Over the last few years, the voluntary sector has endured a number of challenges and this has been significantly amplified by the disruptive pandemic.
So, there is an urgency and opportunity for the sector to innovate and develop new ways of working, together.Recognising this, a number of people from within the voluntary sector across Oxfordshire came together and have, over the past year, been exploring what could be achieved through greater sector collaboration, culminating in the concept of an ‘Oxfordshire Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance’.
These volunteers formed a Steering Group and are senior charity leaders with extensive experience from Aspire Oxfordshire, Community First Oxfordshire, Oxford Hub, Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action, Oxfordshire Youth, Restore and SOFEA. The group has been engaging with and learning from other successful VCS alliances elsewhere around the country in order to share this and inform the development of the Oxfordshire Alliance. This has now reached the most important stage, which is to engage with the local voluntary sector and other key stakeholders in our communities to seek views and input.
If you want to find out more about this initiative and how to get involved, please contact us on [email protected]
Community First Oxfordshire stands in solidarity with those fighting racism across the world, including here in the UK.
CFO is a community development organisation – our values and practice are rooted in human rights, social justice, and respect for diversity. In our projects we seek to achieve inclusion, remove barriers to involvement, and challenge racism and discrimination. However, being an effective ally in the fight against racism means recognising where we – as individuals and organisations- need to do more. Solidarity must also mean action.
For CFO, this means understanding more about the diversity of lived experiences, challenges, and needs of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and individuals. This means making our projects and practices more inclusive by finding out how we can specifically respond to those needs.
We will do this by: developing a Diversity Action Plan; evaluating our recruitment practices to make them more inclusive; collecting better diversity data from our activity; working more with BAME communities to understand their needs; and critically evaluating our approach to equality, inclusion and diversity within the working environment.
Equality and inclusion create strong, creative, and dynamic places to live and work – we believe that an ongoing appraisal of how we can further those values is at the heart of CFO’s mission.