community with deliveries by foot for the vulnerable. These tasks can be from Shopping to prescriptions.

 I’ve always tried to be as helpful in my life and give 110% at everything I do, but throughout my life I’ve struggled with a lot of mental health problems which I still struggle with, but when I heard about this opportunity I jumped to help at any chance I could because this is the community I was raised on! This is my home, and at the same time it’s done my mental health the world of good knowing I’m helping those who really need help! It’s truly and honour not just for the role I’m taking part in, but the feeling of trust with people I’ve never spoken to before!

 Remember everyone, we all make choices, always try to reach for them good ones no matter what! Stay Safe.

Camron Hignell, Berinsfield.

YoCO BLOG

Izaac's adventure with YoCO Abingdon.

 

My fundraising started in early 2019 with the Abingdon YOCO group. We did various group fundraisers such as concerts, running 5km and car parking at a local village festival. This was a good way to become familiar with others in my group and created a strong team mentality. We landed at Kisumu airport and were greeted by our designated Nasio drivers and they were very helpful and friendly all through our drive to the compound, pointing out local traditions and explaining some of them to us. They also pointed out local landmarks.

Upon arrival to the guest house we were greeted with singing, dancing and music. The atmosphere was so welcoming and friendly which instantly made us all feel at home. The first thing that I noticed about Kenya was how efficient and resourceful everybody was, hardly anything went to waste. This was a big eye opener for me and made me really appreciate my resources back in England.

 One of our groups biggest contributions to the community was building a house for two different local families. I was amazed at the teamwork of the locals and how willing they were to get involved even though it would bring them no personal benefit. Building the houses was hard work but also fun to learn a new way of construction. The families were so grateful for their new homes as it gave them a dry and safe place to sleep and keep their belongings.

 The staff at the guesthouse were all so friendly and accommodating, the rooms were cozy and very comfortable. The staff worked so well to help us feel well accommodated. Three meals were prepared for us daily and the food was amazing with a great mixture of Kenyan and English foods. I tried a lot of new flavours throughout the trip and the local food is something I highly recommend.

One of my favorite memories of the trip was visiting Kakamega rainforest as we saw such a variety of wildlife that many of us had never encountered before. The Kenyan landscape was beautiful and it’s something I will never forget.

 I am so grateful that I was offered this opportunity at such a young age, not many people can say they went to Kenya and contributed so much to the local community, for that reason I encourage anybody especially young people to get involved. It was an experience of a lifetime and I made a great group of friends along the way.

Written by Izaac, Abingdon YoCO Group, 2019/20

Congratulations to our Abingdon and Blackbird Leys group!

YoCO: Abingdon and Blackbird Leys    

Whilst we are currently experiencing difficult times around the world, we thought we would update you on some positive news from our recent groups trip to Western Kenya. On 13th February 2020, our Abingdon and Blackbird Leys groups joined forces to volunteer in Western Kenya with the Nasio Trust. We are incredibly proud of all their hard work and amazing achievements out in a tough, culturally different environment. The group followed a 12-15 month journey to get to this point by working tirelessly to raise £800 each for their volunteering trip, with workshops that made the, well prepared for the journey they were about to embark on .

Here are some of the things they got up to whilst out in Mumias:
- Donated clothes, shoes, toys, toiletries, school supplies, school uniform, stationary and much more 
- Fed local school children at St Irene's Day Centre
- Fed and greeted sick children, newborns and their mothers at a local hospital
- Built 2 houses for a local, vulnerable families
- Cleaned slums in nearby Musanda
- Treated Jiggers (tiny parasitic insects that burrow into the hands and feet)

We want to say a huge well done to all of our young people and their fantastic leaders for such a life-changing trip. Your efforts, determination and enthusiasm to change and impact the lives of the Kenya community is inspiring and you have made your families, friends and your community proud.

 

Here is what some of young people have said upon their return:

  • '{...}more aware of how privileged I am. I’m more determined in school to do good and to spend my free time productively- art, homework etc.'
  • 'The accommodation was lush, and everyone was amazing and the staff and activities. I would never ever regret or change it!'
  • Asante Sana!

Are you ready for the challenge, Faringdon?

(UPDATE: GROUP IS FULL)

    

We are looking for young people to join our Faringdon group starting on Thursday 16th January 2020 at The Pump House Project.

If you, or someone you know is looking for a new challenge, join us for our next Faringdon group. You will take part in an exciting 15-month programme including workshops, skills based activities, a residential weekend away to Youlbury Camp and a life-changing trip to volunteer with the Nasio Trust Charity in Kenya. 

We are looking for young people aged 14-21, who face challenges such as pressures of social media, bullying, mental health issues and/or peer influence to take unnecessary risks. We will work with you over the 15-months to overcome these challenge and improve confidence, skills and aspirations for your next steps in life. 

Please get in touch if you have any questions, or please download the Referral Form and send it to YoCO's Project Director info@yoco.online

 

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