Help us raise funds so we can keep delivering these smiles
An independent, local charity
We are an independent, local charity (charity no. 208582), that needs to raise around £500,000 each year to keep our community space open and deliver our programme.
We raise almost 80% of this by renting office and venue hire space to local charities and community organisations, however every year we still need to raise £100,000 to provide our creative programmes.
By supporting Oxford House, you can directly support this work and help to:
- Keep our 130-year-old building open for 60,000 people to access each year
- Provide warm and welcoming community spaces for young and old
- Deliver creative community-focused programmes
- Keep classes free or affordable and support local familes who are struggling in the current cost of living crisis
If you would like to discuss how you can support Oxford House, please contact John Ryan.
'Through the Lens'
‘Through the Lens’ is a 2-year Heritage Fund project exploring our history through the lens of three groups: women, young people, and the Somali community.
It combines one-off events and workshops, regular music and exhibitions and a summer programme. As well as safeguarding and sharing the story of Oxford House we co-curated the project with local schools, volunteers and community organisations.
Since 2023, the project has:
- Created two 12-month traineeships for young people, eager to get a start in the creative sector
- With Mulberry Academy students, created a ‘Young Person’s Guide to Bethnal Green’ walking tour and map
- Held x5 Somali Arts Cafe events, showcasing emerging Somali artists
- Worked with Oaklands Secondary School, and will create a girls’ Heritage Takeover in Spring 2024
- Catalogued our archive and digitised 10k pages, that will be freely available online in 2024
- Created new exhibitions to showcase in our cafe
Let’s Create is our regular weekly programme focusing on participatory activities, including:
- Royal Drawing School rooftop drawing classes for families and young people
- Free monthly concerts by ex-students of Guildhall School of Music
- Heritage tours of our secret chapel and listed building
- East End Tales, community-led heritage events held in our atmospheric chapel
- Stepney Words & Cockney Rebels: a festival celebrating 50 Years of Working-Class East End Writing that featured Michael Rosen
- Sketch Appeal, a weekly drop in drawing class held in the cafe
- Spin Off Sessions for over 55s, weekly dance held with Green Candle Dance
- Young & Talented School of Stage and Screen, with weekly sessions offering training in acting, singing and dancing for ages 6 to 16 years
- Grace and Poise Academy, the worlds first Muslim Ballet School
2023 Young People's Summer Programme
Our summer programme provides free and low-cost activities that are a lifeline for local families.
In 2023 we held 26 free events and creative activities ranging from inspiring art classes on our rooftop (with the Royal Drawing School) to sewing and lantern making workshops.
We reached 500 local children, aged between 5 -13 years making their summer truly special. The majority of children were from Tower Hamlets; over 65% came from E1, E2 and E3 postcodes.
“Friendly, welcoming +helpful. Staff were very friendly + nice community. Met lots of new friendly people.”
“Thank you for the wonderful experience. Keep doing it.”
Participants in Sewing Workshop, August 2023
“We really enjoyed the company and the experience.”
“I liked that fact that we could draw any of our surroundings.”
“It was a great start to the day! Love to have more sessions like this. “
Childrens Rooftop Drawing, August 2023
What we learned
- Our activities were full this year so we want to look at increasing our capacity and enable more families to take part
- Our partnership with Tower Hamlets Youth Leauge United worked really well and led to queries from other local groups we want to include in summer 2024
- We would like to offer longer workshops but want to ensure they remain at a high quality and work within our budget
- We would also like to explore partnerships so we can offer a theatre show as part of the programme
We would like to thank the following trusts and foundations who have generously supported our work.
- National Lottery Heritage Fund
- Garfield Weston Foundation
- Tower Hill Trust
- Power to Change Trust
- Ashley Family Foundation
Join them by donating today and make sure we continue to provide free or low cost activities.