To achieve our purpose we focus on four main activities:
The Oasis Foundation catalyses the development of people engaged in social change – through one-to-one mentoring and personal development programmes.
- We provide one-to-one mentoring to people on the front-line of social justice.
- We recently worked with a group of 19 change-makers in an intensive exploration of what motivates and sustains us in this work. This culminated in a short film and booklet.
- Working in partnership with Manchester charity Reclaim, we developed Power at the Periphery, an innovative programme for young working-class people. Reclaim is a multi-award-winning youth charity. Its founder Ruth Ibegbuna has been named one of the most influential third-sector leaders in the UK. The aim of Power at the Periphery is to provide an intensive experience for young people who want to make a difference in the world.
Supporting Social Change Organisations
The Oasis Foundation supports social change organisations – helping them to build resilience and capacity through Whole Person Learning and peer-based working. Our aim is to inspire, educate and develop change leaders, social innovators and initiators.
- We provide bespoke development processes for social change organisations, including People & Planet, Refugee Youth, Reclaim, YUMI, Brunswick Organic Nursery, The Junction, and Refugee Development & Support. These often centre on the transition from a Founder/Leader to more collaborative and sustainable forms of working.
- We instigated and run PEERworks. This is where social change organisations come together to share learning and support each other on their path to peer-working in practice. For new organisations and those seeking alternative ways of operating – which bring more trust, less hierarchy and deeper engagement – a peer approach offers the most creative, innovative, challenging and unpredictable way of working.
Direct Action for Social Change, Social Justice and Wellbeing
We work alongside people engaged in direct action for social change, social justice and wellbeing.
- Through links to local organisations in Uganda, we have supported a range of practical initiatives around hospice, maternity care and childhood cancer.
- We have launched an exciting initiative: Middlesbrough Urban Eco Village. This will be a new community based on ecological sustainability and open to people on low incomes. The model is a co-housing development run by and for low income tenants. This model has never been tried before in the UK. The first steps included a viability report, ongoing discussions to identify a site, and a community gardening project to revitalise derelict land. Much of the initial work has been to establish relationships with people and organisations in
the community. This has been done with the help and assistance of North Star Housing Group, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Streets Ahead advice agency and the Seedbed Trust. The Gresham Community Garden Facebook page has updates on this project.
Fostering the Transpersonal
The Oasis Foundation fosters the transpersonal aspects of the whole person, particularly amongst young people and change-makers.
- We host regular Death Café sessions to provide a safe and supportive space to talk about death, dying and grief.
- We run regular reflective sessions to give space to discussions on the meaning of life, our connection to the wider world and how to sustain our spirits in turbulent times. There is currently a structured Collaborative Inquiry running at Oasis, self-managed by those involved.
Prefigurative Social Action Inquiry
This three year initiative has a threefold ambition:
- To enable Social Action Inquiry Scotland to benefit from a rhythmical process engaging others in the wider system as critical friends to engender reflection and learning from their on-going experimental practice in the realm of prefigurative social action
- To develop an informal learning community reflecting the voices of applied practitioners, pioneers, funders, researchers, social change agents and communicators. Such an approach may sustain itself beyond the life of the initiative, and if not as a group, a trusted network of practitioners and influencers.
- To benefit the wider system by capturing and disseminating the direct and indirect learning that will arise from working together as peers inquiring into prefigurative social action using the activities of Social Action Inquiry Scotland as a vehicle to stimulate discovery and emergent thinking.
How We Do It
How we work is as important to us as what we do. This is what people value about us – the sense of congruence in all we do. The principles that guide our actions are:
- Whole Person approaches: developing all that we are and can be, going beyond the surface even when it’s uncomfortable, working at depth to support personal transformation.
- Peer working: exploring and promoting ways of organisational working that distribute power, support individuals’ passions and build direction through co-production.
- Working with what’s emergent: we are keen to shed light on what’s not known, what’s at the edge and where we can go next that is not “tried and tested”.
- Building connection: people are at their most creative and effective when they are connected to their own deeper sense of self, to each other, to the natural world and the society they live in.
- Supporting the New Story: we increasingly find that meaningful change comes from creating and nurturing the new rather than fighting against the way things are.
Oasis Foundation Strategy (2Mb)
Read more about the strategy and future plans for the Foundation.
Our philosophy is unapologetically innovative and radical – and has a strong track record of durable impact. We are keen to continue working at the edge of social change by focusing on young people as change-makers.
Current initiatives include a flagship programme for social activists from working-class communities and a partnership to develop an Urban Eco-Village in North-East England.
We promote connection – to self, to others, and to the natural world. Our aim is to overcome division and polarisation in society. We live the motto: “Think Big. Act Small. Start Now.”
Keep in touch
We keep supporters and volunteers up to date with what’s happening with Oasis Foundation Projects through a yearly newsletter. To subscribe to the Oasis Foundation newsletter, click here.
Annual Report 2020 (2Mb)
You can read the Oasis Foundation Annual Report for 2020 and future strategy by downloading this pdf.