The story so far

Barbara Souster was a youth worker based in Islip, Northamptonshire. She devoted much of her life to supporting a group of young people she called the ‘Guild of St Nicholas’ and they met in the shadow of the village church of the same name.

Barbara was a woman of faith and helped young people explore questions of faith and involvement in the local church. She also took her group away to the seaside each year and supported them as they reached adulthood in many ways.

Arthur Souster (Barbara’s father) had worked in the marketing department at Weetabix. During the course of his work he was rewarded with company shares. When Barbara inherited these shares and was later made an offer to sell them, she set up a trust fund so that young people would continue to benefit from her resources.

The Souster legacy was used to help set up The Souster Youth Trust in June 2015.

A Director (Jason Royce) was appointed and began work in February 2016, shortly followed by the rest of the team. You can find out more about them below.

We have established ‘Souster Youth’ as a charity working in local schools to support the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of young people. We also work closely with churches and community organisations to help youth ministry flourish in East Northamptonshire.

In December 2017, Thrapston Methodist Church was purchased to be used as a permanent base for our work. We intend to use the building as it currently stands whilst we fundraise for an extensive refurbishment and modernisation.

Meet The Team

Jason Royce


Jason has been leading youth work/ministry since 2000 and has included time with Westminster City Council, Youthscape and Romance Academy. His academic background is in Theology, and Informal Education and he still reads widely on these topics. Now, breaking new ground in the Northamptonshire area, he works in schools to support the social, emotional and spiritual development of young people. Jason works alongside churches training and equipping them to reach out to the young people in their community and make disciples of those they already have. He follows The Way of Jesus and loves BBQs, American pancakes and bushcraft survival. He’s married to Katy and they have a son called Jesse.

Tim Sandford

Schools Worker

Tim joined Souster Youth as a Schools Worker in January 2018.
He brings experience over ten years experience of working with young people in a variety of different ways; from teaching maths, to working with young people with special educational needs, to more recently working in the charitable sector as a Schools Worker at Youthscape (Luton) and Step (St Albans and Harpenden). He loves talking about the big stuff of life and hearing the thoughts and ideas of young people.
Tim is married to Becky and they are kept on their toes by their mischievous little boy Nathan and baby daughter Phoebe. Tim enjoys playing or listening to music, sport of any kind, board games (especially when he wins) and anything created by Apple.

Anna Freij

Emotional Wellbeing Lead

Having trained as a counsellor at the renowned Metanoia Institute, Anna worked predominantly in the charitable sector where projects included creating a service for people with learning disabilities and their families.

She was one of the first people in the UK to study wellbeing at postgraduate level (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology run by Dr. Ilona Boniwell). Anna was asked to be involved in the innovative Well London initiative and delivered the DIY Happiness programme for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Grounding her consultancy practice in wellbeing (Positive Psychology) research, she also developed an evidence-based employee engagement programme for her clients.

Since moving to Northamptonshire, Anna has worked with women at Pen Green in Corby. Evaluation of the intervention she devised and delivered showed a mean percentage increase in wellbeing of 63%.

Anna joined Souster Youth in 2016. Her publications include:

Freij A (2009) Strengths and Positive Psychology: The Strengths Recipe for Success

Sharon Clarke

PA/Office Manager

Sharon is the PA/Office Manager at Souster Youth and works from the office most days.
She has lived in Northamptonshire since she was a teenager, with a short break of 4 years whilst she was in London training and working as a nurse. Sharon worked in the National Health Service for about almost 20 years, initially working as a nurse and then specialising in quality, clinical audit and service redesign. Following this, Sharon took a career break whilst she looked after her children, and then worked for her local church as Ministry Resources Manager for just over 10 years before moving across to the Souster Youth Trust in 2017.

Sharon lives with her husband and two children, she plays the flugel horn and enjoys walking, reading and retail therapy!

Our Trustees

  • Michael Bunker (Chair)
  • Brian Long
  • Carolyn Brawn
  • Steven Chadwick
  • Grace Read
  • Chris Curtis