ASPIRE OXFORD WINS THE GUARDIAN’S CHARITY OF THE YEAR AWARD
The work of Oxford employment charity Aspire has achieved national recognition by winning the 2012 Guardian newspaper’s Charity of the Year award. At the ceremony in London, Aspire Oxford was one of only five organisations to be recognised out of over 1,000 entries from across the UK.
“The people we work with are extraordinary” says Rick Mower, who takes-up the role as CEO at Aspire this month.
“The resilience, determination to change and sheer tenacity of people who have faced and survived really tough periods in life, is inspiring. Harnessing that energy gives Aspire a great workforce and makes it a place of change, opportunity and growth”.
Working with some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged members of our communities, Aspire operates several successful commercial social enterprises providing a range of services. Customers include leading businesses, local government, academic institutions and private individuals who commission Aspire’s services based on quality and price, not on who’s included in the workforce.
Aspire’s Enterprises provide opportunities for trainees to gain skills and experience, within professional teams, in real working environments. As well as the work and training placements, Aspire offers education, job seeking skills, one-to-one support and move-on links with local employers.
The ripple effect for the local community and society at large is enormous. Over the last twelve months Aspire has saved the taxpayer well over a £1 million in reduced benefits claims, and costs to the other public services, by helping trainees to get permanently off benefits and into full-time paid employment.
Against national standards, Aspire also significantly out-performs the Government’s Work Programme, delivering sustained employment outcomes for 13% of its people against the Work Programme’s 3.5%.