This project by Thrive is an exemplar of the sort of investment OCF is making in children and families. As we revealed in our Oxfordshire Uncovered report, 21% of children in Oxford city are living in poverty, which we find wholly unacceptable. The county council is doing its best to support nearly 3,000 vulnerable families, but with limits to the scope of funding available we still see around 3,000 14-17 year-olds self harming, 14,000 children with mental health problems, and 22% failing to achieve the requisite levels in reading, writing and maths.
Investments via grants, but more importantly via the care and attention the grant enables, make a huge difference to young people's wellbeing. Barton-based Thrive is a fantastic charity that has had the vision to merge with the former Leys Youth Project, enabling them to share their mutual resources and expertise, cover a wider area and do more good. Just like OCF, they are putting collaboration at the heart of everything they do - and inspiring projects like this one are the result.
Since last year the project has been run by Oxford charity Thrive, which has merged with the Leys Youth Programme and provides support to young people on the estate.
Development director Robin Peake said: "This taps into the creativity that we see in young people in the Leys, some of which isn't realised as much as it should be. It provides an outlet for young people, who have as much potential as everyone else, to showcase that.
Thrive, which previously supported troubled young people as a community group in Barton, expanded into the Leys in early 2016.
It has just received £5,000 from the Oxfordshire Community Foundation to continue its mentoring programmes on the estate.