Supporting our communities

We aim to maximize access to educational advancement in the communities in which we operate. In practice, this means we:

Support and partner with charities and educational initiatives that are aligned to our mission and strategy, to extend the impact we have on our communities worldwide

Allow our people to seek ways in which they can personally support organizations and initiatives that are aligned with our mission

We provide support to charities and educational initiatives by providing financial donations, offering resources, and through employee volunteering.

All our employees have two volunteering days each year (three in the US), and we know that many of our employees appreciate the opportunity to connect with our mission and our communities. As opportunities for face-to-face volunteering were limited, we worked with our charity partners to identify ways that we could still support them from a distance.

We created a ‘volunteering menu’ with a number of our partners, with options for team and individual volunteering. Opportunities included:

  • Reviewing submissions to the young people’s writing competition for The Orwell Youth Prize
  • Supporting SolarAid by taking part in its ‘thank-a-thon’. Two employees also helped to write and build a website for SolarAid’s team in Uganda, and our group communications team spent the morning providing communications and marketing support for an upcoming campaign
  • In Oxford University Press India, employees worked with the Chudar Foundation to deliver English Language Teaching to children aged six-13 years
  • In Oxford University Press Spain, employees volunteered with the Capacis Foundation, running a series of online training sessions with the students of the foundation

In the UK, we extended our volunteering policy temporarily to allow for employees to volunteer at COVID-19 vaccination centres.

We also maintained our support for Book Aid International, our long-standing charity partner. This year, our annual financial donation supported the charity’s work in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya—the second largest refugee camp in the world—to enable students to continue to learn, even when attending school wasn’t possible during lockdown. We also donated more than 80,000 books through the organization to people all over the world and provided volunteering support with our employees assisting with research and transcribing-based tasks.

In southern Africa, our team worked with Imvelo Safari Lodges in Zimbabwe and The Camelthorn Foundation in the UK to raise money to purchase local curriculum textbooks for learners. Many schools in Zimbabwe based in remote and disadvantaged areas have limited support for resources and experience difficulties accessing textbooks to support the country’s new academic curriculum. We supported the Camelthorn Foundation with its Textbooks for Conservation initiative, which raises funds to purchase new curriculum textbooks from Oxford University Press Southern Africa, for the cost of just £1 each. We then worked with Imvelo Safari Lodges, who distributed the books, and in December 2020, 1,400 books were delivered to 14 schools.

80,000

books were donated to people all over the world

$2,000+

was raised by OUP colleagues to support Operation Backpack

1,400

books were delivered to schools in Southern Africa

In our New York office, the team raised funds for Operation Backpack—an initiative run by Volunteers of America which aims to ensure children in the city’s homeless and domestic violence shelters receive a high-quality backpack filled with education supplies, to help set them up for the new school year. In previous years, the team have arranged, collected, packed, and delivered the backpacks. However, with the pandemic preventing in-person volunteering this year, the team raised funds virtually instead, raising more than $2,000.

In India, the team continued its support for Literacy India. In line with International Women’s Day, we dedicated an education and skills development centre to women, to help make women more financially independent by upskilling them. The centre offers courses in stitching and tailoring, beauty and wellness, computer literacy, and English speaking. It also provides remedial education to children who have lost out on schooling during the pandemic because of a lack of access to digital resources.