Supporting Youth & Communities
It is humbling to see women and men who give their time and talent to empower young adults and support their local communities

Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO


Who we are Glenwood Church was established in 1977, meeting together in a local primary school and in 1980 the Church Centre was built. The heart of Glenwood is to share and demonstrate the love of God so that lives and communities are transformed. We try to do this by creating a church community that is a safe space for all people to connect, to learn, to grow and be part of a community where every individual is valued and can contribute positively to society.
What we do Glenwood offers many activities that aim to reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing. We currently offer a variety of weekly activities including children’s clubs, lunch club, youth clubs, bowls club, knitting group, toddler group, Community Gardening group, English language classes etc. Alongside this Glenwood also has an established annual calendar of events that serves our community including Soccer School for children and young people, Community Christmas Fayre and Messy Special family events. We have also run Alpha groups for the past 20 years and seen people coming to faith and serving in the church.
All of the activities aim to provide community in various forms and all ages are catered for meeting needs holistically - whether it be older adults who enjoy a game of bowls or knitting following a lunch club, or parents of babies and toddlers who gather around play activities. There are also a number of courses that are offered that aim to develop life-skills through activities e.g. nutrition and healthy cooking and stress control courses.
COVID-19 Response We have adapted our provisions to support our communities: by working in partnership with a local independent coffee shop to provide a weekly two course meal, this project is two-fold; it supports local business and economy and provides 30 meals that we can deliver to those in need. Secondly, we are working as a coalition of local churches and organisations where people can get practical help if they need it or would simply like to hear a friendly voice. Finally we are providing 20 weekly food parcels with a mixture of fresh food and store cupboard items.
We are working in partnership with the TAVS Centre to provide 180 meals each week at local hotel which Cardiff Council are using to house those who are homeless. Alongside this we are working in partnership with another church in supporting TAVS to provide 100 weekly meals which are prepared in Glenwood and then delivered to individuals who are TAVS Centre users and vulnerably housed across the City.
Our vision We are in the process of building a 'Wellbeing Space' by adding a 500 sqm two storey annex to the front of Glenwood and re-configuring the existing building. The Wellbeing Space will open in 2021 and will include a new and extended teaching kitchen, youth hall, teaching / meeting rooms and offices. The extra space will allow us expand our existing activities as well as provide new services.
When we began this project we of course had no notion of the COVID-19 pandemic and that the Wellbeing Space would be needed now, more than ever. This Space will help us to do our part in meeting the tsunami of emotional, spiritual, mental health and wellbeing needs alongside the physical and practical needs that will be present when this pandemic is over.

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO

Acts - A Church for Today's Society

Acts Community Church was formed in 2008 with the aim of supporting the community with practical demonstrations of God’s love for people. We want our church to be contemporary and relevant to today’s society, hence the name – ACTS - A Church for Today’s Society.
Whilst we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs and those with none. We are passionate about inclusion and being non-judgmental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future.
We operate according to Christian principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, openness, kindness and care of all people, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. We believe in turning faith into practical action.
In Jan 2012 the church purchased a former three storey social club building with the intention of creating a high-profile community facility. Within the plans for building were disabled toilets, three storey lift and multi-functional areas which can be adapted to suit community needs. The building once refurbished and made fit for purpose would also be used for church services and would also be the main hub for Rhondda Foodbank. Prior to the purchase of the building Rhondda Foodbank was operated from a lock up garage.
Rhondda Foodbank was set up by the Church in Nov.2009 as a franchise of the Trussell Trust. It is a project which helps and support people in crisis who are unable to feed themselves or their families. It supplies three days of emergency provisions to individuals/families in the community whose personal circumstances mean they do not have enough money to buy food.
Rhondda Foodbank partners with over 80 referral agencies. These include a wide range of care professionals who are best placed to assess need and make sure that it is genuine. Frontline care professionals such as health visitors, social workers, pastoral care workers, Citizens Advice, Communities First, Rhondda Housing, Job Centres etc., identify people in crisis and issue them with a Foodbank voucher. The partner agencies then contact Rhondda Foodbank to arrange for clients to exchange their voucher for 3 days of nutritionally balanced food. The clients collect the food and are met by volunteers who make time to chat and to signpost them to a range of support services such as debt counselling and life skills training.
With the help of supporters Phase 1 (First floor) and Phase 2 (Basement) of the building project have been completed. The first floor is now used by the church for services/meetings and by the community for music/drama/dance/parties etc., by the local school for crafting sessions organised by the church. It is also used by the local authority pre - school and parenting sessions. The basement is now the main hub from which Rhondda Foodbank operates. Rhondda Foodbank, has 5 distribution centres’ and in the year ending 31 March 2020 supplied 1400 food parcels feeding 2061 adults and 1020 children.
Again, with substantial support in the form of financial contributions Rhondda Foodbank has employed a Foodbank manager since 2015 and more recently an Admin assistant to help with the ever-increasing demands for its services
Our vision is to serve build and transform our community by being totally committed to unconditionally serving, supporting and investing in people. By taking positive social action we will improve the quality of life for families, children and young people within our community making it a more peaceful, safe and prosperous place to live where people of all backgrounds and abilities are included and have the opportunity to live in dignity

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO

Henley YMCA

Henley YMCA has had a long association with the YMCA Movement.It was founded in 1857 with a focus on "promoting Christian Unity among young men, and the diffusion of vital religion among the masses of the people". Weekly meetings of bible readings and singing were conducted in the Sunday School room.In April 1901, the YMCA moved to Imperial Parade. In addition, apart from the weekly Bible reading classes, the YMCA offered lectures as well as Musical Evenings.There was also a Cricket and Football Club as well as a Gymnasium, thus delivering the core YMCA message of Body, Mind and Spiritual development.
In 1923 the committee accepted an offer to lease a field on the current site just off Watermans Road on the southern fringe of the town. At the same time, they obtained planning permission to build a pavilion alongside the field. In 1927 they moved to new premises on Station Road which were sold in 1971, thus paving the way for the move to Henley YMCA’s current site. The building of the pavilion was postponed due to the war and was finally built in 1974 with funds raised by the sale of the main building on Station Road.
Through the early and middle part of the 20th Century the work of Henley YMCA was largely devoted to spiritual and sporting activities based mainly around football. These activities as well as the youth groups etc were staffed predominately by volunteers.
However, in response to changing needs, in the 1990’s the YMCA decided to develop part of its site to provide affordable housing for young people with a Henley connection. October 2000 saw the opening of the scheme’s 31 self-contained accommodation units.
Thus in 2000 the current set up of Henley YMCA was born. Our facilities are home to a diverse range of activities that reflect the YMCA’s mission to promote the development of the whole person in body, mind and spirit. Over the last 5 years there has been a move to expand and develop Henley YMCA work with young people and the community to reflect ever-changing social, physical and spiritual needs.
In 2017 Henley YMCA became a Social Registered Provider and took ownership from YMCA England and Wales of their 31 accommodation units.
Since this time Henley YMCA has sought to develop and expand the services that they provide onsite to their residents, predominately concentrating of increasing the level of support as the needs of resident’s change. There is a dedicated Hardship Fund which provides the opportunity for counselling, or temporary crisis loans and in 2019 some residents attended the Beyond Recovery pilot.
As well as the individual support for residents, Henley YMCA is strengthening its partnerships with other like-minded local charities such as NOMAD. In the future, Henley YMCA hopes to develop its involvement in the community, over and above the provision of sporting and leisure facilities used by the local community groups. An example of this, is the Table Tennis for Mental Health sessions held at the YMCA hall.

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO


Based in Henley on Thames, NOMAD supports children, young people and families in the local community who are disadvantaged through economic and/or complex social issues. We aim to help them to make good and informed choices in all aspects of their lives and in particular the areas of education, health, training, employment, finances, independence, recreation and relationships.
As a project we put a high value on children, young people and families and seek to be inclusive to all by encouraging them to reach their full potential and be respectful of others, by working with them and other appropriate agencies to improve the conditions of their lives including their physical, mental, and spiritual capacities.
This is achieved through four key areas of work:
  1. Schools Programme includes 1 to 1 Mentoring, Group Life Skills Courses.
  2. After School and Holiday Programme includes the activities mentioned below.
  3. Parent/Family Programme provides 1 to 1 and group support for referred parents and Family Focus Workshops for individual families tackling relationship issues, communication, and managing anger and conflict.
  4. Community Programmes include support for young people 16+ who have failed to make the transition from school into further education, employment or training, detached youth work sessions, and the community events mentioned above.

The programmes are targeted at young people and families mainly referred via other agencies including local schools and are designed to divert them from negative pursuits, help them to make positive life choices, to be fun and to build resilient families.
NOMAD youth and community activities include:
  • Skatepark Workshop and Community Day at Gainsborough
  • Beach Trip to Boscombe beach
  • Lake District Residential
  • YMCA Community Fun Day
  • Football
  • Coasteering
  • Inflatable water park
  • Paintballing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Detached work
  • Rounders at Gainsborough
  • Trampoline Park
  • d:two kids club Summer party
  • Youth Group
  • One to One support
  • Family Activities

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO

The Berin Centre

Over the last three years The Berin Centre has become a hub for activities by building up a full and varied timetable across age and interest groups in the village of Berinsfield and its neighbouring communities. Berinsfield is identified as an area of social deprivation within South Oxfordshire.
In addition to the many activities we either offer or host, The Berin Centre has positioned itself as a crucial catalyst in linking the many other agencies that exist in the village. Building these links and the relationships that are necessary to sustain them was a key success of 2019. This work has begun to break down some of the historic barriers that have hindered progress in the past and we are hopeful that continuing this work will help to build our impact, deliver success and begin the process of making real and sustainable change for families in Berinsfield.
We open 5 days a week offering universal drop-in sessions for parents and their children alongside a developing programme of more structured sessions. Numbers attending continue to rise and we had a staggering 3500+ visits to the centre last year. We do this from a rather tired looking portacabin building which we rent from Oxfordshire County Council on a lease that makes us fully responsible for all internal and external repairs.
To increase the services available to Berinsfield we host groups such as Riverside Counselling, a local Craft Group, Health Visitors, Speech & Language Therapist and a Sensory Impaired Group. We are currently planning to open the centre on Saturday mornings for male parents/carers and their children.
We have 3 enthusiastic, dedicated part time employees.
We recognise that access to a good education provides a sound basis for the future. Educational attainment, physical and emotional development levels when entering nursery school are below average in Berinsfield. To support parents with the development of their child and to demonstrate the importance of providing a Home Learning Environment, the centre designed and introduced a programme called Themed Thursday. This is a focused session designed to improve language development, physical development, social interaction and school readiness.
In 2020 we started two major projects. Firstly, Growing Minds a collaborative project with Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Participation on this programme offers parents a free book a month for the first 7 years of their child's life plus weekly support from The Berin Centre on how to engage with their child's learning. We have forged links with the local primary school and pre-school and they too will become part of the delivery of this project which will be monitored and evaluated throughout. Find out more at (the outbreak of Covid 19 in March 2020 forced us to consider new ways of engaging with families and maintaining support for this project. Books supplied through The Imagination Library continue and group support is delivered through online sessions).
Secondly, we are excited to open a Community Larder in partnership with Sofea, Didcot. This enables anyone in our local area to access good quality food at incredibly low cost and prevent it from potentially going into landfill. Unlike a Food Bank this scheme is not means tested. (The outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020 has brought huge challenges. In 4 weeks, the numbers attending leapt from 50 to 174. The number of volunteers reduced from 15 to 3 as we sought to maintain social distancing.)
The huge increase in numbers visiting the centre and the upkeep of the building necessitates an ongoing search for funding.

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO

Youth Challenge Oxfordshire - YoCO

Youth Challenge Oxfordshire (YoCO) is a charity supporting vulnerable young people aged 14 -21 to develop resilience and confidence so that they can overcome the problems that they face in their lives. The young people follow an exciting 15-18-month programme which helps them to overcome challenges facing them, such as:
  • Pressures of social media
  • Bullying
  • Mental health issues
  • Peer influence to take unnecessary risks
The young people come from a variety of backgrounds - young carers, at risk of being or already are excluded from school or college and young people with challenging personal/home backgrounds. The programme, which is designed and delivered by YoCO, is run by voluntary youth group leaders at weekly meetings with a professional team in support. The young people develop and grow throughout the programme which includes skills workshops as well as two residential trips, the second of which is 10 day visit to remote Western Kenya where they work with orphaned children supported by the Nasio Trust. After the YoCO experience, the young people are supported with help they may need such as advice for applications to educational courses, apprenticeships/training, and employment. Many wish to continue to volunteer with YoCO as young leaders, inspiring others to develop that important resilience and confidence of their own. This also leads the young people to volunteer within their local community such as at their local hospital and delivering food packages to the vulnerable in the Covid-19 pandemic. Three of the Berinsfield group have been delivering vital food packages during the pandemic to people in their community in partnership with their local Co-op.
The Berinsfield group loved the fundraising events; they have put on summer fetes, fun runs, stalls at other events and an extremely popular and spectacular firework night. Through these they raised £800 each for their Kenya trip in March 2019 and became a strong team. They still meet regularly and are actively involved in local volunteering.
During the 15-18-month programme, the young people prepare lunch for the whole group at the MayMessy cookery school. Healthy eating and using fresh ingredients is a vital life skill as well as preparing them for the types of food they will enjoy in Kenya. They also visit Youlbury Activity Camp and take part in lots of team building activities to prepare them for the tasks in Kenya. They do abseiling, crate stacking and camp there overnight.
Whilst in Kenya the young people build a house for a vulnerable family using mud and sticks. They each raise £300 for this project. They also take part in the jiggers campaign. Jiggers are tiny parasitic creatures that burrow in the feet and hands, which can have catastrophic health effects. The campaign can only take place when there are sufficient volunteers; it is difficult and unpleasant work, but they find it extremely rewarding as it has a direct impact on the children’s lives.

For further information please visit
Glenwood :: Acts :: Henley YMCA :: NOMAD :: The Berin Centre :: YoCO