Aspire has launched its new fundraising appeal and we need your help to achieve our goal of raising £575,000.

Entitled "Action Inspires Hope", Aspire is launching an ambitious programme of activity across our communities in the coming months to respond to the desperate circumstances and challenges many people in our communities are experiencing. We acknowledge that sticking plasters on these problems is not nearly enough; we are launching a new programme of activity that is hopeful, prevention-focused and which confronts broken systems with new and empowering models.

"It is not hope that gives rise to action, it is action that inspires hope"

Which problems are we tackling?

Oxfordshire faces two major problems: a lack of affordable housing and a shortage of workers in the job market. The lack of affordable housing is contributing to overcrowding, with negative effects on people's ambitions, relationships, job prospects and mental health. It also increases the number of people renting privately, experiencing eviction and homelessness.

The labour market shortage is preventing businesses from hiring, growing, and supporting the local economy - despite the fact there are many people in Oxfordshire looking for jobs who are willing to contribute their skills and experience, if given the opportunity for well-paid, secure employment.

These problems are not inevitable, and as a community, we have the ability to make a difference in Oxfordshire. Aspire is now committed to taking urgent action to inspire hope for Oxfordshire's communities.

What is Aspire going to do?

With match-funding in place from a local donor, every pound donated to our appeal will be doubled, up to £250,000. If successful, this campaign will transform Aspire’s capacity to tackle empty homes, land and the labour market shortage.

With more demand on our services and government funding reducing, this appeal will also help to ensure our team has the financial stability to sustain the personalised support we know can make a difference for the long-term.

Fahmi resettled in Oxford as a resident under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (SVPRS) programme, joining Aspire in late 2019 to attend our Work Based English course, where he learnt about customer service vocabulary and experienced taster sessions with a range of local partner firms.

After undertaking additional training, further English Language learning and working part-time in the hospitality sector, Fahmi engaged with Aspire’s recruitment service in 2022, to make use of his mechanical and practical skills through alternative employment opportunities.

Following a successful 4-month placement with Green Templeton College’s maintenance team, Fahmi was invited to undertake a similar role with St Anne’s College in November 2022, and in February 2023 started a full-time, permanent general maintenance role with the college!

To find out more about Aspire's Action Inspires Hope appeal and how you can get involved, please email Shelby Stapleton, Communications & Governance Support Officer.