Thank you to everyone who came to our Open Office at the end of February, as we celebrated community and 25 years of OCF. As part of the event, we asked ‘What does Community mean to you?’
We received a wide variety of responses to our question about community, some of which we have highlighted below. As we work towards planning our next 25 years, we will be taking more time to think about this question and ultimately how we can fulfil our vision of better lives for everyone in Oxfordshire.
It was lovely to see a variety of OCF friends at our Open Office, from grant recipients, grant managers, partner practitioners, to fundholders. We were live on FaceBook! We also said goodbye to two thirds of our maternity cover marketing trio. Louise and Nicki we wish you well.
We had tea and cake (and prosecco!) and lots of friendly discussion about OCF, community and plans for the next year. We loved that new friendships and connections were made and acquaintances rekindled. We encouraged those (who had not already) to sign the rough sleeping charter for Oxford Homeless Movement.
So ‘What does community mean to you?‘. Here are a selection of answers we received on the day. If you want to join in the discussion please email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Organisation||What does community mean to you?|
|Gilberto @ Asylum Welcome||Solidarity. Togetherness. Welcoming, safe, open-minded, responsible. Encouraging, supporting, protecting, promoting, growing talent! Community is a gathering of positive energy, caring for and promoting care and happiness!|
|Roz @ Charity Mentors||Community equals being with people who have something in common. Often place – based (but doesn’t have to be). A sense of belonging of being welcomed and accepted.|
|Hendriette @ South and Vale District Councils||People, places, social cohesion, ‘togetherness’|
|Anne-Marie @ Martha 21||A new Family. A magical journey beyond the unimaginable. Hope. Community is key to feeling as through you belong.|
|Stephen @ Step Change Fund||It should mean a sense of collective spirit, all proud of their location, as happy to give to others to ensure the communities survive.|
|Clare @ Cowley Road Works||Community is coming together. It’s places we love. Its everyone working together to overcome barriers-their own and others! Community is celebrating what you have in common with people you love and people you have met, with those who are just like you and who are totally different.|
|Jayne @ Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support||Locality – neighbourhood. Shared interest / vision – maybe even with people we never meet (e.g. via Facebook). Diversity, plurality – people from different age groups, ethnicities, backgrounds etc. Support, belonging.|
|Mark @ Cowley Road Works||Existing connections between individuals and groups that ensure the sum of the whole is greater than that of the parts.|
|Stuart @ Daybreak Oxford||Communication, involvement and caring for a group. Giving. Thinking about others. Supporting those disadvantaged/less well off than oneself.|
|Katharine @ Home Start Oxford||Being connected within ‘my community’ but also having good relationship across communities – having relationships and connections with people I wouldn’t naturally meet.|