Money will give Oxford groups a chance to broaden horizons

Members of 54th Oxford (Ansar) Scout Group are set to benefit from the Oxford Community Foundation for a trip to Turkey

Members of 54th Oxford (Ansar) Scout Group are set to benefit from the Oxford Community Foundation for a trip to Turkey

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

TWO projects that are set to receive money from the Jubilee Legacy Fund are Cowley-based Porch Steppin’ Stone Centre and 54th Oxford Ansar Scout Group.

The Porch Steppin’ Stone Centre, in Magdalen Road, provides low-cost food, showers and laundry services for homeless and vulnerable people.

It will be given a £2,000 grant to be spent on buying new computers and upgrading software.

Manager Jon Fitzpatrick said: “The reality is that people are better off working than they are if they’re not, so we help them find jobs on the computers.

“We might also use them for looking at accommodation options and contacting landlords, as well as benefits.

“We’re going to buy an extra computer and put it in a different room to the cluster because there are some people who aren’t very confident doing that in front of other people.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said the centre, which is also funded by Oxford City Council, donations and fundraising, works with other networking services in Oxford to help tackle homelessness.

thisisoxfordshire:

  • Project worker Rachel Parfitt with a client at Porch Steppin’ Stone Centre, Magdalen Road

He said: “We see people who have been homeless for 10 years and are very set in their ways.

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“People come here of their own accord rather than being told to by a job centre or somewhere else.

“So we tend to be an access point for outreach workers to come and see them and look at alternative accommodation options.”

The Scout group, for boys and girls, was set up in 2009 and includes children from different ethnic backgrounds. It is now trying to grow and plans to take members on a trip to Turkey.

OCF chief executive Jayne Woodley said: “It’s been a very small project but now they are looking to grow.

“When groups are set up they are run by volunteers and don’t have a lot of expenditure – it’s only when they start looking at going to places and this money will help them to do that.”

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