Ami is an online service that makes it easy to find people in your community who need a little help and support. It might be doing the shopping, getting to appointments or being someone to chat with, over a cup of tea. Ami will show you what’s needed near you and help you to register with a local voluntary organisation.
Aspire runs its own social businesses offering professional facilities management services to local companies, from grounds maintenance and property services to textile recycling and furniture upcycling. Aspire’s services come with social impact ‘built-in’: they create work placements and employment opportunities for local people who face barriers to securing meaningful employment, such as former offenders or people affected by homelessness or substance abuse.
BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY (BITC)
BITC is a large national programme with many of the same aims as Reciprocate, and was initiated by the Prince of Wales. Membership costs between £4,000 and £14,000 per year and gives access to a comprehensive range of services, including a dedicated corporate advisor to help firms reflect on and implement their responsible strategy, and a series of ready-made employee volunteering opportunities. The local BITC group is chaired by Frank Nigriello of Unipart, who also sits on the Reciprocate steering group.
CHARITY MENTORS OXFORDSHIRE
Charity Mentors provides leaders of the Oxfordshire not-for-profit sector with pro-bono, high-quality mentoring and support for strategic decision-making. They look for mentors who have run organisations, and who have been responsible for growing them: people who understand the voluntary sector and who have high-level business experience. There is a great deal of flexibility for the mentors, who work on short-term mentoring projects (three to five months) and who arrange the timing of engagements to suit themselves and their mentee.
CITIZENS IN POLICING
Citizens in Policing is the Thames Valley Police department supporting and promoting community involvement in policing through volunteering. Individuals from the community are encouraged to become volunteers with Thames Valley Police and use their skills, experience and knowledge to support the force.
COMMUNITY FIRST OXFORDSHIRE (CFO)
CFO provides a free advisory service to communities in the areas of housing and neighbourhood planning; older people’s health and transport schemes; community enterprise and halls; and oil and LPG. CFO was formerly known as ORCC (Oxfordshire Rural and Community Council). Their website gives ideas about community activities in which your company could get involved.
GETTING ON BOARD
Getting on Board is a charity that helps individuals, employers and members of professional networks become new leaders in communities through board-level volunteering. For a fee, Getting On Board will run a range of seminars, workshops and individual sessions for your employees to help them find a role perfect to realise their personal and professional aspirations.
GOVERNORS FOR SCHOOLS
Governors for Schools exists to improve educational standards so that children and young people have the chance to realise their full potential. They believe the key to improving school performance is effective governance. By finding, nurturing and supporting a committed network of governors, they help to drive systematic change in how schools operate.
LIVING WAGE FOUNDATION
General, Ethical Suppliers
The real Living Wage is based on the cost of living and is voluntarily paid by over 4,200 UK employers who believe a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. In April 2016 the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age; however, the government’s ‘national living wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live. Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. The real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently calculated based on what people need to get by.
There are over 4,300 Living Wage employers across the UK, including Nationwide, Ikea, Burberry and KPMG.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF OFFICIAL PRISON VISITORS (NAOPV)
Official Prison Visitors (OPVs) befriend prisoners, at the prisoner’s request, during their time in custody. OPVs are unpaid volunteers – members of the public from all sections of the community, who have no input into the prisoner’s treatment or training whilst in custody. As an OPV you are a representative of the outside world, whose outlook, attitudes and interests can be refreshingly different and who demonstrates that the prisoner has not been forgotten.
OXFORDSHIRE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (OCF)
OCF connects people with the means to make a difference with local causes in need of support. Apart from providing leadership and advice, and hosting the Reciprocate group, OCF can help businesses wanting to make forward-thinking philanthropic investments in Oxfordshire.
Our named fund structure allows companies to make large-scale donations to a ring-fenced fund that can be used for whatever charitable purpose the company wishes – and is more efficient than creating a company trust or foundation. Reciprocate members Royds Withy King, Meech and Beard already have named funds with OCF.
Oxford Hub is a centre for social change, mobilising residents through social action and innovation in order to make Oxford a better city for everyone in it. Their Young Trustees Programme connects early career professionals with charities looking to welcome a young trustee onto their board. Included is a training and development programme that equips participants with the knowledge and skills to become a visiting trustee and help lead a charity to tackle social and environmental issues.
OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS FIRST
Business Support Networks
Oxfordshire Business First is a not-for-profit company bringing together the best business people in Oxfordshire through a series of innovation and growth events. Its membership is drawn from Oxfordshire business people who are interested in learning from their peers and sharing knowledge and experience that will help them run their business well.
OXFORDSHIRE COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY ACTION (OCVA)
OCVA is a support body for the Oxfordshire voluntary and community sector. They provide local charities and community groups with advice, training programmes, advocacy and development opportunities. From a business point of view, they are a good starting point for arranging volunteering opportunities in the county.
OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
The county council offers advice and support to citizens and businesses in Oxfordshire. Notably, they publish interactive, collated data from the census and other sources via their Oxfordshire Insight website, offering themed information about the county, and provide volunteering opportunities within their service areas (such as libraries, day centres and transport).
Being a Board member of a charity is a great way for employees to volunteer their expertise and gain new experience. The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Tim Stevenson, is the Queen’s representative in the county, whose role is to encourage and promote the good of the community through the voluntary and civic life of the county. He and his team hold a list of experienced local people willing to become trustees of local charities. Contact the Lieutenancy office to find out more.
Tel: 01865 515477
OXFORDSHIRE LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP (OXLEP)
Business Support Network
The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) is responsible for championing and developing the Oxfordshire economy. Now in its sixth year of operation, OxLEP has made considerable progress in strengthening Oxfordshire’s economy by establishing robust and effective relationships between businesses, academia and the public sector. OxLEP hosts various services for businesses such as Oxfordshire Business Support (OBS), Oxfordshire Apprenticeships (OA) and Oxfordshire Skills Board.
OXFORDSHIRE SKILLS BOARD
Oxfordshire Skills Board aims to achieve improvements in the skills available to Oxfordshire’s employers and the learning opportunities available to students, residents and workforce. It is facilitated and supported by Oxfordshire County Council Economy and Skills Team – contact Richard Byard, Service Manager, Economy and Skills.
OXFORDSHIRE VOLUNTEERS WEBSITE
Oxfordshire Volunteers is the county’s central volunteering brokerage website, and brings together volunteering opportunities from OCVA, Volunteer Link-Up and Volunteer Connect. On it you can find volunteering adverts posted by many of the county’s 4,000 charities and community groups, from regular commitments to one-off events.
This is the ideal place to send your staff if they are expected to arrange their own volunteering opportunities to make the most of a company-sponsored day off for volunteering. This site is run as a partnership by Oxfordshire’s three Volunteer Centres who are funded by Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire City Council and Cherwell District Council.
OXFORDSHIRE WORK EXPERIENCE (OWE)
Oxfordshire Work Experience supports schools, colleges and employers with work experience in Oxfordshire, matching students from schools in its network to businesses that have signed up to offer placements. They provide connections and ensure that work placements happen safely. Reciprocate businesses worked with OWE to develop our best-practice handbook for employers.
OXFORDSHIRE YOUTH PARTNERSHIP BOARD
Led by Oxford City Council, The Youth Partnership Board focuses on improving the lives of those in greatest need within the city. The Board comprises a representative group of organisations involved in improving the lives of young people, including the voluntary and business sectors, Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Valley Police. The partnership board sits beneath the city’s Strategic Partnership. Contact the Board’s Chair Ian Brooke.
The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills team creates and supports links between business and education across Oxfordshire, to inspire our future workforce. Volunteers from businesses should talk to the team about opportunities to inspire and inform students through activities such as speaking, mentoring or work experience.
RESPONSIBLE OXFORDSHIRE BUSINESS INVOLVEMENT NETWORK (ROBIN)
ROBIN is a network of like-minded people from businesses and charities in Oxfordshire. Members meet at regular informal networking events to look for opportunities to share skills and resources in response to the needs of the community groups. Ad-hoc requests for support and offers of help are publicised at events, throughout the network and via a dedicated group on LinkedIn.
SAM HAMPTON - FREE GREEN AUDITS
Business Support Networks
Sam Hampton is the Low Carbon ‘Network Navigator’ for Oxfordshire. With a background in sustainability consulting, Sam is offering free carbon footprints for organisations, and can help you with reducing environmental impact from your operations.
Sam’s role is hosted by Oxfordshire Business Support and supported by the European Regional Development Fund, so he is offering his time and expertise for free to businesses, social enterprises and charities.
Team Oxford is a collective of local charities, businesses and public sector organisations that recognise that ‘volunteering’ as we know it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to fit into busy lives. At the same time, they argue that the need for us all to get more involved is growing, as charities and public services have fewer resources available to mobilise and retain our support. Team Oxford has therefore been launched to make it easier for people, communities and organisations to work together to make a difference for the city – in a way that is more exciting, more flexible and more effective.
VOLUNTEER INDEPENDENT VISITING AND ADVOCACY (VIVA)
Volunteer Independent Visiting and Advocacy (VIVA) is an independent service, run by Oxfordshire County Council, providing children and young people with an independent visitor or advocate. Volunteers are not part of social care services but commit to make a difference to children and young people by volunteering their time with VIVA.
Tel: 01865 328670
Yellow Submarine is a social enterprise that runs two cafes employing adults with learning disabilities. They can provide corporate catering to businesses in and around Oxford and Witney – it just so happens by choosing them you are helping fund vital support for some of your local community’s most vulnerable people.