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Ethex & Positive Investors support much needed children's services in Oxford

Ethex's Hearts and Minds Project 2018

This year when Josh approached me about helping a voluntary organization that he is involved with, I thought sure we can do that! When I started to give it more thought I decided that we could go further. The Ethex team feel very passionately about a good number of things including community energy, locally sourced food and community owned assets and a number of the team volunteer with local organisations outside of work. I decided that we should be encouraging this community minded spirit and so every year the team will be able to nominate a local project, that is a viable social investment but who might consider themselves too small to come to Ethex and we will help them raise the money they need to grow.

We’re here to make money do good, it’s not just a tag line, it’s part of our culture as the Ethex team. 

Josh Brewer, Senior Business Development Manager talking about Flo’s – the Place in the Park

I remember the children’s centre in Florence Park being built and opened in 2008, it’s right at the heart of my community in the local park. It was really exciting seeing a beautiful building take shape in my local park and I remember thinking to myself what a fantastic community asset it would be. When it opened I attended some of the courses run there by the midwife team when my second child Robbie was born. So it was a no-brainer for me when I was approached in the summer of 2017 and asked if I could help with the campaign to move the centre into community ownership. The children’s centre had closed down due to local authority cuts backs and there was a fully-fledged campaign-taking place to prevent the centre being handed over to a private nursery company. I became an active member of the Steering Group and we successfully persuaded the County Council to hand over the centre on an extended lease, to use it as a community hub.

When Flo’s is up and running it will provide

  • 24-place affordable and nature-focused nursery with an emphasis on outdoor play
  • a community hub, providing year-round welcoming space in the heart of Florence Park, including a community café serving affordable, multicultural, healthy foods
  • support to maternal health through hosting an on-site team of community midwives
  • a social, free to use community “dropin” space, which is child-friendly and which provides information and signposting for families of young children.

I and my colleagues at Ethex have been able to provide informal advice and support on setting up a Community Benefit Society and then for making preparations for a community shares offer to raise the investment needed to get the project up and running.

Read more about Flo's here 

It’s great to be part of this amazing community project and to help make money do good from the inside out. 

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