Community Action Groups Oxfordshire (CAG Oxfordshire) has been supporting community groups across the county for 20 years now. In this time we’ve grown from a very humble start to a network of over 100 groups working on issues as diverse as waste, food security, biodiversity, tree planting, active travel, low- and zero-carbon initiatives and social justice. CAG Oxfordshire acts as a central support to the network, facilitating discussion between groups, offering training, hosting skill shares and advising groups as issues arise.
Although groups work on a local level within their own communities, their collective impact is highly impressive. 2021-2022 was an impactful year with the network holding over 4,000 events and activities attracting over 80,000 attendees. Nearly 100,000 volunteer hours were recorded, which has a value of over £1.5 million!
The CAG Oxfordshire network also prevented nearly 198 tonnes of food waste going to local waste disposal diverting nearly 500 tinnes of CO2 emissions.
Reuse and repair saw a significant increase, with 21 groups holding an estimated 172 repair cafes throughout the year. We also launched three new libraraies of things which encorage peopel to borrow items they need rather than buy new.
Great Big Green Week saw 129 events delivered by CAG members and partners. These included marches, roadshows, cooking events, repaur cafe's, nature walks, talks and many more.
Over 6000 trees were planted by groups accross the network
The positive impact of the network cannot be overestimated. From tree planting, waste and traffic reduction, and community growing to friendships made, communities strengthened and improvements to wellbeing, the network demonstrates that a more sustainable way of life possible, and is already happening.
As a Community Benefit Society (CBS) our aim is not only to help build a greener and more sustainable Oxfordshire, but to build more resilient, empowered communities and drive community-led social change. We try to build relationships between our members and partner organisations and local councils.
We are a proactive, inclusive and diverse network that offers advice, expertise and mentoring to set up and maintain groups and develop projects, events and activities. We highlight best practice, offers tools for widening diversity and involvement in community action, and communicate that a more sustainable, just and environmentally friendly future is possible. 85% of our members report that being part of the network made them more effective.
Our collaborate groups connect members and interested external organisations and individuals working on similar themes to facilitate collective action. Collaborate events are opportunities for Community Action Groups (CAGs) working on similar projects or across a common theme to meet up, share and find ways of working together.
The meetings are open to members of the CAG network, as well as other associated, like-minded groups and organisations. We also moderate themed mailing lists for CAGs to communicate with each other between meetings. We currently run collaborate groups for groups concerned with waste, energy, surplus food, growing, trees and rewilding, plastics and climate action with children.