Over the past year, Dragon School and Oxford Mutual Aid are proud to have been able to support the local community by delivering over 5000 meals to more than 50 families and individuals across the city.
Our ambition at the Dragon is to inspire a sense of social and environmental responsibility in all the children, from Reception through to Year 8. It is something we encourage through teaching, conversation and debate, but also by providing children with real, hands-on opportunities to support local, national and international causes. One example is our recent partnership with Oxford Mutual Aid (OMA), an organisation formed in March 2000 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, that supports vulnerable people by preparing and delivering weekly boxes of food, baby care products and other essentials across the city.
In the winter of 2020, the Dragon kitchen team started working alongside OMA to provide 3,000 meals – 200 meals a day – for at risk people in Oxford over the Christmas holidays. This included families and individuals within the Oxford City Community Food Network, local volunteer groups such as the Rose Hill Junior Youth Group, Botley Larder, Age UK, Iraqi Women’s Group, Syrian Community Oxford and Oxfordshire (SYRCOX), and those experiencing homelessness in Oxford.
Since then, the Dragon is delighted to have expanded its support. Every Friday during term time Dragon’s Head Chef, James Blackwell and his team at Holyroyd Howe make 200 freshly cooked, nutritious and delicious re-heatable meals, which are delivered to over 50 households across Oxford. We are proud that the Dragon kitchen is now a core component of the OMA Kitchen Collective programme.
Muireann Meehan Speed, Director of OMA, said “The support the Dragon community has given us over the last 12 months has been incredible, and so welcome. We feel so lucky to have partnered with such a fantastic team.”
Young Dragons have also been able to take an active role, with QUEST’s Community Dragons travelling to the OMA hall on the Cowley Road to sort and pack food boxes. The Dragon Social Impact Ambassadors were able to document the journey of the food from the Dragon kitchen, right through to delivering to those in need. In the coming weeks our young Ambassadors will share the experience with the school through the Assembly programme, so that all the children are able to better understand how partnerships such as this work, and why they are so important.
Ellie King, Director of Social and Environmental Impact at the Dragon said “We’re so grateful to have been able to work so closely with OMA over the last year. They are an inspirational team, and have provided our school community with an invaluable opportunity to better understand the positive impact we can all make. We can’t wait to see where the partnership will go next.”
If you are interested in learning more about the work of Oxford Mutual Aid, supporting them with donations or by volunteering, please visit: www.oxfordmutualaid.org