A YOUTH worker has thanked the community he worked for as he plans to move on to pursue another challenge.

Thrive Barton team leader Jem Todd is leaving in August the support group, which aims to change the lives of young people on Oxford’s Barton estate.

After four-and-a-half years he said it was “bittersweet” to be leaving, but was excited to see what new role he could take up to make a difference elsewhere in the city.

The 28-year-old, who lives in Barton, said: “I am someone who has energy for new things and I feel it is someone else to take this project forward to its next stage.

“I’m exciting about doing something new but I feel really satisfied with what I have achieved here.

“This has been the most significant contribution I have ever made to anything.

“It is really exciting seeing the progress of the people I have worked with.”

The dad-of two has worked with between 150 and 200 people in his time at Thrive and joined the organisation because he wanted to be able to give more to the community.

He said that he wanted to spend more time building up relationships with young people so they could develop their true potential.

One young person he said “stood out” for Mr Todd was Morgan Williams, who the youth worker said had come a long way.

The 16-year-old said: “We are still going to meet up and remain in contact.

“He has been here for me all the time to talk to and when he met up with me once a week it helped me overcome my problems.”

And now the team leader is passing on the baton to other workers and two new volunteers who he met three years ago on the number eight bus that runs through Barton.

Mr Todd lives in Barton with his wife, and twins Isabelle and Noah, who are two next month.

Oxford city councillor for Barton Van Coulter said that Mr Todd was an “inspirational young man”.

He added: “His work in the community is effective and life-changing for those he has mentored.

“I wish him well in his future career and sincerely thank him for the valuable contribution he has made assisting Barton’s young people.”