Charity People

Employment charity receives prestigious Prime Minister’s Award

By John Charlton

Local employment charity and social enterprise Aspire Oxford was delighted to receive a special “Points of Light” Prime Minister’s Award for their founding member and Chair of Trustees, Dr Carol Sweetenham.

Points of Light are given to volunteers who make an outstanding change within their community in celebration of the inspirational volunteering that takes place across the UK every day. Since the awards launched in 2014, a wide range of exceptional people have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister. This award was given to Carol in recognition of Aspire’s tireless efforts to help hundreds of marginalised local people overcome disadvantage and find employment each year.

Carol said “In Aspire we work as a team to support the most vulnerable people in Oxfordshire back into work. Our aim is to do things differently and do them better. All of us are very proud of what we do, and we are delighted to have our work recognised in this way.”

Last year, Aspire Oxford transformed over 1,000 lives across the county. They supported in excess of 700 local people to overcome addiction and move towards employment and provided 183 clients with specialist employability support and work experience on our social enterprises. Of clients with an offending history, 99% did not re-offend and 93% maintained their recovery from addiction. Aspire also runs one of the few remaining Community Transport services in the county, reducing isolation and loneliness for 154 passengers every year. This award highlights Aspire’s exceptional work achieving lasting social change across the community.