Successful First Year for Community Impact Lab


This year, our ambition to deliver projects that improve lives and wellbeing in Oxford and beyond became a reality with the launch of our Community Impact Lab.

We partnered with five outstanding Oxfordshire-based community organisations: Low Carbon Hub, Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP), Active Oxfordshire, Oxford Hub, and Oxford City Football Club. These partnerships represent the breadth of valuable impact work being done in Oxford.

To address the key challenges identified by these organisations, we recruited thirteen talented graduate students from across the University. Over nine weeks, these students conducted in-depth research and developed actionable recommendations.

At our recent showcase event, the student teams presented their findings and celebrated the strengthened collaboration between the University of Oxford and our local partners, all working together to champion community impact.

The student participants appreciated the broader perspective gained from working on real-world social and environmental issues. Similarly, the community organisations praised the projects' positive impact on their ongoing work. For instance, Amy Lockwood of Oxford Hub described the social prescribing tracker developed by the project team as 'a real game-changer'. Alison Grunewald of Low Carbon Hub commended the speed and capability of the student team on the college decarbonisation project.

We extend our gratitude to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for the IAA Grant, which enabled the development of this community impact programme. Special thanks also to the Tap Social Movement for hosting us.

Following the success of these initial projects, we are excited to announce a second phase of the Community Impact Lab next year. If your Oxfordshire-based organisation has a social or environmental challenge and is interested in partnering with the Lab, we would love to hear from you in the coming months!

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