OYAP empowers young people to make a difference to themselves and their communities through the Arts.
Our projects offer creative opportunities for young people in Bicester, Cherwell, Oxfordshire, and beyond, giving encouragement and support to those who have few chances to access art and culture. We work in partnership with other organisations and inspirational artists to create opportunities which develop young people’s creativity, confidence, employability and wellbeing.
We deliver a mixture of regular weekly activities, holiday sessions, and project funded work. Where we make a charge our fees are low and we offer free or pay what you can afford options as we believe our activities should be accessible to all.
We have taken on ‘meanwhile use’ of an old school building to create a vibrant venue for arts activities, and work closely with the town council to extend creative opportunities for the community.
We aim to involve young people in all areas of our work and to make their ideas a reality.
Donna joined OYAP Trust in September 2017 as Finance Administrator and then General Manager in January 2019. She works on programme and fundraising initiatives, handles organisational finance, manages the team, and oversees compliance and venue management. She has worked for Pegasus Theatre and Modern Art Oxford, managing operations, resources and income, and has trained as an accountant. In a previous life she worked in brand management and business development.
"As someone whose path was fundamentally changed by the possibilities opened by art education, I believe this opportunity should be available to all young people."
Office and Programme Coordinator (on maternity leave)
Janine started working for OYAP in November 2019, and felt at home right away. She makes sure our programme happens and that young people know about it. Having been a NEET young person, Janine developed her love for the arts because it allowed her to flourish. She took her first steps on an apprenticeship at Pegasus Theatre and has worked and volunteered at NCS, Trax, Barton Girls Group, Wolvercote Young People’s Club and Choices. She also has a degree in youth work.
Janine is also a producer and director for North Oxford Youth Theatre, and really enjoys supporting all young people to reach their goals.
Community Arts and Wellbeing Coordinator
Nicolette joined OYAP in spring 2022 excited to become more actively engaged in the creative community of Bicester. Her career is built on creating safe, inspiring environments for people to meet, network and learn, which has involved training and hospitality as well as community events and the arts. She is completing training to be a therapeutic wellbeing practitioner. Her own creative alter ego loves sewing, painting, lino printing and embroidery.
Nicolette is passionate about improving wellbeing through creativity and conversation, helping young people, families and her local community.
Youth Arts Leader
Sophie leads the Creative Minds group, looks after our Little Artists. She has worked with OYAP since 2019 including with our Youth Theatre and on Kick Arts. She studied performance for community and education, and has worked with groups with additional needs. Her dream session would bring young people together with artists and learn together.
She loves providing a safe space to experiment and grow and firmly believes in the difference the arts can make to people’s lives.
You will meet Alice at our Drawing Club. She loves working with young people because she is passionate about passing on her love of art. Alice studied art for her degree, she has worked as a textile artist and illustrator, and is also finding time to train to be an art teacher.
Carmen has been part of team OYAP since 2015 and has worn several hats. She is currently working with the Cocoon group to help them achieve their aims of making Bicester a safe, inclusive and accessible place for everyone. Carmen’s background is in Fine Art, and she has worked on projects in galleries and museums as well as youth and community settings. She is passionate about bringing people together through creativity.
Eloise leads our Youth Theatre projects, helping participants develop the confidence and skills to perform. After drama school she loved her first experiences with young people at Creation Theatre. Since then she has worked as a professional actor as well as a facilitator. She loves working with young people for their ideas, input, confidence and comic timing. Her dream session is seeing a group take hold of a scene or character and really grasp it.
Gary Smith aka DJ G runs our DJing workshops. He has worked as a broadcaster, as well as a DJ on the international stage and has a worldwide fan base! He is also a great teacher and firmly believes that music will change your life for the better.
Paul sorts out the lighting and sound when we have our own performances, and helps us with film and live streamed events. He has loads of experience as a sound recordist, camera man, video engineer and editor, and has worked with corporate clients as well as for arts and community organistations. He also helps us look after our building.