Univ in the Community

The College has a long tradition of charitable activity. In 1884 Jocelyn Devas, a Univ graduate started a ‘Club for working lads’ in a room over a coffee tavern in Stewarts Road, Battersea, a poverty-stricken area of London. Two years later Jocelyn was tragically killed in a climbing accident in the Swiss Alps. His father enlisted the help of Jocelyn’s friends, and funded an initiative to carry on the work that Jocelyn had started in Battersea. Devas continues to this day, having been open to girls as well as boys since 1960, and now puts more emphasis on sporting and musical activities than basic education. The College continues to have a close association with Devas as trustee and financial supporter.

Today the College is involved with a larger number of charities. It donates to a range of charities catering for severely disadvantaged groups and neighbourhoods in the Oxford community, in particular volunteer organisations that provide food, pre-school and extra-curricular education, participation in sport and the performing arts,  English-language tuition, support for the mentally disabled and transition into employment.

In addition the College has a number of partner charities. These are charities whose activities have a direct impact on the College and which in turn the College seeks to nurture and promote as well as support financially.

The work of our partner charities, and their close relationship to the College, are described in more detail in the navigation section of this page and regular updates of news from them, along with charitable and social initiatives from our students, will be detailed below on a rolling basis.

Partner Charity News


Fairfull – January 2017

Food is the great leveller. Humans are united in their appetites, because everyone has to eat. But what if food could have a deliciously positive impact? What if food could be more than just a ‘stomach-filler’?

The myriad of food brands vying for a share of consumers’ stomachs is a patchwork quilt of world cuisines; everyone loves eating dishes from all over the world. But what do the people and communities where these delicious foods originate get in return? Shouldn’t Moroccan hummus benefit people in that region? Shouldn’t globalisation benefit all of us equally?

These questions drove Elina (Univ DPhil) and Adam to create Fairfull, a social venture that creates food that’s better for everyone. Their first product made its debut in Univ back in April 2016 (under the name Mamaby) – a healthier twist on an Indian classic: a baked vegetable samosa, with all profits helping expectant mothers in Indian slums. Since then the founders have outsourced production, rebranded and grown to fifteen sites across Oxford University. After an extended hiatus, their deliciously positive samosas are returning to the fridges in Univ’s Buttery. Food which reflects a local culture to feed a global one, where every mouthful really matters because it fulfils you and changes lives. That’s Fairfull.

Find out more about Fairfull on their Univ page here or by visiting fairfull.co.uk


Aspire – January 2017

Recruitment in Oxfordshire is an on-going, significant challenge for employers. In response, employment charity and social enterprise Aspire has launched Oxford’s first ever Employers’ Conference focused on recruiting disadvantaged and vulnerable groups to help meet recruitment needs. The half-day conference will be held at Unipart on Wednesday 26 April as part of Responsible Business Week. This conference will showcase the benefits of giving disadvantaged people a chance in the world of work along with testimonials from employers who have successfully trialled work placements for vulnerable groups. We’re delighted to have secured Darren Burns as a key note speaker from Timpsons, who are leading the way in socially responsible recruitment.

Aspire supports highly disadvantaged people to move towards and into employment. We know from experience that our trainees have a huge amount to offer local employers, and this conference is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the considerable benefits of giving disadvantaged people the opportunities they deserve. For more information please contact Rosa Curness on 01865 204450.

Find out more about Aspire Oxford on their Univ page here or by visiting aspireoxford.co.uk


The Gatehouse – January 2017

The Gatehouse experienced a very busy Christmas time and thanks to donations from the public, we were able to ensure that each Guest got at least one Christmas present of a hat, scarf, gloves, socks, underwear and a bar of chocolate. Often this is the only present that a person might receive. 

At the end of December we captured our quarterly data on how many people are using the project (taken over one week) and where a person slept the previous night. We are averaging 335 visits a week and our rough sleeper numbers have increased again to 49% of users. 

We are starting the year off trying to be as positive and pro-active about fundraising for the coming year as much as we can. If anybody has any fundraising ideas and would like to support a local independent project then please email katrinagatehouse@gmail.com.

Find out more about The Gatehouse on their Univ page here or by visiting oxfordgatehouse.org