About Oxford House > Who We Are
Bringing East Londoners together for culture, community and to celebrate our shared history
Oxford House was established in 1884 as the first “settlement house” to open where students and graduates from Keble College, Oxford undertook a period of residential volunteering to learn first-hand about the realities of urban poverty. These volunteers were either graduates or worked locally and lived upstairs in Oxford House which was like a mini Oxford college in the heart of Bethnal Green. Volunteers provided practical support to alleviate or remove the impact of poverty to the local community by creating projects such as youth clubs, poor man’s lawyer, labour exchanges and adult education classes. We are still based in our lovely refurbished Grade II listed building overlooking Derbyshire Street Pocket Park and Weaver’s Fields.
Today, we have three main areas of work to meet our vision:
o We provide affordable office space to circa 30 organisations, charities and social businesses. We also provide affordable meeting and events space and in partnership with others provide a programme of community classes and events.
o We are a multipurpose arts centre that includes a theatre, gallery and dance studio where we provide a programme of weekly activities including dance and health and fitness for all ages: from under 5s to 90 years plus! The Oh! Gallery provides excellent professional gallery space for new and emerging artists.
o We provide a range of volunteering opportunities where you can gain valuable work skills or donate your time to support Oxford House’s work.
Come and visit and see for yourself.