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Aspire Oxford's February Newsletter
Welcome to our first 2017 newsletter!
These are exciting times for Aspire; 2017 is just weeks old but the year ahead is packed full of life-changing opportunities, greater social impact and new ways for you to get involved! We’ll be extending our specialist employment support to more vulnerable people across Oxfordshire than ever before, including young people and refugees.
In this newsletter, we’re delighted to share with you our newest projects and celebrate our trainees’ amazing achievements. We’d also like to update you on our Oxford Big Sleepout event and brand new ways you can support Aspire. On behalf of the whole Aspire team - thank you for your support!
Big Lottery and ESF funding boost to support unemployed young people
Aspire is very proud to have secured Big Lottery - ESF funding for a new project to support young people not in employment, education or training (NEET), called “Unlocking Potential for Oxfordshire.” We are the lead delivery partner for this county-wide project, run by nine local community organisations in partnership with Oxford City Council.

The project will offer intensive coaching, accredited entry-level training, supported work experience placements on Aspire’s social enterprises and sports activities for young people. This vital work will help Oxfordshire’s disadvantaged young people to achieve their full potential and will protect them from substance misuse or homelessness.


A huge congratulations to Aspire's trainees:

We're delighted to share some of our trainees' life-changing successes with you:

Matt and Andrew who have passed their CSCS construction qualification and are now in full time employment with Laing O' Rourke working on the new Westgate development
Torin who has secured full time employment in electrical engineering at Unipar
Hassan for completing his first football session with Active Body Healthy Mind
Ricky who has secured a placement with Ace training to do bricklaying
John and Rennel who have passed their Level 1 football training with Active Body Healthy Mind



Andrew and Matt
Aspire launches groundbreaking new Employers' Conference 
Recruitment in Oxfordshire is a major challenge for employers, and Aspire wants to support local businesses to open up opportunities to disadvantaged groups. We are launching Oxford’s first ever Employers’ Conference focused on encouraging companies to meet their business needs through socially responsible recruitment.
This free half day conference will be held at Unipart on Wednesday 26th April as part of Responsible Business Week. The conference will showcase the benefits of giving disadvantaged people a chance in the world of work along with case studies from employers who have successfully trialled work placements for vulnerable groups. We’re delighted to have secured Darren Burns as a key note speaker from Timpson, who are leading the way in socially responsible recruitment.

For more information and to book your place please email Rosa or call 01865 204450. 

We’re spreading our ‘working to change lives’ message far and wide! Aspire was thrilled to be chosen as a guest speaker for the national
Reducing Reoffending Conference in London on March 29th. We’ll be able to talk about the success of our Through the Gate project, where we’ve supported ex-offenders into and towards employment. We look forward to reporting back in the next newsletter!
Working to Change Lives
In October 2016 Aspire launched a short-term employment project to help our clients find work in the construction industry. This saw 17 local people complete a construction industry qualification (CITB course), take part in supported work experience on Aspire’s social enterprises and get links to employers to help them into work.
We’re delighted with the outcomes of this project: 11 were awarded their CSCS cards and 7 have already found permanent employment in the construction industry, including Matt Tatton. Here’s Matt’s story:

When Matt first came to Aspire, he had lost his home, moved back in with his parents and was struggling to find work. Matt completed his construction industry qualification and work experience on Aspire’s social enterprises. He then started work experience on the Westgate development, which led to employment on the Westgate shopping site working for construction company Laing O'Rourke. Matt says:
“I have recently done my CSCS course through Aspire. I did really well and passed the training and course with flying colours. I’ve also gained a full time job through Aspire as a labourer which I thoroughly enjoy - although it’s extremely hard work, I still enjoy every minute of it. All of the staff and volunteers at Aspire have helped me gain my confidence again with work which I’m extremely grateful for. I will always highly recommend getting in touch with Aspire as they always go the extra mile.”
Paul DiMambro, Sustainability Manager at Laing O’ Rourke, says:
"Laing O'Rourke are always keen to support people into the construction and engineering industry. The industry has a skills shortage and we are happy to do all we can to reach out to people from all walks of life, including those with challenging backgrounds, and support them to take up the fantastic opportunities our industry can offer. Our partnership with Aspire, providing work experience to their clients is already seeing great results. We look forward to welcoming more Aspire trainees in the future."
Aspire would like to thank Laing O'Rourke and Land Securities for their tremendous support and funding towards the project.

Oxford Big Sleepout success
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who took part in our Oxford Big Sleepout event on 28th October 2016. 75 supporters braved the cold and gave up their bed for the night, raising an incredible £24,000 for Aspire, Oxford Homeless Pathways and Connection Floating Support.
The event was a real insight into the realities of sleeping rough – but while everyone who took part could go home to a warm bath and bed, hundreds of local people face the reality of sleeping in the cold night after night.
It was incredibly heart-warming to see how much support there is for local homeless organisations: with funding cuts putting services at risk across the homeless pathway, events like the Oxford Big Sleepout are needed more than ever. We want to make our 2017 Oxford Big Sleepout even bigger, so watch this space for updates!

Take on a challenge for Aspire

Join us in tackling social exclusion across our community! If you’re looking to challenge yourself in 2017, we’ve got everything you need for an experience to remember: 
  • Sign up for the Spring Monster Race on 1st April for Aspire and face lots of water, mud and plenty of obstacles!
  • Aspire has FREE charity places in the 2017 Bike Oxford event on Sunday 7th May – take on a 25, 50 or 80 mile cycle challenge and help us to transform local lives. But be quick, places are going fast!
  • Or if you’ve got your own idea for a life-changing challenge, give us a call and we’d love to discuss it further.
For more information on any of our challenges, please email us today!  

Aspire Oxford is an employment charity and social enterprise creating real work placements, training and employment opportunities for people who face multiple barriers to getting into work. Aspire provides the Oxford City Community Transport service reducing isolation for elderly residents, and supports young people NEET into and towards employment.


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Aspire Oxford · St Thomas School, Osney Lane · Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1NJ · United Kingdom