A new service has been set up in Witney to support young people.

The Station in Witney is a detached youth work service born out of discussions held with local authorities, youth groups and other organisations after a gap in provision was identified in 2023.

The charity Bright Futures Oxfordshire, an initiative of Witney Community Church, has been awarded £28,000 by Witney Town Council for the service.

Jason Huffadine, a trustee of Bright Futures Oxfordshire, said: "Our focus is on making connections with and for young people enabling them to journey well in life.

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"Detached youth work is like most other youth work except that it takes place in the areas that young people might identify as their ‘own ground’.

"Basically, we go to young people and encourage and support them. We are always on their side and provide a voice for them in the community."

The Station aims to promote four key outcomes.

These are identified by bosses as "positive formation of self, constructive behaviours, healthy relationships and greater confidence and resilience".

The work takes place in the street, in parks, cafes, shopping centres, making it more accessible to young people and removing some of the barriers for those who are unlikely to attend or cannot access institutional services.

The Station is up and running and made its debut at the opening of the town council’s wheeled sports park earlier in the year.

Owen Collins, mayor of Witney said: "Since the closure of many other beloved youth work groups, the need for expanded support has been evident, and we were thrilled when The Station came forward to step into the gap.

"Young people are regularly stigmatised and demonised and, to be blunt, deserve far better – they have suffered the sharpest end of the Covid-19 pandemic, are routinely criticised for every choice they make, and face a greater set of pressures than most of us.

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"Without the crucial work of organisations like The Station, we risk an ever more detached, ever more unconnected generation, and I thank The Station and all who have supported them so far, for picking up the baton of helping these young people, for their own good and for the good of our entire community.”

(Image: Witney Youth Work and Chaplaincy project)

‘KICK’ run by The Station which will offer free football sessions at the Witney ATP on Gordon Way throughout the summer holidays.

Further information and on this and other detached youth works sessions will be made available by the town council.