Blog

Creating a circle of inclusion

November 2, 2016
By Tom Horton, Hub Leader, Oasis UK
Creating a circle of inclusion
I’m thrilled to have been appointed by Oasis UK to lead Oasis Hub Don Valley on the Olympic Legacy Park and to be bringing Oasis’ transformational work to the communities of Darnall and Attercliffe. The Oasis Charitable Trust is currently responsible for 47 schools in the country through its educational trust, Oasis Community Learning, and three of these are situated in Sheffield.
 
All our academies share the same mission; to deliver exceptional education at the heart of the community.  At Oasis, we recognise that, to truly help someone with their educational needs, it is vital to be aware of their emotional, spiritual and economic needs.
 
Our work therefore centres on local ‘hubs’ of activity which bring together diverse and integrated services. We believe that by working in partnership with local communities, service providers and other organisations, we can offer good quality services and activities which are specific to the needs of Darnall and Attercliffe. By ensuring all these services are joined up and rooted in the same ethos we want to see the entire community transformed for the better.
 
Across the Oasis family of hubs in the UK, we are involved with a great range of projects including youth work, healthcare, family support, housing, debt advice, foodbanks, church, choir, adult education, children’s soft play and we even have a city farm!
 
Our ultimate aim is to build inclusive communities in which everyone can be the very best version of themselves. This is encompassed in our logo – we call it our circle of inclusion or our ‘messy O’. It represents that inclusion can be messy at times – it’s always easier to exclude people than include them – but we’re committed to it nonetheless because nobody should be left out or marginalised.
 
There are some complex challenges in this community – and we won’t shy away from them – however, I’ve been overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of the local community. There is real appetite for change here, and with the development of the Olympic Legacy Park, it’s a hugely exciting time for the community.
 
We’re already working closely with key stakeholders to ensure that we can provide the very best of opportunities for the community. With the world-class venues and fantastic facilities at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, iceSheffield, Park Community Arena, Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and the Community Pitch the opportunities for our hub will be second to none.
 
We want the Oasis Hub Don Valley to be a thriving community hub and we invite the whole community to join us on this journey. You can follow us on Twitter @OasisHubDV and I also warmly invite anyone interested in our work to get in touch via tom.horton@oasisuk.org.
 
I look forward to meeting with you.