Published: Friday, 15 September 2023

Three projects in Oxford made the final shortlist at the Awards for Public Service Excellence last night, with Oxford City Council a proud partner in all three.

The Dancin’ Oxford programme is a City Council initiative that uses the power of dance for mental and physical health, to build friendships, break down social boundaries and bring people together. Some of the Dancin’ Oxford projects include a Early Years Arts Project, Fam Jam, Family Dance Party, Silver Shakers older people’s dance project and the Dance for Parkinson’s Programme as well as festival events.

All Dancin’ Oxford’s projects are focused on delivering in areas where there are the greatest levels of inequality. As well as building links for migrant communities in Oxford it has worked with international partnerships across Oxford’s twin cities. During the Covid lockdowns dancers worked transnationally to create 3 Global Dance Film projects

In 2022, Dancin’ Oxford launched the Dancer in Community Residence Project in Barton & Blackbird Leys. Two experienced dance artists work with council teams to focus on grassroots working, so that people of all ages and different backgrounds can take part in high-quality dance and performance.

Move Together is a county-wide programme from Active Oxfordshire and the 5 local authorities, including Oxford City Council, to help people be more active. It is co-ordinated by Active Oxfordshire and funded by Oxfordshire County Council and NHS Integrated Care Partnership

The programme offers a service tailored to the needs of each individual - ranging from relatively simple signposting into activity through to ongoing support with motivation and goal setting using physical activity journals, motivational interviewing and one-to-one visits. 

Move Together is making a real difference to people’s health and happiness, with 63% of people having shown an increase in their activity levels, 87% of participants feeling less isolated and 54% of people noticing an improvement in their overall health.

Oxford City Council’s subsidiary ODS was selected as a finalist for the Gul-e project. This enables electric car owners with on-street parking to safely run their cable from home to car, to enjoy cheaper charging costs.

The Gul-e product is elegantly simple, an EV charging-cable gully channel. It is seamlessly and permanently set in the pavement and can safely house a charging cable, so there is no trip hazard and the cable is protected. For local authorities looking to increase EV charging infrastructure, this offers a simple, low-cost option to help EV owners with no off-street car parking space keep their cars charged. The project aims to break down one of the barriers to EV take-up, affordable access to recharging.

“I’m really proud of our teams and our local partners, who are incredibly committed to helping improve lives in Oxford. It’s great to see that services in Oxford are being recognised as among the best in the country. Dancin’ Oxford and Move Together are partnership projects that offer really innovative approaches, making it easier and more enjoyable to look after your physical and mental health. I hope that this recognition will encourage more people to take part in these programmes.”

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Healthier Communities

“We are delighted that Gul-e has been recognised for the Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship initiative at the prestigious APSE Awards. We have ambitious targets to support the UK’s rapid uptake of electric vehicles, and help local authorities across the country to achieve their EV strategies through Gul-e’s safe, convenient and competitively-priced at-home charging. We are proud that Gul-e’s innovative solution has been commended by APSE and look forward to building upon our achievements to date, and helping even more organisations in future.”

Jason Munro, Director of Operations at ODS

“Move Together was first set up during COVID to help people enjoy the huge health benefits of physical activity. We’ve received so much positive feedback since the launch, so we’re thrilled to hear that the project in Oxford made the finals at the Awards for Public Service Excellence.”

Councillor Michael O’Connor, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Inequalities at Oxfordshire County Council

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