It’s nearly 18 months since the launch of Oxford Together, the volunteering programme set up by Oxford Hub to facilitate community support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite difficult and ever-changing circumstances, we’ve achieved a huge amount in that time — listening to over 3000 people and working out a way forward together, supporting 8,717 phone calls between Oxford residents to build connection and friendship, and coordinating over 1000 neighbours to help each other, including collecting 1,003 prescriptions. …


For many of us, covid-19 restrictions aren’t something we associate with getting out and about or making new friends. But for Mathilde, who started mentoring with our Big Brothers Big Sisters programme in early 2021, that’s exactly what happened! In this blog, Mathilde reflects on her experience of building a friendship with her Little Sibling Will, and talks about the power of mentoring and one-to-one support in the life of a young person.

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Will and I met at the end of the third national lockdown. What we could do for our first outing was limited as cafes were closed…


In May, we held our Innovate for Oxford Competition, where students were tasked with designing a project that will benefit the Oxford community. The four winning students are putting their project “ShareWorthy” into motion. In this blog, they share why and how they came up with ShareWorthy and how it will build new relationships in Oxford with the aim of tackling loneliness.

“As all of us in Oxfordshire still reckon with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for us to share, connect, and build as a community. Collectively, so many of us have experienced isolation, loneliness, separation from loved ones in the past year.

With that in mind, the four of us — all students at the University of Oxford — formed an initiative called ShareWorthy to help alleviate loneliness and promote sharing and meaningful friendships across all ages in Oxfordshire. It does this by facilitating events for people to meet up and share.

This is…


Two people with building blocks, under the banner Bridge Builders.
Two people with building blocks, under the banner Bridge Builders.

Since the pandemic started, we’ve been matching people across the city to support one another and build community. One-to-one matches have always been core to our approach: for conversation in Phone Links, and for practical support in Together Neighbours.

We’ve learned loads over the past year and a half: how to make a great match, how to work at huge scale, and even where to get the right lettuce to feed tortoises!

One thing we’ve seen, over and over, is that one-to-one matching can do more than simply connect two people. At their best, these introductions serve as a springboard…


Joint press release

In 2016, Community First Oxfordshire set up a small Oxford city focussed Good Neighbour Scheme called Red Arrow. Over the 5 years, this small pool of wonderful volunteers supported vulnerable older adults in the city to access key services: hospital appointments, GP surgeries, shopping trips and so on using their own cars and with expenses covered by people receiving lifts.

Then the pandemic washed over the UK and lots of new ways of neighbours helping out neighbours emerged. Oxford Hub set up Oxford Together and some of CFO’s Red Arrow volunteers joined this initiative too. As we…


As Covid-19 restrictions ease, we are taking advantage of the warm weather to create healthier, happier, more connected communities through the power of relationships. Read on to find out more about our activities this summer.

We’re having a busy summer at Oxford Hub, with lots of opportunities for building relationships in communities. We believe that social connection is essential for us all to thrive, and we’ve not had as many opportunities to gather with others over the past 18 months.

A photo from one of our Summer Schools

Summer of fun in the Community Impact Zone

Children and young people have missed out on so many opportunities to learn, have fun and spend time with their friends. Over the summer we are running summer schools for over 130 children who would benefit from having lots of fun, taking part in physical activities and…


The 5 winners of the Social Enterprise Awards

As the pandemic continues, we know it can sometimes be hard to stay optimistic about the future.

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to some of the winners of Trinity term’s Social Enterprise Awards. These teams of Oxford University students are innovating for a better city for all. We’ve been inspired by their bold ideas and willingness to address some of the most pressing (and challenging!) issues of our time, from dementia care, to green technology and cyber crime.

We hope that reading about their winning ideas restores a sense of hope- and even excitement- for what lies ahead.

Oxolve


“Working Well changed how I approach work, interact with colleagues and think about my career. It’s helped me build self-confidence and support networks, and reflect deeply on priorities, work culture and self care. I feel much more engaged in and excited about what I’m doing and empowered to really make a difference!” –2021 participant

Working Well, our brand-new career-development programme, just graduated its first cohort with flying colours! The series brings young people and their organisations together into more meaningful relationships, with the aim of growing thriving individuals, community participation and systemic change.

Working Well builds on our Young Trustees…


In just a few weeks, our Summer Schools will be kicking off in Cowley and Blackbird Leys! Based around the Fit, Fed, Read model, they include literacy activities, lots of sport and games, and a healthy meal every day — but most of all, they’re a lot of fun. Here’s a taste of what they’re like, from Krisztina, one of the Lead Practitioners from our Easter School in April…

Being a Lead Practitioner at the Easter School was such a rewarding experience. I want to be a teacher, so I jumped at the opportunity, and it was great work experience…


Last week, our Together Neighbours and Phone Links teams met up to talk about the future of these programmes. Both programmes started in response to the crisis at the start of the covid-19 pandemic. Now we’re looking to develop them to focus on building community in the longer term as well as responding to immediate needs, with the aim of making Oxford a more connected and resilient city. We reflected on what we’ve learned from running (and volunteering with) Phone Links and Together Neighbours over the last 15 months. Here are some of our highlights!

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting with members of the team laughing
A screenshot of a Zoom meeting with members of the team laughing
Members of the Oxford Hub team enjoying our planning session

Building relationships takes time —…

Oxford Hub

You have the power & potential to shape a better Oxford. Take action to make a difference at the heart of your community. Be part of @oxfordhub.

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