Our House

Since April 2020, Aspire has been working in collaboration with Cottsway Housing and West Oxfordshire District Council to deliver the ‘Our House’ community housing project. Based in Witney, this innovative project provides personalised employment and independent living support for single under-35s across West Oxfordshire, by taking large, empty properties and turning them into shared accommodation.

The 'Our House' project provides housemates with:

  • Their own room in a shared house for a low rent (this includes bills) and the use of a communal kitchen, living room, garden and laptop
  • Support with access to training and apprenticeships to help them get back into work
  • A dedicated Housing/Employment Support Worker to help them to learn how to manage their tenancies and navigate their way to meaningful employment, setting job goals, getting ‘work ready’ and pursuing recruitment opportunities
  • Access to Aspire's enterprise businesses, building experience and skills in grounds and property maintenance across Oxfordshire

Case study: DE

DE joined the ‘Our House’ project in April 2020, working with the team to establish his requirements across education, training, employment and wellbeing, through the completion of an Action Plan and In-Work Support Plan, where he expressed interest in woodwork, working with motorbikes, and a desire to improve his mental health and stress management.

Following a visit to the Sylva Foundation, DE was offered an opportunity to undertake work experience, and spent three months supporting preparation for new courses at the Wood Centre. He also embarked on a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) course at Activate Learning, a Self-Employment Course through Aspire’s ‘Enterprise Development Programme’, and engaged with Oxfordshire Mind ‘Mental Wealth Academy’ to address his mental health difficulties. DE was offered a bursary place on the Sylva Foundation’s professional course for a reduced fee funded by Aspire, and later undertook a work experience placement with Crawley Motorbikes.

Ready for move-on, DE was offered accommodation through Clarion Housing, and was supported by Aspire to make the transition, and take his ‘Our House’ furniture to a new one-bedroom property in Chipping Norton to begin his new tenancy as an independent young person. Since completing his course with the Sylva Foundation, DE is now working on woodwork commissions for friends. He hopes to set up his own business, and continues to enjoy his passion of motorbikes alongside this!

Get in touch

For more information about 'Our House', please contact Nina Frere, 'Our House' Supported Housing Manager.

Register for 'Our House' by completing the Aspire referral form and returning it to [email protected].