Our Impact

Photograph by Chris Stonehouse

We Make a Difference

Building Bridges Between Communities

Our focus is on building bridges between communities facing divides and narrowing the gap between pockets of disadvantage and privilege in Oxford. The annual Cowley Road Carnival has the power to foster inclusion and engage those who face hardship in the most challenging areas.

We spearhead projects with some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the community. Our recent and current work is with cultural and disability groups, schools and youth services, women affected by FGM, young people with learning disabilities, children in the care system and child refugees in Oxford.

Training Skills & Development

Carnival arts workshops and training opportunities support creativity, skills development and build self-esteem for participants. Our workshops are designed so that participants gain:

bee hotel Caitlin and Jay

Access to creativity, artistic skills and materials. Young people are supported and encouraged by arts professionals.

Garsington primary school

Communication skills improved by encouraging young people to express their ideas in debate around the theme, design and creative process.

The Roarsomes at Christmas Lights

Team-working is developed as the group comes together making a large willow, music or dance piece.

Making at St Francis C of E Primary School

Social skills are developed through presenting ideas, debate and discussion during workshops.

School children visited the Harwell Campus

Research skills as the young people research the theme and history of carnival.

Rocket Training - masks

Improved mathematical skills. through practical application in a real life project, supporting classroom education.

2016 photograph by Jim Shannon

Confidence building and self esteem through having contributions valued.

2016 photograph by Jim Shannon

Community cohesion, mixing people and groups is part of the process.

Carnival Day

Typically attended by around 50,000 people, including a third of the city’s population, the Cowley Road Carnival pulsates with rhythm, colour, performance, dance, art, creativity and most of all, full on joie de vivre as the East Oxford  community comes together in celebration on the first Sunday in July.

The day brings together all the disparate groups and individuals from the many different ethnicities, heritage, and roots in one huge inclusive day packed with things to do,, to watch and to enjoy.

Carnival sees the culmination of much of our year’s work in the community and it acts as a catalyst for our creative output. Each year we set a theme as the springboard for our creative output. We are currently working on the aspects of  ‘Mother Earth’ and we have already seen several projects come to fruition.