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ınspıre :: OUTREACH


BARTON council housing estate is home to around 3,500 people, including a high proportion of young people in families on benefits. A third of households are single


parent, and young people growing up here are faced with Oxford’s worst score for education, skills and training. How can the Church reach young people growing up in these areas, where crime and family breakdown are common and three meals a day aren’t guaranteed?


to bring about change in their community. Jem first met Josh, 18, when he saw


some teenagers hanging around the shops, and asked them if they wanted to play football. His mum was an alcoholic for 27


years and his dad wasn’t around when he was a child. “I grew up with no-one to tell my


problems to,” Josh says. “When I was 12 I started smoking


and drinking, and getting into fights. By 14, I was beating people up for no


Bringing hope to Barton


In Oxford, the city of ‘dreaming spires’, a staggering one in four children lives in poverty. ROBIN PEAKE explains how Christian charity workers are literally moving in to help them


It’s a question that Thrive, an


initiative of the Christian charity Innovista, have set themselves the challenge of answering. Over the last few years, a Thrive Team


have taken the unusual step of not just helping young people from a deprived community, but choosing to live on the estate as well. “It means that we can see firsthand


the problems that young people here face,” says Jem Todd, Thrive’s Senior Youth Work Co-ordinator in Barton. “Living on the estate has given us


real credibility amongst the young people who are often the hardest to reach. We can better understand their context to help them experience hope and lasting change.” Since launching in 2010, Thrive have


built relationships with more than 100 young people from Barton estate, running a variety of projects designed to inspire, enable and support them


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