On behalf of the Board of Trustees, management, and staff at Oxford United in the Community (OUitC), the official charity of Oxford United FC, we wish to express our full support for and excitement about, the proposed new Oxford United FC stadium at Stratfield Brake, Kidlington.
As you may know, OUitC is an independently run charity but operates as a Club Community Organisation (CCO) representing OUFC within the community of Oxfordshire.
Like many English Football League CCOs, OUitC exists to use the power of football and the OUFC brand to engage with, support and inspire local people. This is particularly important in Oxfordshire where Oxford United FC is the only professional football club in the county.
Understanding this unique position and the responsibilities that come with it, the Board of Trustees of OUitC set a new strategy for the charity in 2019, “Oxfordshire – A Community United”, with the key mission:
“Working collaboratively with local and county-wide delivery partners, Oxford United in the Community uses the power of football to inspire the people and communities of Oxfordshire to have positive aspirations for their futures and the health, wellbeing, self-confidence, opportunities and resources to achieve them.”
To deliver on this, the operational footprint of the charity has been growing across the county, with a “Hub” in Oxford, based alongside OUFC at the Bangkok Glass Training Ground and at least 10 “Town Spokes” in county towns, to be established by the end of 2023.
OUitC has successfully set up operations in Banbury, partnering with Easington Sports FC and is currently developing operations in three more towns, Abingdon, Bicester and Didcot. You can read more about this strategy here https://ouitc.org/latest-news/exciting-developments-for-ouitc/ .
Whilst the community team’s work has over the last 30+ years traditionally focused on younger children in primary schools via ‘Football in the Community’ programmes, the new strategy means OUitC is extending the charity’s focus, working to support all of the community across Oxfordshire “aged from 2 to 92” with a more “place-based” approach, with programmes and services accessible by primary aged children, secondary schools, young people, adults and the older members of our communities.
OUitC works with partners such as Oxfordshire Youth, Active Oxfordshire, Cherwell District Council, and the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, as well as football-related bodies such as Oxfordshire FA, the EFL Trust and the Football Foundation.
The range of activities OUitC is delivering and offering to local people is growing rapidly – from football coaching, skills development, literacy and numeracy programmes, providing professional development for primary PE teachers, offering life changing opportunities for young people with programmes such as Chances, Premier League Kicks, NCS and DIVERT to supporting partners expert in working with refugees with football activities.
OUitC is also supporting participants to develop themselves as coaches, offering work opportunities in coaching roles, via the Kickstart programme, and for other key positions as the charity grows.
OUitC’s work is offering opportunities to a diverse and growing number of the Oxfordshire community and the charity is striving to ensure that those who may not always have been able to access football coaching opportunities or careers as coaches are given those opportunities regardless of their situation in life.
The charity recognises that football is a powerful tool in bringing people together, in connecting communities and in creating opportunities and is convinced that the opportunity to be an integral part of the plans for the new stadium will enable OUitC to have even greater reach and impact, with access to resources and facilities which will further support its programmes and activities.
OUitC is ambitious and growing, helping and supporting ever more people to lead happier and healthier lives. However, the charity can only truly flourish and succeed in its mission if OUFC flourishes and succeeds, and it is with this in mind that Oxford United in the Community gives its full support to the club’s plans to establish world class facilities for the people of Oxfordshire, the community, as part of the new stadium plan.
Chair of Trustees
Oxford United in the Community
If you would like to see OUitC’s work in more detail here is a selection:
Oxford United in the Community’s work across Oxfordshire
1) Work with Children
Premier League Primary Stars
After School Clubs
2) Work with Young People
Improving Life Chances – Working with Oxfordshire Youth
Premier League Kicks
DIVERT – Working with Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit
Refugee Football Project – Working with Refugee Resource and Asylum Welcome
3) Health and Wellbeing Work
Young Women’s Football and Wellbeing Sessions – Working with Oxfordshire Mind
4) Work with Older People
Tackling Loneliness Together – Working with Age UK Oxfordshire and Active Oxfordshire
Manor Club Extra
5) Work on Match Days
6) Football Programmes
Matches and Tournaments
7) Other information
8) OUitC’s Strategy & Plans for Oxfordshire
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