Success is still being here

July 2020

Celebrating 10 years of Thrive Teams in Barton
When Thrive Teams began working in Barton 10 years ago, partnering with the newly planted Barton Community Church, it was commented on by a local church member that "Barton is a graveyard for churches". Yet, 10 years on and many baptisms later, the church remains an integral part of the community.

Our colleague Erica Payne, who is also on the leadership team of Barton Community Church, says,

"Without Thrive Teams, Barton Community Church wouldn't be where we are today. Staff from Innovista have played a huge part in the community and... Read more ...

Five things to do in lockdown

May 2020

Innovista's National Director in Moldova, Maricela, has shared a brilliant story about the resilience and creativity of young people in lockdown in their capital city, Chisinau. It resonates deeply with what Thrive Teams are doing in Oxford at the moment. Across our many locations, Innovista is enabling young leaders to impact their communities at this time of international crisis.

Last autumn, these seven young people in Chisinau completed Innovista's Tempo leadership course with Maricela. Full of hope and vision for their city, and especially for others their age, they planned and launched a fantastic youth club called "Be... Read more ...

Thrive Teams Appeal Update

March 2020

Thrive Teams Appeal Update
A lot has happened since we wrote to you on 20 March to ask you to please help Team Leader Matt as he, and his Thrive Teams colleagues, urgently moved all of their youth work online. We were so encouraged by the warmth of your response and your incredible generosity.

Thanks to you, we’ve been able to keep the Thrive Teams doors wide open during this crisis and continued to support some of the most disadvantaged/vulnerable young people in Oxford.

Young people’s frustration has been mounting over the last few weeks with many... Read more ...

From the playground to the stage

February 2020

Thrive Teams partner with several local schools, which helps support our work with the young people we are working with. We caught up with South Abingdon youth worker, Rebecca, to hear what's been happening recently with a particular group of 13 year old girls, and how they ended up on stage!

'A year ago, we started chatting with a group of girls in the local secondary school playground. Although initially reluctant to open up about their lives, over the weeks that followed the girls began to attend our cooking club and gaming club where we play games, create dance... Read more ...

What would I say to my 14 year old self?

February 2020

"I’m only a few years older than the young people I work with, but I can see that life’s tougher for them than it was for me."

From Omsk to Oxford, Innovista identifies, equips and develops leaders. We love sharing their stories with you, so you can see how our training impacts their lives. Devon is one of those leaders. A couple of years ago, we shared Devon’s story, which you can catch up on here.

It tells of a life which revolved around little more than sleep, school and gaming. But when Devon, then age 14... Read more ...

Celebrating Thrive Teams’ young achievers

October 2019

Saturday night saw over 200 people gather from across Oxfordshire and beyond to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the young people that Thrive Teams have been working with over the past few years. Some of the young people there on the night have been involved with Thrive Teams for more than seven years.

Focusing on the talent, courage and resilience of Oxford’s brilliant young people it was great to have so many family, friends, mentors, volunteers, supporters and investors gathered to hear inspiring stories of young people realising their full potential.

With dancers from South Abingdon, artists from... Read more ...

Duke of Sussex visits Thrive Teams’ young people

May 2019

Tuesday 14th May was a big step in the life of many of our young people as HRH The Duke of Sussex visited our Thrive Teams programme in Barton.

The Duke spent time meeting and chatting with nine young people who are involved with our programmes in Barton, The Leys and South Abingdon. Meeting youth workers too, the Duke saw some of our leadership development in action. In an exercise using bread crates and narrow planks of wood to build bridges, two of the boys nearly lost their balance. The Duke encouraged them saying; ‘You’ve got to hold onto... Read more ...

A day in the life of South Abingdon youth worker, Rebecca

May 2019

Young people from disadvantaged areas often don’t enjoy the same head-start in life as others their age.

But we believe these young people have just as much potential as anyone else to bring about change – in their own lives, and also in their community.

That’s why we started Thrive Teams in 2010, Innovista’s Oxford hub. Thrive Teams work across three estates just outside Oxford, bringing the hope of Jesus into these hard-to-reach places.

One of our South Abingdon based youth workers, Rebecca, tells us her story:

‘I start by heading to the prayer room... Read more ...

I had a barrier up for years – Jo’s story

June 2018

For the first six months that Jo came to church, she didn’t smile. She had built up a protective wall around herself. Over time, as she and sons Josh and Jake got to know the church and the Thrive Team members who live near them on the Barton estate, that began to change. Read more ...