The Oakes

The Oakes has turned 25 this Summer! 

 ‘How can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed?’

Romans 10:14

The Oakes Trust purchased the site on 12th May, 1998. This means we are celebrating our 25th Birthday this Summer! 

During this time, over 30,000 children and young people have heard the message about Jesus in a relevant and engaging way as part of a fun filled activity holiday. 

Hundreds of groups have visited from Sheffield Churches and local schools and many others have come on our ‘’open camps‘’, available to all during some weekends and in the school holidays.

Over 300 young adults have joined our ‘Impact Team’, taking part in our gap year training programme, designed to give opportunities to share Jesus, serve Jesus and grow in Jesus, and many of these young leaders have come from the Sheffield area. Many more have joined our ‘Support Team’, teenagers aged 15+ who come to help out, learn on the job and share the load at busy times. 

As we look back, we want to say a massive thank you to God for his incredible faithfulness, but we also want to say thank you to the many Christians of all ages from across the city who have helped to make The Oakes possible. 

Over the last 25 years we have received regular prayer, financial and volunteer support from 10 Sheffield Churches and hundreds of individuals and families, and each one has been a massive encouragement to us. 

Since the very beginning, 40% of our annual income has come from supporters. In addition, our permanent team are all supported by their churches and network of friends, as The Oakes does not pay any salaries. This support has enabled us to keep our camp fees as low as possible and continue to improve our facilities. 

We have been marking our 25th Anniversary in a variety of ways:

•25 Hour Prayer Event 

Over 200 people were involved in our 25 hour prayer event in May – either via Zoom or at our live celebration on the Friday night. Eleven countries from across the world were represented, praising God together for all he has done at The Oakes. A little glimpse of heaven!

•’Visual Story Videos’ 

Two years ago, we published our book, ‘A Story to Tell’ (available through We have now created a long and short video version of The Oakes story, and these went live on our website on 12th May. These have been produced to inspire, encourage, and most importantly, glorify God for all that he has done and continues to do at The Oakes. Team members would love to share these with your church, small group or youth group. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a visit. 

•Family Fun Day

On Saturday, 10th June, we hosted our annual Family Fun Day. This year it was an extra special event as we were using it as another opportunity to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. In addition to all the usual fun, we hosted two Thanksgiving Services (11:30 am and 3 pm) to praise God for his faithfulness and goodness. We served 650 ice creams and gave away 2000 pieces of cake! It was a wonderful day.

If you would like to make a booking, become a prayer partner, or support the ministry through a gift, please go to our website ( you would like to volunteer, maybe with maintenance, gardening, catering, housekeeping or administration, please contact 

Residential camps are an incredible way to share Jesus with children and young people. We would love to see more gospel focussed centres established in Yorkshire, the UK and beyond. Please pray with us as we seek God’s guidance for the way ahead. 

Thank you so much to the Christians of Sheffield for your partnership with us, we are truly grateful. 

Billie Thaw

The Oakes Holiday Centre