Sadly, our current grant funding for the ‘Team Oxford’ employee volunteering project comes to an end on 30th September, so our service is going to be ‘on hold’ until further notice.
Since our beginnings in early 2020 we’ve formed valuable volunteering connections with over 60 employers around Oxfordshire, connecting them with 70+ local charities and other voluntary organisations, enabling hundreds of volunteering outcomes in the process that have brought huge benefits to the local charity sector.
We’ve loved working with businesses ranging from just a handful of staff to several hundred people. Employees have offered their expertise in areas ranging from technical IT support, to finance, marketing and HR. The voluntary organisations we’ve supported have also been delighted to access volunteers with time to support activities, including fundraising efforts, helping young people at holiday clubs, and befriending.
The last four years have seen more change than we could have anticipated. From setting up the Furlough Exchange Scheme during lockdown, through setting up remote volunteering partnerships, to the gradual return to ‘normal’ albeit in a climate of reduced funding and ever-increasing demand on local services and charities. This is also alongside Aspire supporting the establishment of the Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP), within which employee volunteering is encouraged and celebrated and seen as a key intervention to realise a more inclusive economy.
More than ever, Oxfordshire’s charities and voluntary organisations need employee volunteers' skills, talents and time. We are proud to have championed a movement that has encouraged and enabled businesses to support charities beyond the traditional one-off corporate away days. And we’ve loved setting up local partnerships with meaning and an enduring social impact. We look forward to continuing to champion and support this approach to be even more embedded and impactful in the years to come.