Aspire Oxfordshire charity wins Oxford City FC shirt deal

Caption (L-R): Steve Chipper, Sales Development Manager at Greene King, with Matt Leggett, Young Persons Outreach Worker at Aspire Oxfordshire, at Oxford City FC Photo: Fortitude Communications
Caption (L-R): Steve Chipper, Sales Development Manager at Greene King, with Matt Leggett, Young Persons Outreach Worker at Aspire Oxfordshire, at Oxford City FC Photo: Fortitude Communications

An Oxfordshire charity which helps people facing homelessness and poverty while tackling reoffending rates has been awarded a front of shirt sponsor, thanks to a new partnership.

Multi award-winning charity Aspire Oxfordshire will appear on the front of Oxford City FC’s U23s home and away kits as part of a multi-year agreement the club has reached with Greene King.

The UK’s leading pub retailer and brewer has chosen Aspire to feature on the shirt in recognition of the charity’s work to tackle complex social issues through its professional services, work experience and employment opportunities and one-to-one support.

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Justin Merritt, Director of Football at Oxford City FC, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Greene King on board as a principal partner of the football club in line with their core values and support of local communities.

“It’s very generous of them to donate their front of shirt sponsorship to Aspire Oxfordshire who do fantastic work across the county to tackle important social issues while breaking down barriers people from disadvantaged backgrounds might face.

Oxford Mail: Justin Merritt, director of Ignite Sport UK
Oxford Mail: Justin Merritt, director of Ignite Sport UK

“We hope Greene King’s gesture helps to shine a light on this and support people in overcoming their personal issues while building skills, qualifications and overall life experiences.”

Established in 2001, Aspire Oxfordshire works with 2,000 people and 31 partner organisations annually to achieve outstanding social impact results in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley concerning homelessness, poverty reoffending and employment.

It comes after the Government’s latest indices of deprivation report revealed 26% of children in Oxford live below the poverty line while 10 of the city’s 83 neighbourhood areas are among the 20% most deprived areas in England.

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Matt Leggett, Young Persons Outreach Worker at Aspire Oxfordshire, said: “We’re so grateful to Greene King for providing this fantastic opportunity for Aspire to feature on the front of the U23s’ shirt.

“It’s clear through this new partnership that Greene King and Oxford City FC believe in supporting people to fulfil their true potential, which is what our work is all about. The ongoing cost of living crisis coupled with an increase in demand for housing means our key services are required now more than ever. We hope Greene King’s gesture can help to shine a light on our work and help tackle the cycle of homelessness, reoffending and poverty.”

Steve Chipper, sales development manager at Greene King, added: “We are honoured to support Aspire Oxfordshire along with Oxford City FC. It is incredibly important that people are aware of the support out there as we face such difficult times.”

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF