Oxford United in the Community to engage more people than ever after confirming three new town partnerships.

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23rd February 2022

Oxford United football mascots on the pitch

Oxford United in the Community has announced it will expand its countywide engagement by entering partnerships in three new towns.

The official charity of Oxford United confirmed it will develop bases in Bicester, Abingdon and Didcot this year in the next stage of the development of its ‘hub and spoke’ model. It is now seeking grassroots football clubs to partner with to deliver social impact in each town.

It follows a successful pilot scheme in Banbury with Easington Sports FC and forms part of Oxford United in the Community’s plan to create at least ten countywide partnerships by 2023.

The expansion will help the charity achieve its vision to provide every person living in the county with a positive connection to Oxford United and inspire happier, healthier and better-connected communities. The charity delivers programmes designed to engage people aged ‘2 to 92’ and help with challenges including developing key life skills, mental health, loneliness and homelessness.

Its partnership in Banbury has connected people through free supportive football sessions for women, half-term holiday camps and the collection of unwanted sports equipment in partnership with the BBC’s ‘Kit Out The Nation’ campaign.

Chris Lowes, Head of Oxford United in the Community, said: “This is an exciting new phase in the development of our hub and spoke strategy which is designed to ensure we expand our reach and engagement across Oxfordshire.

“Partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organisations is a key part of our model and we are now actively seeking partners in Bicester, Abingdon and Didcot. The successful pilot scheme in Banbury with Easington Sports FC has demonstrated the importance of our work to communities and how valuable partnerships are in achieving effective delivery.

“We are looking forward to building relationships in Bicester, Abingdon and Didcot and delivering joint programmes that deliver positive impact in each community.”

Part of the charity’s work in each town will see community coaches deliver fun and inclusive football-based programmes to local people to help people build their confidence and other life skills. Plus, upskilling schoolteachers so they can continue to deliver high quality physical education sessions.

Chris added: “We are looking to work with ambitious, community focused, grassroots football clubs who share our passion in positively impacting the lives of local people through the power of football.

“It’s a common misunderstanding that our work seeks only to increase the number of people playing football – we are about much than that.

“Our vision aims to utilise our county’s strengths to create more sustainable grassroots community organisations which can be at the heart of people’s holistic development.”

If you are involved with an organisation or sports club motivated to develop its community outreach, email [email protected] for further information about how Oxford United in the Community can support you with your ambitions.

Additional information about our exciting ‘Hub and Spoke’ model expansion can be viewed on our website by clicking here.


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