14th January 2020. An innovative Oxford partnership has been awarded a “game-changing” Partnerships grant of £160,650 by The National Lottery Community Fund. Spread over four years, the money will be used to launch the “Team Oxford” project, to help boost volunteering in the city.

The Oxford-based employment charity and social enterprise, Aspire, and Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action (OCVA), secured the funding on behalf of the wider “Team Oxford” partnership, which also includes Oxford City Council, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Computer Consultants, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and OxFed, the Oxford Federation of GP Surgeries.

Aspire, OCVA and the partnership will use the funds to introduce a programme of new volunteering campaigns, events and infrastructure support to boost social action in Oxford over the coming years and help city-based organisations to improve their sustainable delivery.

The desired outcomes of Team Oxford match the Founder Members’ own organisational ambitions: to make it easier for people, communities and organisations to mobilise and work together to make a difference for the city, particularly in East Oxford. This will be achieved by tackling key priority issues: improving physical and mental health, reducing loneliness and connecting communities, and addressing homelessness.

The Partnerships funding from the Lottery has enabled Aspire and OCVA to hire a full-time project coordinator, Hannah Mackie, who started her new job in December. Hannah will support the Team Oxford partnership to:

  • organise three social action campaigns and events a year;
  • deliver regular, free workshops to charities and public sector organisations in the city who want to access more or new volunteers;
  • deliver regular, free workshops to support employers to step up their volunteering efforts in the city;
  • offer brokerage support to help realise more volunteering outcomes.

Team Oxford Project Coordinator, Hannah Mackie, said: “I’m thrilled to lead such a meaningful community project, it’s a great opportunity to boost volunteering in the city by bringing together people, communities and organisations for the collective goal of a happier and healthier city. Oxford is a vibrant place with a huge amount of energy and drive to do more good; I can’t wait to see Team Oxford channelling this towards addressing important issues such as homelessness, mental and physical health and loneliness.”

Team Oxford kicked off with its first social action event in December since securing the funding, with volunteers joining from Bouygues, Oxfordshire County Council, Blenheim Palace and Yarnton Garden & Nursery to support Aspire’s ‘A Place at the Table’ event, to put on a Christmas meal benefiting people experiencing homelessness in Oxford.

The Team Oxford workshops and social action events for early 2020 will be announced on their social media channels, and anyone interested is encouraged to contact Hannah Mackie:

TO on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JoinTeamOxford
TO on Twitter https://twitter.com/jointeamoxford
TO on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/teamoxfordcity/
TO website http://www.team-oxford.co.uk/

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