Rough Sleeping Oxford

We believe businesses can help a city solve homelessness

Oxford Homeless Movement, an exciting new citywide partnership, is launching on Thursday 10 October. This is an innovative, inclusive Movement aimed at reducing rough sleeping in Oxford which includes local homeless charities, housing providers, Oxford City Council, health providers, funding bodies, community-based organisations and businesses.

Street homelessness has been on the increase since the turn of the decade and hit record levels in England in 2017, including in Oxford.

We are working in partnership with local businesses including The Westgate Fund, John Lewis & Partners, Royds Withy King, Beard, Carter Jonas and College and County Letting Agents, who have pledged their support to The Movement. Together, we are looking at ways to bring additional funds into The Westgate Fund and help the city solve homelessness.

Businesses have helped with these types of projects:

• a pilot Housing First scheme has launched enabling people from South Oxfordshire sleeping rough in Oxford to receive local housing and intensive support more accommodation for those leaving psychiatric wards and needing support.
• a house for people who have been in hospital and require an extra couple of weeks off the streets to help their recuperation
• a new house opening in Oxford for ex-offenders leaving prison to give them the best chance of rehabilitating in the community
• established a homelessness prevention service, to engage and support people in the community at the first signs of homelessness
• a ‘public talking shop’ for inspiring city-wide conversations on housing and homelessness. Open House is a platform for the voices of people experiencing homelessness and insecure housing and is ensuring that this lived experience stays central to the Movement and wider action on housing and homelessness in the city.

OCF and Oxford Homeless Movement are calling on more businesses, organisations and individuals in Oxford to get involved, everyone is welcome to come along to the launch at Open House, 36 Little Clarendon St, Oxford, OX1 2HU at 11.30 am or 15.30, to find out more about this initiative and join The Movement.

Please visit and pledge your support by signing the charter or by making a donation.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation

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Inclusive Growth Seminar Series

Inclusive Growth Seminar Series – Speakers now confirmed

As Chair of the Oxford Strategic Partnership, I would like to invite you to a seminar series on Inclusive Growth in Oxfordshire. These seminars, held in partnership with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, will explore how we can collectively enable a more equitable and inclusive economy in our county. I would welcome your participation and contribution to this important subject.

Oxford and Oxfordshire are among the fastest growing local economies in the UK but also one of the least equal, so we want to examine what fundamental structural changes may be required to ensure our future growth delivers benefits to all residents and serves to narrow the inequalities gap.

Through the seminars we want to develop a common understanding of this challenge, learn more about the measures and policy interventions being proposed, and what strategies are being trialled elsewhere. This will help inform what we can do here to have a meaningful positive impact on inequities in income and opportunity.

Oxfordshire’s Local Industrial Strategy now includes a commitment to an Inclusive Growth Commission, development of which will be informed by the seminar discussions. This initiative is to be sponsored through the Oxfordshire Growth Board.

I very much hope you will be able to join us, for the first and subsequent seminars on this important topic.

Warm regards,
Baroness Royall
Chair of the Oxford Strategic Partnership and Principal of Somerville College, Oxford

Seminar 1 – Defining the Challenge and Potential Interventions

Wednesday 16th October, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, Somerville College

The first Inclusive Growth seminar will focus on the research, policy and data on economic and social inequality to define the real scale of the challenge nationally and locally. We will start the discussion on potential interventions to be developed through the seminar series and beyond.

If you have not received an Eventbrite invitation, please register for seminar 1 here or click on this link:

Speakers confirmed as: Ed Cox, Dr Mark Fransham, Will Hutton and Professor Brian Nolan.

• Ed Cox is Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA, where he is leading an ambitious programme of work on people, power, place and inclusive growth. Ed previously led IPPR North for 9 years where he was a champion for devolution and much of the thinking behind the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Before that, Ed was an adviser to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government where he played a key role in developing the SubNational Review (2007) and the Empowerment White Paper (2008).

• Mark Fransham is a Researcher at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics. He is interested in comparative analysis of urban areas and their responses to economic and social change and has undertaken doctoral research at The University of Oxford about the spatial distribution of income poverty at neighbourhood level in England.

• Will Hutton is a British political economist, academic administrator, and journalist. He is currently Principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford, and Chair of the Big Innovation Centre, an initiative from the Work Foundation (formerly the Industrial Society), having been chief executive of the Work Foundation from 2000 to 2008. He was formerly editor-in-chief for The Observer.

• Brian Nolan is Director of Employment, Equity and Growth and Professor of Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention (University of Oxford). He is an economist by training, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics, and his main areas of research are income inequality, poverty, and the economics of social policy. His work seeks to understand why current growth models are failing those on middle and lower incomes in many developed countries, and what policies may help to promote better, fairer growth.

Seminar 2 – Place-based Strategies

Monday 28th October, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, Kellogg College

Economic inequalities and deprivation are often concentrated in specific areas of cities and towns, or affect places in specific ways. The solutions to the inequality challenge can also lie within these places strengths and opportunities. This seminar will focus on lessons learned from cities and organisations that are taking the initiative to lead publicprivate place based strategies and investments.

If you have not received an Eventbrite invitation, please register for seminar 2 here or click on this link:

Speakers confirmed as: Gareth Hart, Bev Hindle, Neil McInroy and Jayne Woodley.

• Gareth Hart is Chair of Plymouth’s Inclusive Growth Group, a working group of the Plymouth Growth Board. The Growth Board is a private sector led partnership, bringing together representatives from important city organisations to collaborate and drive forward the economic priorities of Plymouth. Gareth led the bid that saw Plymouth become the UK’s first ‘Social Enterprise City’.

• Bev Hindle is Director of the Oxfordshire Growth Board and Oxford to Cambridge Arc Leaders and Chief Executives groups. His is responsible for coordinating implementation of the £215 million Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal agreed with Government in 2018, which includes developing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 that will consider the needs of the county and align its strategies so that plans for future housing and infrastructure are joined up.

• Neil McInroy is Chief Executive of the Centre Local Economic Strategies (CLES) a leading independent think and do tank, realising progressive economics for people and place. CLES’s aim is to achieve social justice, good local economies and effective public services for everyone, everywhere. Neil’s work as the Chief Executive is centred on strategic policy making, cooperation, developing strategies, and public sector reform.

• Jayne Woodley is CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation an independent charity connecting people who care with causes that matter. Since it was established in 1995 it has stewarded £12 million in donations from Oxfordshire’s generous givers, grown its endowment fund to nearly £5 million, and awarded £6.3 million in grants, benefiting around 2,000 local charities and community groups. They also host the responsible business group Reciprocate.

Seminar 3 – Economic Opportunities for All

Wednesday 20th November, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, City of Oxford College, Blackbird Leys Campus

This seminar will focus on the themes of workforce skills and training, employer engagement and initiatives, and the role the business sector can play to expand economic opportunities to all.

If you have not received an Eventbrite invitation, please register for seminar 3 here or click on this link:

Speakers confirmed as: Trevor Philips, Anna Swaithes, and Paul Roberts.

• Trevor Philips is a writer and television producer. He is the cofounder of the diversity analytics consultancy Webber Phillips, and Chairman of Green Park Interim and Executive Search. He is the Chairman of the global freedom of expression campaign charity Index on Censorship, a director of the Barbican Arts Centre, and a VicePresident of the Royal Television Society. He was the President of the John Lewis Partnership Council until 2018, and founding chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

• Anna Swaithes is Head of Responsible Business, Inclusive Economy Unit, Department for Media, Culture & Sport. Her focus is on building partnerships between government, business and broader civil society to create social value and build sustainable businesses, and on driving a culture of business transparency and accountability.

• Paul Roberts is the CEO of Aspire, an Oxfordshirebased social enterprise which supports vulnerable local people into and towards employment and housing. Aspire runs social businesses which offer professional facilities management services to local councils, businesses, academic institutions and private customers. He is also co-Chair of Oxfordshire’s multi-agency Housing & Homelessness Group, and a Director of Makespace Oxford (Community Interest Company).

Any queries please contact or Shelley Ghazi on

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Collaborent OV Partner

Building a more resilient, purposeful and attractive business

Why this is important – it’s not just a “nice to have”

I tend not to refer to CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility these days as it’s so often misunderstood and underestimated. It has also been regarded as something that can be added once a business is well-established, but we are truly witnessing a sea change in the ways businesses are operating. Companies leading the way are recognising not only the shared responsibility they have to help make the world a better place, but also the opportunities opened up by embracing this and embedding it into the heart of their businesses – whether start-ups or well-established, and here is why……

An employer of choice – attracting and retaining quality people: The increasingly competitive market for quality staff is demanding that potential employers become far more attractive. Equally, those already employed are seeking far more satisfaction and fulfilment from their work, as well as having more flexibility and feeling valued and engaged. This is particularly important to younger employees.

Winning more customers and satisfying the ones you have: All of us as customers are becoming far more discerning in terms of who we buy from. There is also a shift in thinking from the public, especially around the ways those we buy from treat the environment and generally operate their companies. Social Media means that bad news can go viral in an instant, as can great stories!

Investment: As well as seeking the best return on funds, investors are increasingly looking for ways their money can make more positive social and environmental impact. Therefore, there is an opportunity for positive attraction, but also the danger of deterring potential investors if you aren’t operating in many of the ways you can.

What can you do?

Develop a strategy: Clearly this all should start at the top, but it’s equally essential for genuine engagement from all levels within the business. Understanding how all areas of a business are or can be affected is vital, as well as the ways these areas can engage and benefit.

There are a number of models that can help with the overall approach. One, which is completely free, is offered by B Lab, supporting and promoting B Corporations and can be accessed here:

The B Impact Assessment is an online tool that helps you analyse and assess your current position, but also highlights ways in which you can improve your business. It is broken down into 5 main areas:

Workers: the ways in which you manage and care for your people.
Community: The way the company engages in and supports the local community.
Environment: The impact it has on the environment
Customers: The way the company trades up and down its supply chain, treats customers and suppliers and the products and services it provides.
Governance: The type of legal entity and the way the business is run, including involvement of employees in the decision-making process.

As a “B Leader”, having trained with B Lab to help companies consider becoming B Corporations, I work with this tool and find it extremely useful and enlightening as to what can be achieved. I therefore wholeheartedly recommend accessing it to benchmarking the way your company operates, but to also shine a light on the ideas and opportunities you have to build an even stronger and more positively impactful company. Other models and resources are also out there, including Blueprint For Better Business ( and Purposely. (

Practical, local, activities and engagement: There are so many things you can do to develop a more purposeful business and have more positive social and environmental impact, so it’s not possible to provide a comprehensive listing here. However, below are just some practical ideas and initiatives that can help you on your way.

Inclusive Employment: This is an increasingly topical subject and one which, as a former employer, I had no real understanding of back then. Since I moved from the corporate world to this area of operation I have learned so much about the opportunities this brings to employers. And it’s not simply about gender and ethnicity. Check out Aspire Oxford’s offering on Inclusive Recruitment:

Workplace Wellbeing: More employers are keen to improve the ways in which they can support their staff, although sometimes aren’t aware of precisely how they can go about doing so. The Oxfordshire Workplace Wellbeing Network was set up by employers, for employers and is a peer network that is free to join. You can join the LinkedIn Group here:

Employee volunteering: Boosting morale and providing the opportunity for your people to get more involved in the local community is not only good for your business, but great for them and the local community too. There are some exciting initiatives developing, so watch this space, but in the meantime, you can download this handy guide:

Community engagement is a huge topic in itself and there are so many ways businesses can develop strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the local community. Companies often immediately think about supporting local charities, which is absolutely something I would endorse and encourage. However, there are many more opportunities including local schools and colleges as well as supporting local community initiatives, business networks, parish councils and other local committees. Check out these resources for more information:
OxLEP Skills team for connections with local schools
The ROBIN Network – sharing skills and resources across sectors:

A particularly topical subject currently and another area that has a myriad of elements you can follow to improve your business. Check out:
OxFutures –
The UN Sustainable Development Goals –
Bioregional’s One Planet Living model –
Better Business (, developed by Seacourt Print.

Marketplace – Customers and suppliers
Asking more questions of your suppliers, the provenance of your products and services as well as being more transparent and responsive to customers can multiply your impact. Do you pay your suppliers promptly and treat them fairly? Buying from sources closer to you and from local, independent businesses can make a difference to the environment and local economy. Do you “Buy Social”?

It’s appreciated that most readers will be with private limited companies including micro businesses and perhaps even sole traders. But this sub-topic is still relevant to you whatever type or size. The word Governance is being used here in the widest sense, It could be the legal entity, the way a company is structured, managed and run. More private companies, like B Corps are embedding commitments to positive social and environmental impact in their Articles of Association to demonstrate transparency and accountability for the ways in which they operate.

Some companies are even choosing to share the wealth of the business with employees and a great local example of this is The Rooflight Company: But even mainstream, private limited companies can engage and involve staff more in strategic development, the decision-making processes and operational aspects of the company to evolve it to become a Business as a Force ror Good

In summary

Hopefully this has helped opened your mind to some new ideas about embedding this as “business as usual” and shown how they might also help solve or alleviate some of your day to day challenges and open up business development opportunities for you. It’s my belief that companies that don’t adopt these ways of working will soon fall behind. Customers won’t want to buy from them, people won’t want to work for them, and investors will be directing their funds elsewhere. I am even seeing suppliers becoming fussier.

But this needs to be undertaken authentically, engaging your people, listening to your clients and other stakeholders and peers.

If you’d like to explore this further, send feedback or just connect, then please do get in touch:


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maurizio cattelan photo pierpaolo ferrari

Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace

This autumn, Blenheim Palace is welcoming iconic artworks by famed Italian Conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan (12th September – 27th October).

Blenheim Palace is offering an exclusive corporate entertainment opportunity for guests to preview works from Cattelan’s first solo exhibition in the UK in 20 years, accompanied by drinks receptions in the Palace State Rooms.

The works will be on display throughout the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site’s palatial interiors, engaging with the site’s recent history and unique setting. This exhibition will feature new works displayed to the public for the first time.

There’s also the truly unique opportunity to experience a private moment with ‘America’ a solid 18-carat gold toilet which is one of contemporary art’s most famous works.

Over 100,000 people famously queued up at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2016 to see this piece.

Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace boasts a long and diverse history.

Blenheim Palace was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704.

Today, the Palace is home to one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, which includes portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries.

This corporate and private entertainment opportunity takes place from 6.30pm until 8pm* on selected dates during the exhibition.

maurizio cattelan america 2016 photo jacopo zotti

· For Corporate and Private bookings and more information do not hesitate to contact or call 01993 813874.
· *Terms and Conditions apply. Minimum numbers 50 guests. Prices start from £105 per person.

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Richard Kennell | Your Voice

Richard Kennell, CEO and Founder of SOFEA, tells Oxfordshire voice about his Educational Training Charity ‘SOFEA’ and about its roll, redistributing surplus food from supermarkets to charities, so they can reduce their running costs and also young people can get training through working for SOFEA, enabling them to change their prospects after school.

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Jonna and Gemma at Homeless Oxford

You HR Consultancy has started work with their charity partner Homeless Oxfordshire

You HR is working alongside an Oxfordshire based charity to raise awareness for the work they do supporting the homeless of Oxfordshire.

The number of rough sleepers in Oxford has risen by 175% since 2012.

Providing support for over 30 years Homeless Oxfordshire are the largest accommodation provider across the county. With a 56 bed hostel and 144 beds across the local community in 24 properties offering a full range of support.

Homeless Oxfordshire create individual solutions to individual needs. They provide health and wellbeing support via the Luther Street Medical Centre.

They influence public provision and policy by highlighting the social impact of our work. They raise awareness and reduce the stigma of homelessness, becoming the charity of choice for local people.

You HR Consultancy recently volunteered in the kitchen at O’Hanlon House and some of the team will be taking part in their charity bike ride to raise funds in May and also participating in the Oxford half marathon in October.

CEO Jonna Mundy said “It has been a humbling experience to volunteer with Homeless Oxfordshire and we are investing more than 100 hours of our support to develop the future aspirations of the charity and those they assist”

You HR Consultancy

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SANE and the Black Dog Campaign

Sane’s Black Dog Visits Churchill’s Birthplace

SANE, a mental health charity, will be bringing a four-foot-tall statue of a black dog called Sirius to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, from Monday, 8th April – Tuesday, 22nd April as part of their Black Dog Campaign.
The campaign aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages people to seek help early, rather than suffering in silence.
Sirius will be on display in the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Pleasure Gardens.
The Black Dog has been used from classical mythology through medieval folklore to modern times as a universal metaphor for depression: Sir Winston Churchill is famously reported to have used it to describe his darker moods. 
Imposing sculptures of Black Dogs wearing coats designed by artists, celebrities or others and standing on a plinth featuring SANEline and other sources of help have been placed in business foyers, public parks and shopping centres in towns and cities throughout the UK.
The campaign is also touring schools and universities, encouraging people to find a more accessible language in which to express their inner feelings of anxiety, loneliness or despair. The tour of Oxfordshire has been spearheaded by High Sheriff of Oxfordshire 2018/19, Richard Venables who comments ‘In my last week of being the High Sheriff I am delighted to be able to bring Sirius to Blenheim to highlight the issue of mental health which is pervasive throughout society and bring awareness to staff and visitors to Blenheim’.
Megan Carter, HR Manager Blenheim, said: “Staff wellbeing is incredibly important and something we are absolutely committed to here at Blenheim.
“We have set up a number of initiatives aimed at making it far easier for people to discuss any issues or worries they may have with other team members and we’ve introduced a range of activities designed to improve overall wellbeing and also to enable team leaders to identify signs of stress and depression,”
she added.
She continues: “We are pleased to welcome SANE who are bringing Sirius the Black Dog to Blenheim highlighting mental health. There is a poignant link between Churchill’s ‘Black Dog’ and Blenheim. I am pleased that we can help raise awareness of depression, anxiety and mental health.    The wellbeing of our staff is of the upmost importance to us at Blenheim and we pride ourselves on the initiatives that we provide to everyone, some of which also reach out to the local community. We offer Yoga, health checks and mindfulness courses and a free employee assistance confidential helpline for all staff which is available 24 hours a day.”

For more information on SANE and the Black Dog Campaign visit

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Jayne Woodley | Your Voice

Jayne Woodley from Oxfordshire Community Foundation gives her opinion on what needs to change in Oxfordshire, from Educational attainment and falling the young to housing and homelessness.

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