Who we are

Aspire is a multi-award-winning employment charity and social enterprise.

We exist to help vulnerable people who are homeless, long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, people in recovery or those with poor mental well-being to move into the world of work. We give them work experience on our own enterprise businesses and the person-centred support they need to make their own lasting change.

About Aspire

Established in 2001, Aspire has been tackling the most complex social issues in Oxfordshire for over 17 years. We support vulnerable local people into and towards employment, as the most powerful way to break the complex cycles of homelessness, re-offending and poverty.

Our enterprise model

We tackle these complex social issues through our unique enterprise model. Aspire runs social businesses which offer professional facilities management services to local councils, businesses, academic institutions and private customers. We work with councils and companies who take their social responsibility seriously; who understand that they don’t have to choose between doing good, and doing good business. Our latest enterprise business is a Community Transport bus service which is a lifeline for vulnerable elderly people.

Working to change lives

These businesses don't just provide class leading professional services: they also offer life-changing work experience and employment opportunities to our clients. Alongside this, our Employment and Development Workers provide these clients with intensive 121 support designed to break down multiple barriers to employment. Together, this is a powerful approach that helps hundreds of highly disadvantaged people achieve their own change.

Without Aspire's help I would never have been able to get back into work and move forward with my life. Thank you Aspire team!
Jane

Our journey

We began as a small charity supporting a limited number of homeless people in Oxford city into employment. 17 years on, we now work with over 1,400 vulnerable local people across ten different client pathways and achieve outstanding social impact throughout Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. 

The future

Aspire has achieved over 300% growth since 2012/13. We are proud to work in partnership with 31 organisations across Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley to reach those most in need of our specialist support. Our enterprise businesses now have eight teams working across Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties. We are doing more than ever before to tackle the growing homeless crisis that our community is facing and in 2018 launched new projects focused on both homelessness prevention and homeless relief.

At a time of uncertainty and a challenging external climate, this growth is testament to the drive and resilience of the Aspire team.

We are working to change lives. Will you join us?

Banner photo credit: Howard Stanbury for The Funding Network