Shopper support tackles child poverty in North Oxfordshire
Children from low income families living in North Oxfordshire will benefit from a boost in support thanks to a £2,000 donation to Thrive North-Ox from The Midcounties Co-operative.
Thrive North-Ox is a charity that aims to reduce child poverty in the region by providing essential items including toiletries and clothing to families who need it most.
The money, which was raised through the 5p carrier bag charge, will enable the charity to support more families in the region and provide them with key essentials in preparation for winter.
The carrier bag fund forms part of The Midcounties Co-operative Regional Community strategy, which sees colleagues and residents come together to support local causes.
Andrea Ratcliffe, Founding Member at Thrive North-Ox, said: “When The Midcounties Co-operative contacted us with the news that we had been chosen to receive the donations from their plastic carrier bag charity fund, we felt incredibly lucky.
“Thrive North-Ox has been operational for over two years and we have been working hard to bridge the gap for local low-income families who have been privately struggling to provide basic, essential items for their children.”
Adam Quinton, a Leadership Team Ambassador in Chipping Norton, said: “Poverty affects one in four children in the UK today. It’s estimated that in Oxfordshire more than 3000 children are growing up without access to basic, necessary items which is why we decided to donate the funds to Thrive North-Ox.
“We’re proud to have been able to raise this money and hope that it can make a difference to low-income families in the area that are struggling.”
Round-up of Recent Activity
It’s all systems go at Thrive North-Ox. The team are working hard to support children living in desperate circumstances in our local area by providing them with basic, essential items.
In these uncertain economic times, low-income families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet and the pressure to find money to fund basic things such as school uniforms, shoes, toiletries etc is becoming impossible.
We are working with primary and secondary schools via the Parent Support Advisors, Health Visitors, Family Support Agencies, CAP (Christians Against Poverty), local Chipping Norton Church Groups as well as local businesses including Mid Counties Co-op.
We have been overwhelmed by local support which has enabled us to assist children of families in the Chipping Norton area, as well as villages such as Kingham, The Wychwoods, Charlbury, and Chadlington. This would not have been possible without local people feeling compassion for others in their community by helping us to fundraise.
Thrive would like to send a massive thank you to everyone who has supported our cause so far. Whether you contributed cakes for our fundraising bakes or bought cakes at our cake stalls at the Mid Counties Co-op Community Area, Chastleton House Church Teas, or Churchill Village Hall pop-up café, we are hugely grateful. The ‘Winterfest’ fundraisers have also been extremely popular as well as generous support from local businesses including Bannor Electrical, Beales Department Store, K J Millard, Dogzbodys dog grooming, The Archivist, Cotswold Carpets, Redlay Flooring, Morgan Cars, Chipping Norton Leisure Centre, West Yorkshire Spinners, Chadlington Brewery, LCR Footwear, All Saints Church, Churchill Events Committee, Mid-Counties Co-op and amazing personal donations. Because of this crucial support, we have been able to continue to provide new, essential school uniform, winter coats, shoes, toiletries, carpets for bare floors, food for school breakfast clubs, and help with financial costs towards the renovation of a school nurture room to assist young children with high emotional needs - which has had astounding results!
Forthcoming fundraising events before Christmas will be The Wychwood Christmas Chorale on Saturday 15th December at All Saints Church, Churchill, 7.30pm (all welcome) and come and see us at the ‘Christmas in Chippy’ event on Sunday 9th December, 12 Noon till 5pm where we’ll be selling St Eval Candles, The Archivist matches, Cadenza ponchos and wraps from Italy, festive sparkly lights, hand-knitted woollen mittens (by our Melanie!) and other fun gift ideas. We will be in the charity area next to Beales.
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'THRIVE' is a voluntary organisation based in Chipping Norton in North Oxfordshire, aiming to support local children living in desperate circumstances. It was formed in 2016 by a small group of local women after meeting the founders of an organisation called, ‘Community Awareness’, based in Gloucestershire. This organisation works to raise awareness of and offer support to local children living below the poverty line. After speaking with this group and hearing the shocking cases that they have been able to assist within Gloucestershire, ‘Thrive’ was formed so that a similar group could help support desperate children in the North Oxfordshire area.
The main objective of ‘Thrive’ is to provide practical support to these children of struggling families in North Oxfordshire who, for whatever reason, have a genuine, urgent need. Usually, this need would be for a specific basic item such as toiletries, a bed to sleep on, basic clothing (that most of us take for granted) or a rug to cover a bare floor following a sudden home move.
‘Thrive’ is in touch with partnership schools’ Parent Support Advisors. As the group becomes more established and funds grow, the aim is to extend the contact to include local nursery school leaders, health visitors, the food bank, women’s refuges, and the children’s centers. The staff in these roles can call on Thrive when they have a specific urgent request - they can request items for the children and Thrive can provide it. Most importantly Thrive will remain invisible to those families it supports, respecting the pride of those that the organisation has been able to help.
The money required to fund this support is generated from local fundraising events, details of which can be found on the website: www.thrive-northox.co.uk.
If you are interested in helping at fundraising events, or learning more about the organisation, Thrive would love to hear from you – please do get in contact via the contacts page on the website. There is also a JustGiving fundraising page that can be found here, should you wish to help make that little difference that could just have the greatest impact on a child’s life.
Poverty In The UK
Poverty affects one in four children in the UK today (cpag.org.uk June 2016). Children growing up in poverty miss out on the things which most children take for granted, such as warm clothes, holidays, school trips and having friends over for tea. They achieve lower results at school and earn less as adults, suffer poor health, and can fail to reach their full potential. There are many reasons and changes in circumstances which could result in a family falling on hard times. The benefits of breaking this cycle can be shared by all of us, with a stronger economy and a healthier, fairer society.
Thrive North-Ox has been formed to address child poverty at a local level in order to give children the best chance of breaking the poverty cycle and achieving the best they can be.
Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the South East. Child poverty does not tend to show up in rural data as numbers are small. However, when all the small numbers are added together, the rural share (of children in poverty) is 23% or 3345 children (Oxfordshire Rural Community Council 2011). The experience of growing up in poverty in a rural area may be worse than in an urban area due to poor access to services that can help.
The Government has renewed its commitment to ending child poverty by 2020 and the Child Poverty Act 2010 requires action to be taken both at a national and local level.
For more detailed statistics relating to poverty in the UK, please see Child Poverty Action Group.
Our journey is just beginning but we have been embraced by support from by our local health visitors, Parent Support Advisors in our local schools and local businesses who supported our Winterfest event (Chadlington Ale, Oats Health Foods, The Fibreworks, and Kopyrite to name a few). Our local Co-op supermarket have pledged to support us which is fantastic. Individuals have also come forward from our village of Churchill in Chipping Norton – we’ve all been moved by the enthusiastic response that we’ve had so far and are very grateful.
The four of us on the Thrive Committee feel very passionate about making a difference for the children in our community and surrounding areas. Parents and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or areas face major barriers, including low self-confidence, low aspirations, lack of basic skills, qualifications, and experience, difficulty finding and affording childcare and problems with transport. Benefit dependency can then become the norm and children growing up in these families are in danger of repeating the vicious circle which keeps them in poverty. If ‘Thrive North-ox’ can provide even the basic essentials for these children, improving their self-esteem, confidence and perhaps igniting an ambition for them to be the best they can, then our ambition at ‘Thrive’ will have been achieved.
Some of our success stories so far this year include providing some necessary new baby items for a heavily pregnant new mother, fitting several primary and secondary school children with school shoes and sports shoes and buying much-needed winter coats.
We will look to run a few fundraising events each year and have a Just Giving Page set up for anyone who wishes to make a donation at any time. We have also been approached by individuals pledging to do a sponsored walk in the Pennines and another for a sponsored bike ride. It is lovely to receive such positive responses from local people who want to help their community. One of our committee members is running the Brighton Marathon in support of Thrive!
Local schools have been fantastic in supporting us. Chipping Norton School is holding a non-uniform day - each child is asked to bring in a pound to wear casual clothes and all funds will go to Thrive-Northox. The school councils have been especially receptive and supportive.
There are many people who have helped Thrive, whether it is with fundraising, getting things off the ground, or in helping us to deliver this service to the people who need it most.
It would be impossible to mention everyone involved, but here are a few local businesses who have provided assistance.
The cooker has been installed today. I want to say thank you ever so much and I will always remember you when I cook.
We just wanted to say thank you very much for your support. It has made such a difference to us and means we haven’t had to stress about money as much over the summer holidays.
Your support really is having an amazing impact for local families.
From school uniforms and swimming lessons to Adventure Plus and The Nurture Room. It has been so valuable to know that you are behind us both with funding and encouragement.
I can swim now. It is so much fun and Mum says she will come with me in the holiday.
That was the best week I had, like, ever! I never thought I’d do camping but I did. And I loved it.
The girls are going to love these. This will make such a huge difference. Thank you 🙂
OH MY GOODNESS!!! Thank you so much. I am overwhelmed.
Just to say a big thank you for your support with our breakfast club. I gave you a mention to our OFSTED inspector earlier.
Wow. Its just been delivered to me. you are a star.
You are all so amazing – no sooner said than done!
Mum is overwhelmed by the offer of help
Thank you all so much again for your recent help. I saw her new wardrobe in place yesterday and she is so pleased with it – it’s full! It’s so good for morale for clients when they realise that others might be aware of the challenges they face
I have just heard from Sarah who tells me the tumble dryer ‘is amazing’ and wants me to pass on her thanks. Thanks again to you all for supporting my clients. Your help has meant so much to them and I see it reflected in being one less thing to worry about, and in their complex lives that really makes a difference.
For donations, please visit our Just Giving page.
Please telephone on 07391 707292 or use the following form to contact us.
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