Overview - Thriving Communities Strategy

This strategy has been written following our Thriving Communities City Conversation where we heard from hundreds of people. It is all about working together with communities and partners in Oxford to ensure all residents can live their lives to the full.

You can download the full version of the Thriving Communities Strategy or read it section by section on the following pages.

You can also download the Easy Read version of the Thriving Communities Strategy.

Watch 'Thriving Communities Strategy Video 1: Introduction' on YouTube (3 minutes, 35 seconds)

Taking a whole system approach

The video below explains what we mean by taking a whole system approach.


The strategy has six key principles, which guide how we will work:

  1. Doing with, not to – we know that involving people and working together rather than imposing solutions upon people creates far better outcomes
  2. Building on what’s strong, not what’s wrong – we know that a positive approach based on developing what is already working well also helps create better outcomes
  3. Collaboration – we will give time to think through who needs to be involved and what our role should be
  4. Always learn – we will facilitate shared learning and won’t be afraid to try new things (even if mistakes are made, sometimes they provide the greatest learning)
  5. We will use clear language that reinforces our values – e.g., we will talk about people - not cases, and understanding someone’s situation rather than assessing their needs
  6. Use meaningful ways to measure and demonstrate the impact of our work – while numbers are useful, other methods such as sharing stories provide more in-depth insight

Watch 'Thriving Communities Strategy Video 3: Principles' on YouTube (3 minutes, 48 seconds)


The strategy has ten aims to:

  1. target our resources where they will have the greatest impact
  2. move towards an enabling approach using our Thriving Communities Principles
  3. embed lessons that we have learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic
  4. adapt and integrate our services so they can react to changing community needs, working more closely with partners and connecting with the integrated care system
  5. ensure that our people (Council employees) have the skills to support communities
  6. foster a sense of belonging
  7. provide many different opportunities to be active
  8. develop a sustainable, inclusive and accessible leisure and community offer
  9. enable a vibrant, innovative and sustainable cultural sector and economy
  10. use a variety of methods to demonstrate how we improve life chances and strengthen communities

Get involved or find out more

This new approach is all about partnership working with organisations and Oxford's communities. If you want to get involved with community work in Oxford, or to find out more about what the strategy means, please get in touch with our Localities Team.

You can also join one or more of our fortnightly Locality Learning sessions to find out what's happening locally and to learn more about a particular topic.

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