Joint press release
In 2016, Community First Oxfordshire set up a small Oxford city focussed Good Neighbour Scheme called Red Arrow. Over the 5 years, this small pool of wonderful volunteers supported vulnerable older adults in the city to access key services: hospital appointments, GP surgeries, shopping trips and so on using their own cars and with expenses covered by people receiving lifts.
Then the pandemic washed over the UK and lots of new ways of neighbours helping out neighbours emerged. Oxford Hub set up Oxford Together and some of CFO’s Red Arrow volunteers joined this initiative too. As we all adapted and it also became clear that lots of the ways in which neighbours were supporting each other went beyond covid-specific needs, Oxford Hub created Together Neighbours. This is continuing to change over the coming months, as we shift from crisis to recovery and renewal, with an increasing focus on facilitating connections and opportunities to improve wellbeing . With all this activity in Oxford in mind, it seems very timely for old and new schemes to work together. This is why Community First Oxfordshire has invited Oxford Hub to bring the Red Arrow GNS and Together Neighbours into one initiative, led by Oxford Hub, from August 2021.
To start with, we’ll be continuing this much loved scheme although won’t yet be ready to take any new referrals. We’re hoping over the coming months to be able to grow the scheme as part of Together Neighbours and find more drivers to join our community of amazing practical taskers from gardeners to prescription runners!
Emily Lewis-Edwards, co-CEO, Community First Oxfordshire and
Sara Fernandez, CEO, Oxford Hub