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Welcome to Aspire's winter newsletter 2019!

Here at Aspire, we are pleased to share the vital work we are doing to tackle homelessness, poverty and disadvantage across Oxfordshire.

This year, we are incredibly proud to look back at our work and see considerable impact on the lives of so many facing difficulty, motivated in our ongoing mission to empower marginalised people to address their needs, unlock their potential, and change their lives. 

Aspire supported 2,163 vulnerable people to transform their lives in 2018-19 - a 46% increase in demand for our services from the year before. This defines 2018-19 as a significant year for our crucial work to change lives across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

You can read our full Social Impact Report for 2018-19

A snapshot of Aspire’s key 2018-19 outcomes:

  • 485 people were supported into employment, education and training
  • 356 people benefited from homelessness prevention support
  • 186 trainees completed 1538 work experience days

We wouldn’t be where we are without the work of our dedicated team, our local and national partners, funders, our growing social enterprises and our communities - thank you for supporting our journey so far!

A fantastic year for Aspire

As 2019 draws to a close, we are thrilled to be able to look back to a variety of highly successful developments, events and project launches.

Through the Prison Gate expands further

Aspire’s Through the Gate rehabilitation programme for ex-offenders has had an incredible impact on the lives of those returning to work and community life - and we are so happy to be able to extend and expand this programme even further.

As of October 2019, we will be delivering our Through the Gate project across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, and providing critically needed supported housing for ex-offenders who are vulnerable to homelessness. We’re extremely grateful to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley for providing vital funding that has enabled this programme of work to expand.

This programme has seen Aspire collaborating with local employers to encourage more inclusive recruitment, and increasing the opportunities available to ex-offenders across the Thames Valley - providing support with gaining employment through CV-building, interview skills workshops, training and work experience with Aspire’s own enterprise businesses.

Walking on fire for Aspire at The Big Oxford Firewalk 2019

November saw Aspire co-host the unforgettable Big Oxford Firewalk! 

We were so excited to get involved with this unique experience at Oxford Rugby Club - a daunting and notable challenge that resonated with us, as we work with so many courageous people to overcome challenges in their lives every day. 

This memorable evening of challenge and entertainment shone a spotlight on the crucial work of local charities Aspire, Maggie’s, SeeSaw and Sobell House, and the support required to continue making a real difference to the lives of those facing difficulty across Oxfordshire.

Aspire's wider homelessness prevention and housing support continues

Aspire are doing more than ever before to step up and tackle Oxfordshire’s ongoing homelessness and housing crisis. 

We are working hard to continue our vital homelessness prevention programme, ensuring that people at risk of homelessness - experiencing tenancy issues, family breakdown or debt - have access to the resources and early intervention support they need to stay in their homes, with wider employability support available where needed.

Additionally, we are proud to collaborate with a variety of fantastic county-wide services - including a Housing First project for rough sleepers in South Oxfordshire, and to be involved in the Oxford city Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) to ensure that no one needs to sleep rough during the coldest nights this winter.

The Aspire Gym Bus is on the road

Through the use of our new Gym Bus - the first of its kind in Oxfordshire, and generously donated by Oxford Bus Company - we will be able to reach people in isolated and deprived areas of the county with limited access to exercise equipment and sports.

We aim to engage with adults and young people who are experiencing disadvantage, and support them to improve their health and fitness, enhance their wellbeing and boost their confidence - so further steps such as work experience, training and employment feel more achievable.

We are so happy this incredible and innovative project is on the road - and it wouldn’t have been possible without our supporters, the team at Oxford Bus Company, or their vital volunteers!
Working to Change Lives

We are delighted to share with you the incredible achievements of Aspire Oxford’s beneficiaries - and would like to congratulate:
  • Alan, who has now obtained his motorbike licence and is in full time grounds maintenance employment
  • D, who has been offered a carpentry placement with ToolShed
  • Matt, who is now working voluntarily with the Aspire Support team
  • Ross, who has recently passed his driving test for the Aspire Gym Bus
  • Rippon, who has started a warehouse apprenticeship with Blenheim Palace
  • Wayne, who has had his agency role extended to a permanent contract with Redrow
Our Christmas Appeal: a Place at the Table

This Christmas, hundreds of people across Oxfordshire are living in poverty, at risk of homelessness, long-term unemployed or in crisis, and facing Christmas alone. 

Aspire supports these people all year round, but this Christmas, we want to make sure that they all have a Place at the Table.
On 18th December, we are hosting a Christmas dinner to provide a hot meal, a Christmas gift, much needed company and access to long-term employment and housing support to address the root causes of their difficulties.
  • £25 could sponsor a Place at the Table for someone facing homelessness, poverty or isolation, ensuring that they can benefit from a Christmas dinner, a gift and wider support
  • £32 could pay for a training course to help a formerly homeless person into employment 
  • £250 could sponsor a table, transforming the lives of ten people experiencing multiple disadvantage
  • £500 could sponsor a table with additional specialist employment support, helping vulnerable people to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, for good
Can you support our Christmas Appeal today, and help us to be there for everyone who needs us?
Support a Place at the Table
Support Aspire Today

From following us on social media to fundraising, donating, or partnering with us, there are a variety of ways to support the much-needed work of Aspire Oxford, and help us to transform lives today:


Making a donation to Aspire will support us in funding our life-changing work. £18 could provide an employment support session for a formerly homeless person, £50 could provide a work uniform for an Aspire trainee, and £550 could fund an Aspire trainee through our employment programme.  

Fundraise or Complete a Challenge

From taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon to organising your own sponsored sporting challenge, sleepout, raffle or bake-off, there are so many exciting ways to achieve your personal goals, and make a lasting difference to lives in your local community.

Become a Friend of Aspire

By becoming a Friend, you will enable Aspire to plan for the future and support us in reaching even more disadvantaged and marginalised people every year. Membership starts from just £25 per year!

If you are interested in finding out more about Aspire Oxford and the award-winning support we provide across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire,
visit our website to explore our services.

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

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