Oxford HR supporting local women’s group BK Luwo
27 July 2017
As part of our commitment to the sectors we serve, Zoe Millington, Business Manager at Oxford HR, has been working with local community group, BK Luwo. The group meets twice weekly, and offers a supportive space for women in Oxford. Originally set up by the Ugandan refugee community, the group has now opened its arms to all women needing a welcoming space to visit during the week.
The group is a crucial resource for local women, and is particularly popular with Black and older women. It provides fellowship, activity sessions, outings, food distribution and more, helping to celebrate diverse cultures, reduce isolation, support those with limited access to resources and increase feelings of inclusion.
The outgoing treasurer of BK Luwo obtained funding for materials to make products for sale, enabling the group to be more self-supporting: however, there was no-one to lead the project. As part of Oxford HR’s volunteering policy, our Business Manager Zoe was released to run six sessions in designing and making bags for yoga mats. The bags will be sold to yoga class students based in the same community centre and beyond, whilst providing an ongoing enjoyable group craft activity for BK Luwo members.
The project began with a trip to the Goldhawk Road in London, a street of drapers’ shops selling fabrics of myriad colours and designs. The group wandered through the shops selecting eye-catching fabrics, and stopping for refreshment en route at a Caribbean cafe. Back in Oxford, members designed their bags and learned all the processes for making a high-quality product. The only difficulty was the limited number of fully-operational sewing machines. Oxford HR Managing Director Philip Nelson decided to respond to this need, and has allocated funds for the purchase of a new sewing machine for the group.
The photograph displayed shows the members of BK Luwo, with Zoe in the background. A selection of beautiful yoga mats and work in progress are displayed on the table. For further information about the project, BK Luwo and/or the yoga mat bags, please contact Zoe in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org.