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Aspire Oxford's New Year Newsletter
Hello and welcome to Aspire Oxford’s newsletter!

First of all, we want to take a moment to thank all of our wonderful supporters, donors, partners, Friends of Aspire and volunteers for the incredible support that you have given Aspire in 2017.

Thanks to you, Aspire has been able to break the cycles of homelessness and poverty through employment; reduce re-offending and launch a ground-breaking work experience programme for offenders still in custody; provide class-leading professional services which generate vital income for our charity; tackle loneliness in elderly people through our Community Transport bus service - and so much more.

We have reached out to over 1,000 of the most disadvantaged people in our community and given them the employment support, work experience, skills and confidence they need to transform their lives – for good.
         Team Aspire – summer 2017
We hope you enjoy reading about Aspire Oxford’s life-changing projects, our clients’ remarkable achievements and ways you can get involved with our work. As always, thank you so much for your continued support – and enjoy reading!
Beyond Oxfordshire – expanding Aspire’s employment support
These are exciting times.

In October 2017, Aspire Oxford received a major grant from The Tambour Foundation to expand our project to reduce re-offending (known as Through the Gate) into Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, and to support ex-military personnel into employment.

This expansion comes at a time when our Through the Gate project goes from strength to strength, with a thriving work experience programme for offenders still in custody and more employment outcomes than ever before.

This funding means that Aspire can support more people like Terry, who came straight to Aspire on his release from HMP Bullingdon. Terry took part in work experience on Aspire’s social enterprises and benefited from training and housing advice.
Terry now has his own accommodation and is thriving in his job at University College, Oxford. In fact, last Friday Terry was told that he now has a permanent contract and is over the moon!
Caroline Winn joined Aspire Oxford in December to work with ex-military clients and will lead on this exciting new project:
“At Aspire we recognise that it is very challenging for military families who have transitioned from military life to civilian life to know where to go for help locally. We are delighted to be able to extend Aspire’s employment support to specifically target ex-military clients and give them the support they need.

I’ll be working closely with welfare staff on the military bases, military charities and other local community organisations; this partnership approach means that we can work together to break down barriers and allow ex-military clients to thrive in the local community.”

For further information please contact Caroline on 07718 478925 or email

Working to Change Lives
We’re really delighted to share with you the remarkable achievements of Aspire Oxford’s clients. Congratulations to:

Marc, who has completed work experience with Aspire and secured full-time employment at St Hugh’s College.
Lorna, who has successfully passed her Level 1 boxercise qualification and is now training young people across the UK!
Henry, who has completed his Level 2 personal training qualification
Francesca, who is now in full-time employment with Interserve at the new Westgate Shopping Centre
Rana, who now works in the corporate office at Interserve

Sophie, who is in part-time employment at JD Sports




Broken Spoke Bike Co-op to join the Aspire community!
We're delighted to announce that our friends at Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, a social enterprise that helps people become more proficient in riding and bike maintenance, will be sharing Aspire's premises from spring 2018 onwards. This is fantastic news for both organisations and signals a further step towards a hub approach, where we can share ideas & resources for the benefit of our local community.

Broken Spoke's Director, Sam says:

Everyone’s excited about the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op's new workshop: we’re being asked about it by volunteers, customers, and folk from all over Oxford and Oxfordshire. We can’t wait to join the community on Osney Lane and we’re really looking forward to sharing resources to continue to transform & empower our communities. Be ready to be amazed by the myriad different uses of an old inner tube!

Meet the Team: Glen Clayton


Peer Mentor Development Lead

We're delighted to welcome Glen Clayton to the Aspire family! Glen joined Aspire in January 2018 to launch a new programme designed to improve our clients’ mental wellbeing to help them on their journey into employment.
There’s a real need for this new approach. Last year, 48% of Aspire’s clients had mental health issues and have faced significant challenges in their lives. Before they can engage about employment, our clients often need specialist help to boost their psychological wellbeing. Glen’s work will be critical in giving vulnerable people the tools, confidence and resilience they need for their journey ahead.
1: Can you tell us about your new role?
“My role is all about using my own lived experience, training and professional experience at the Oxfordshire Recovery College as Lead Tutor to empower and motivate vulnerable people to live a life worth living. My work will help clients take back control of their own wellbeing through mindfulness, tai chi, goal setting and peer support as well as coping and recovery workshops.”
2: What difference will this project make to Aspire’s clients?
“This project will get people to realise their own potential and self-worth, by building their confidence and well-being. It will enable them to move into work by giving them new tools to support their recovery, address core issues and improve their resilience. This approach isn’t therapy – it’s a shared learning environment and the chance to share experiences with others in the same situation, with very powerful results.”
3: What’s it like being part of the Aspire team?
“It’s really great – a lot of fun. The team are really supportive, innovative, creative and forward-thinking. There’s a real can-do attitude to new approaches and nothing is a barrier. It’s a very motivating and inspiring environment to work in.”

The Power of Inclusive Recruitment: positive change across the business community
Aspire has long recognised that the businesses we work with don’t have to choose between doing good, and doing good business.
Oxfordshire remains a tough place to recruit; but Aspire now has more talented, work-ready clients than ever before, across 10 different pathways. Our clients have overcome significant challenges and can offer a tremendous amount to the world of work – employers who have recruited from Aspire Oxford describe them as dedicated, loyal and exceptionally hard-working.
Since last year’s Employers’ Conference in April, Aspire has established new work experience placements and recruitment opportunities with a wide range of leading employers. We’ve worked with LandSec, Interserve, Pret a Manger, Mid-Counties Co-operative, Taylor Wimpey, Tap Social, the Oxford University colleges and many more. We have delivered employment workshops to businesses to give them the confidence they need to recruit from disadvantaged groups. And planning is now in full swing for our next Employers’ Conference on Wednesday 25th April, to be held as part of Responsible Business Week.
Want to learn more about how Aspire can help meet your business’s recruitment needs? To find out about Aspire’s employment workshops and to book your place on our 2018 Employers’ Conference please contact Emily Capel-Davies
Get Involved
We simply couldn’t achieve our social mission without your support. Whether you follow us on social media, partner with us, volunteer, fundraise, donate or encourage your business to get involved – you really are transforming local lives, for good.
Bike Oxford

Aspire Oxford has a limited number of places for the 2018 Bike Oxford event. You can sign up for 25, 50 or 80 miles of stunning Oxfordshire countryside and raise vital funds for Aspire in the process! To find out more please call Helen on 01865 204450 or email
Fundraise for Aspire
We are looking for amazing people to raise vital funds that will help Aspire support more disadvantaged people into employment.
Aspire are launching a new Welfare Challenge for 2018, where we’re aiming to raise £15,000 to support 58 of our clients in their journey towards the world of work. Your fundraising will provide our clients with food vouchers, work uniform, essential ID and will help to fund training courses, driving lessons and household items.

Whether you want to fundraise by taking on a challenge, organising a cake sale, quiz, music night, bake off or dress-down day at work, every penny counts – so please call Helen or Mark on 01865 204450 and find out how to get involved.
Become a Friend of Aspire

Do you want to be part of our journey? Our Friends are remarkable people who give to Aspire on a regular basis, enabling us to plan for the future and extend our social impact to reach even more disadvantaged people. Membership starts from just £25 per year and we will send you newsletters, event invitations, our social impact report and much more. Find out how to become a Friend of Aspire today!

Important message: Aspire Oxford is committed to best practice in data protection; we are reviewing our data protection policies with new GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018. You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time using the footer links, or call 01865 204450 for more information. Thank you for your support.

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