Blenheim Estate is joining forces with an award-winning employment charity and social enterprise to provide classes and activities for people facing multiple challenges, helping them move forward with their lives.
From the middle of October, Oxfordshire charity Aspire will be running a series of sport and activity social inclusion programmes at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aspire helps vulnerable people facing homelessness, poverty and disadvantage to find employment and housing.
The project is part of a series of initiatives being launched by Blenheim as part of its new land strategy programme.
“One of our key goals is to support projects which enhance the health and wellbeing of our communities and develop our ‘social licence to operate’,” said Blenheim Estate’s Roy Cox.
“Working with Aspire will allow us to share this magnificent estate with groups of vulnerable people. This won’t just benefit them, it will also have a positive, long-term effect for the entire local community,” he added.
Established in 2001, Aspire has been tackling the most complex social issues in Oxfordshire for over 18 years.
The charity aims to support vulnerable local people into and towards employment and housing, as the most powerful way to break the complex cycles of homelessness, re-offending and poverty.
“We work with councils and companies who take their social responsibility seriously; who understand that they don’t have to choose between doing good, and doing good business,” said Paul Roberts, Chief Executive Officer at Aspire Oxford.
“A big part of our job is to support people who are facing disadvantage to raise their aspirations, improve their lives and make their first positive steps into education, training and employment,” he added.
As part of the new partnership, Aspire will make use of the Blenheim Estate to deliver sports activities including orienteering, yoga, rounders, wellbeing walks and fishing for small groups of people.
Nikki Aitchison, Head of Employment Development Projects at Aspire Oxford, said: “Our aim is to open up opportunities for the people we’re supporting to be able to have fun, socialise and get active.
"This is critical in helping vulnerable people to build up their confidence and self-esteem so that they can make longer term changes to their lives. We’re delighted to be working with Blenheim Palace to offer these opportunities and look forward to developing our partnership for the future."