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Collaborating with local businesses to support disadvantaged children

Collaborating with local businesses to support disadvantaged children

05 November 2019

Today, a team of around 40 OUP employees including Chief Executive Nigel Portwood and members of our Executive Committee, spent the morning building bikes to help children whose parents are in prison.

The volunteering activity supported Children Heard and Seen—a charity which has helped 400 children and young people experiencing parental imprisonment, and their families, in the past five years through activities and mentoring.

The OUP volunteers helped to build bikes in a session led by James Watkins from Oxford Cycle Support Ltd—a cycle repair company which has been working in Oxford, and with OUP, for 16 years. The finished bikes were then donated to the Children Heard and Seen along with helmets supplied by Cycle King, and copies of the Oxford Junior Thesaurus and the Oxford Junior Dictionary to support the children’s mentoring.

Susan Armour, OUP’s Group Ethics and Compliance Officer, helped to arrange the volunteering activity. Speaking about it, she commented: ‘We wanted to do something practical that would also have a positive impact on those in need in our community. Children Heard and Seen is a wonderful organization that provides important support to children and aligns with our charitable giving and employee volunteering programmes. As we worked to put this together, Cycle Support and Cycle King didn’t hesitate to make their own contributions and join our efforts. We all found this experience rewarding, and really hope that the resources we have donated will make a small but valuable difference in the lives of these children.’

Sarah Burrows, Founder, Children Heard and Seen added: ‘Children with a parent in prison are an invisible but very vulnerable group. We are so appreciative to OUP for recognizing this, and for being so supportive in providing something wonderful for the children that will support them, and help them to feel valued. Thank you so much.’