Is your child attending an Oasis school? Or are you interested in the work we do? Whatever the case may be, there is so much to learn about Oasis? From our vision to our Hubs, schools, and even our history, this blog will take you on a journey around Oasis and go through everything you need to know. So, sit tight and enjoy.
The Story of Oasis
Oasis Charitable Trust was founded in 1985, in Kent, by Rev. Steve Chalke, something he had been dreaming of since he was in his early teenage years. After five years of fundraising and building awareness, Steve opened the first Oasis project, a hostel for homeless young women in Peckham, in 1990. Since then, Oasis has grown into a global movement, pioneering many life-changing projects around the world. Today Oasis works in many communities affected by inequality that affects all areas of life. You may go to an Oasis academy, but did you know Oasis doesn’t only work within schools? As a family, we work to create change in not only education but also housing, justice, health, youth work, and family support for people of all ages and in all situations.
The Oasis Ethos
As Oasis, we are driven by the passionate belief that each human being is uniquely valuable and equally important. We all have something to bring, and we all need each other.
Our ethos is applied to how we work across our community Hubs, academies, churches, and projects. To help us in the process of personal growth and development, we have the Oasis 9 Habits, which are a way of life characterised by being compassionate, patient, humble, joyful, honest, hopeful, considerate, forgiving, and self-controlled. What is your favourite 9 Habit?
We have five core values that inform everything we do.
· A passion to include everyone
· A desire to treat everyone equally, respecting differences
· A commitment to healthy, open relationships
· A deep sense of hope that things can change and be transformed
· A sense of perseverance to keep us going for the long haul
Fun fact: Did you know we call the ‘O’ in Oasis our ‘Circle of Inclusion’ or the ‘Messy O’? It represents the coming together of everyone in the community to create a united family, that by all means isn’t perfect, but is beautiful in its inclusivity. This is because everyone matters. Everyone belongs. Moreover, because we’re committed to inclusion, we’re committed to ending inequality, injustice, and exclusion wherever and however we can.
Oasis Community Housing
Oasis Community Housing is where it all began, although it wasn’t called that at the time. We opened ‘No.3’ in Peckham to support women in need, which then transformed into Aquila Housing, and since, Oasis Community Housing. It exists to reignite hope in those facing homelessness and transform the lives of those in need. Accommodation projects in London and Gateshead provide a welcoming and nurturing space where young women can develop skills, build confidence, and learn their true worth. Through the Aspire project people are supported into employment who thought they’d never work again, and through Empower people affected by domestic abuse are given new life chances.
Oasis Community Learning
Throughout Oasis academies, we aim to provide "Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community." Beginning with three schools in Enfield, Grimsby, and Immingham, today, we are one of the largest Trusts in England, a family of 52 primaries, secondary and all-through academies.
Without reading further, how many young people in total do you think to attend our schools? At Oasis Community Learning, we serve over 28,000 young people, 49% of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and 31% speak English as an additional language. Each of our academies, and the services behind them, are committed to creating exceptional entitlement that ensures that our students have a real choice in their lives. Our academy teaching experts work together across the country to ensure that every child who is part of the OCL family gets the same opportunities for learning and the most dynamic and innovative curriculum.
We know that great schools are only sustainable within happy and healthy communities. For that reason, we seek to ensure that school improvement and community development go hand in hand. Therefore, our schools are partnered with, and part of, an Oasis Hub, run with Oasis Community Partnerships. Hubs provide wide-ranging and integrated services designed to meet local people's needs, whether that is through debt advice, social inclusion, refuge, church, food banks or adult education to name some. We aim to work with and alongside disadvantaged families and members of the wider community, empowering them to transform their communities into places that are safe, supportive, and full of opportunity.
Oasis doesn’t just work in the UK, in fact we work across the world with a team of activists, volunteers, and professionals! You can find us in Belgium, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the USA, supporting local communities to thrive and develop opportunities for transformation and sustainable growth. Oasis Global works in partnership with Oasis academies, as the children learn about their global family, and often help fundraise for new projects.
Since 2006, Oasis has been working to bring an end to human trafficking. StopTheTraffik was formed in 2008 as part of the Oasis family and works tirelessly to end trafficking in the UK and beyond. Utilising the power of technology and people, STT are working to prevent all types of trafficking through their intelligence-led approach. They have information-sharing platforms, including an app where you can flag suspicious behaviour or concerns, Resilience building is key, and empowering individuals, organisations, and agencies to make informed better choices.
We hope this has given you a better understanding of who Oasis are, what we do, and why we do it. To conclude this blog, we’d love for you to take some time and think about this quote from Steve Chalke, our founder:
“I dream of communities where everyone is included, everyone finds opportunity, everyone has a voice, everyone can flourish.”
Could you picture it?