By Paul Peros, OxVox chair

OxVox works closely with Oxford United in the Community and this week we wanted to use our space to let them tell you a little about how their work puts them at the centre of the community.

The exciting plans for the stadium at The Triangle will put Kidlington as the centre and hub of this vital work.

Chris Lowes, head of charity at Oxford United in the Community, explains: “There has been a lot of talk throughout the stadium consultation process of just how much a football club and its proposed new home can impact the community across Oxfordshire.

“It’s clear the social and economic impact that a thriving local football club can have on those who attend matches and benefit from the employment and local investment that comes with that, but what about those that don’t currently turn up on a Saturday or even consider themselves a football fan?

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“Here at Oxford United in the Community, we use the phrase ‘Oxfordshire – A Community United’, and deliver programmes that impact many other areas of the community.

“As the official charity of Oxford United, we work with people young and old across the county, aiming to have a positive impact on their lives.

“Whilst the proposed new stadium would give us, as well as the football club, a new home to undoubtedly be proud of and form a new central ‘hub’, Oxfordshire is a large area geographically and has a wide range of needs.

“The expansion of our ‘Hub and Spoke’ strategy, working with grassroots clubs in towns across the county, is designed to ensure that our community programmes reach as many corners of the county as possible.

“We take a place-based approach to our work as we see and know that the needs of one area of the county may be very different to another, and working in close partnership at a local level allows us to understand any gaps in provision and to maximise our impact.

“Over the coming months, you will see us adding more town ‘spokes’ – some close to the proposed stadium site to embed us into the community there, others far further away. We have also pledged to support community legacy in East Oxford if the stadium does relocate.

“This is part of our commitment to ensure the community reach of the club is far more than just the immediate areas around its physical home, wherever that may be, but that it has a positive community impact across Oxfordshire.”