Oxford: City of Contrasts

When most people think of Oxford, they think of the university and the prosperity. This is the city that educated our prime ministers, hosted our most famous authors, and is now the most unaffordable place to live in the UK.

So, it’s a surprise to most people when they find out that over 5,000 young people here live in child poverty.

Walk around the centre of Oxford and you’ll see the famous sights: the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, the University colleges.

But look at the buses that are leaving the city centre. They’re travelling to places like Barton, Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill, Wood Farm – areas of deprivation, placed at the end of the bus routes, fenced off from the rest of the city.

1 in 4 children here attend private school. And 1 in 4 children grow up below the poverty line. This is truly a city of contrasts.

OxfordUniversity(1200x1200)Did you know that a boy born in the Barton estate can expect to live eight years less than if he was born on the other side of the ring road in Headington?

Did you know that Oxford, a city world-famous for its university, has whole communities where 1 in 3 adults have no qualifications, and has areas where up to 75% of young people are leaving school without English and Maths GCSEs?

This is a city where it seems like where you are born, defines who you are.

That’s why Thrive Teams are here. Because, like so many people reading this, we believe that young people growing up in Oxfordshire’s disadvantaged communities have just as much potential as anyone else to bring about change – in their own lives and also in their community.

Find out more about why we’re here

What others are saying about Thrive

“All Thrive staff who work in Barton also live in Barton so this gives a real sense of embracing the young people they work with, some of whom will be those most socially excluded from everything else that takes place locally. Their Young Leaders, Mentoring and Outreach projects have seen some amazing results and they have succeeded where others before them have failed.”

Sue Holden, Company Secretary, Barton Community Association