Partner case studies
Fit Exchange, is a collaboration between Aspire Oxford, Fit Union and Active Oxfordshire. We are supporting people from under represented backgrounds to build confidence, gain new skills and qualifications, whilst working to gain employment and diversify the physical activity workforce.
Support and initial funding from The Beard Charity Foundation and match funding from Fit Union has been used to offer training bursaries and support for people to access and complete fitness and physical activity qualifications and coaching courses. Once completed the participants are supported in utilising their skills in their local community. This may be setting up sessions in their local community, working with a local club or leisure provider, private sessions or business development.
We are challenging the lack of diversity in the workforce and equipping the workforce to be more inclusive.
Through our work and this project we want to:
- Encourage people from varied backgrounds (including inactive people) into volunteering and paid delivery.
- Develop an understanding of how to engage people in key targeted communities- with clear learning to share.
- Increase visibility of diverse role models and leaders
You can read the project update here:
We started working with Oxford Hub in 2018, which was a natural fit due to our aligned mission, values and focus on target groups in the community impact zone. We have partnered with them on the "Trax" project, which saw unclaimed, stolen bikes donated by the Oxfordshire police service, refurbished by TRAX charity and given out to children facing severe disadvantage.
More recently, we've worked with Oxford Hub on the Bikes for Key Workers initiative and launched Ready Set Go, a project supported by Oxfordshire County Council designed to make sure that every child in Oxfordshire can cycle and swim, with a particular focus on the Community Impact Zone. We are excited to continue our close collaboration in the future to help people in the greatest need get active and change their lives.
Bikes for Key Workers
Active Oxfordshire launched this partnership project in April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to make sure that our NHS and key worker heroes could access free bikes and carry on their life-changing work.
This community based project was launched in partnership with Cyclox, Oxford City Council, Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, Windrush Bike Project and other partners, with bikes generously donated by members of the public and refurbished by volunteer mechanics. A fundraising appeal raised over £10,000, with support from Big Bike Revival, Low Carbon Hub and generous individual donations.
In just three months, over 200 bikes were given out to Oxfordshire key workers, with 14 volunteer mechanics working tirelessly to ensure all bikes were safety checked and ready for the road. Active Oxfordshire is now in talks to ensure that this innovative project can benefit more people in need as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
SOFEA: Table Tennis and Fitness Initiative
South Oxfordshire Food Education Alliance (SOFEA) are delivering Table Tennis and Fitness sessions for their cohort of young people at their warehouse in Didcot.
SOFEA is based in Didcot and works with young people to improve their employability. In January 2018 SOFEA was awarded funding by Active Oxfordshire to develop physical activity sessions with the young people they work with. Through this, it launched two incredibly popular sessions: table tennis and fitness.
The fitness sessions have also grown in popularity and SOFEA are now working in partnership with The Park Club, Milton, who have designated a fitness class per week for young people at SOFEA.
Taking part in table tennis sessions has made me feel more confident. I used to have a lot of self confidence issues and now I play in front of people in the league. I'm learning lots of new skills from volunteer coaches Bill and Paul. Normally I never used to start a conversation and now I can. My team working has improved through playing doubles with different people in the league. It's also helped my reflexes."
Hayden Gilding, 18
Oxfordshire Mind: Boxing for Wellbeing
Boxing for Wellbeing was delivered by Oxfordshire MIND in 7 schools during 2018. This infographic gives further detail of the programme and the benefits to the young people involved: