Aspire Spring Newsletter 2024

A message from our CEO, Paul Roberts:

In these challenging and fast-paced times, it can be easy to miss out on celebrating the incredible social impact my Aspire colleagues have achieved, thanks to the incredible generosity of everyone who supported our "Action Inspires Hope" appeal.

Through your generosity we've supported hundreds more marginalised people to access vital and life-changing employment, housing, homelessness prevention, wellbeing and inclusion support when it mattered most - and we've also been able to set ambitious plans in motion that will have a lasting impact across Oxfordshire, some of which are highlighted in this newsletter.

To share just some examples of how your support has made such a difference:

- We've expanded our homelessness prevention service so we can support an extra 120 people a year

- We've deployed highly responsive personal funding to help over 100 people avoid multiple homelessness crises

- We've refurbished 3 formerly empty properties in Oxford City so they're now in use as homes in our supported housing projects

- We've extended our employment support into more community settings across the county, including launching a refugee employment support programme

- We have enhanced our digital inclusion support, providing digital skills training and distributing over 400 devices to people in the community

We could not have achieved any of this life changing social impact without your support - thank you for joining us on this journey!

Improving housing progression into Oxford City's private rental sector

We're really pleased to share that we will soon be introducing a new project providing "move-on" support for individuals transitioning from supported housing to independent living in the private rental sector, led by returning Aspire team member Gregg - seen below!

With thanks to additional funding from Oxford City Council, this initiative will support up to 30 people who are ready to move on from supported accommodation to housing of their own, where they can make use of their new skills to build connections and live independently, and help to ensure improved access to vital supported housing for those in urgent need, particularly individuals experiencing rough sleeping.

Providing vital employment support for refugees and migrants settling in Oxfordshire

We're also excited to share our upcoming project to support up to 100 refugees and migrants throughout the county, working to build vital English language skills to pursue their education and career goals, ultimately achieving independence and a sense of belonging in their new communities.

As part of this pilot, we have developed a series of work-based English for Speakers of Other Languages (WBESOL) courses which address topics related to UK culture, work, CVs and interviewing, with additional opportunities around volunteering,  work-experience, shadowing and sector training with local employers - complemented by access to Aspire’s specialist person-centred employment support and personalisation funding.

Maya embarked on her journey with our refugee pathway in September 2023. Currently pursuing her studies in Health & Social Care at Activate College, Maya's passion lies in childcare.

Since joining us, Maya has been engaging in regular sessions with a dedicated project mentor. Through their guidance, Maya successfully secured a position at a local café, to provide essential support for herself and her family during her studies

Alongside studying for her GCSEs, Maya has also dedicated her time to an additional English course, where she is building her vocabulary related to nursing, aligning with her aspirations within the healthcare sector.  Maya will soon be attending a recruitment meeting to gain valuable insight into applying for roles within the NHS.

Outside her academic and professional endeavors, Maya is an active member of her community, and volunteers regularly at a local Saturday school for children, where she teaches Arabic.

Support Aspire this spring

  • Set up a regular gift with Aspire
  • Volunteer with Aspire to get to know your local community, build knowledge, skills and experience, be part of a team and make a real difference
  • Nominate Aspire as your chosen charity, and get your team involved with our journey
  • Leave a gift to Aspire in your will