Oasis is a charity that grew organically out of the local church, as it began to identify the needs of the diverse community its around it. Wherever it saw an opportunity to provide support, or address a particular problem, it created another project or activity. Now, alongside an ‘outstanding’ Academy school and community primary school, it runs a café, debt advice service, food bank, football teams, two community choirs and a city farm. Among its extensive services for families and children there’s a playspace for morning and after-school activities, a youth club and Oasis Youth Support, an innovative project based at St Thomas’s Hospital which provides immediate and then ongoing help to young people attending A&E as a result of violence.

At the heart of the Oasis philosophy is a recognition that in a deprived community social needs can be complex and interconnected. The projects are therefore designed to be complementary, with staff ensuring that people are referred from one to another: a teenage victim of violence can be supported so as to reduce the risk of gang involvement; a frequent user of the food bank will often be referred for debt advice; an elderly person identified as isolated might help in the school or at the farm. The result of this holistic approach is a growing sense of identity, of mutual support and autonomy. There is a feeling of constant activity and a determination to ensure that a diverse and disparate area of inner-city London becomes and remains a strong and inclusive community.

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“When a local social issue comes to their attention, Oasis Hub Waterloo listens, then looks for a way to address it. It's simple, yet so effective”


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