Donnington Doorstep is an independent, community-based family centre delivering a range of universal and specialist services. Set up in 1984 by local parents who knew that caring for children can be hard - we’re a home from home drop-in for children, young people and their families as well as a hub for local community activity. From our purpose-built centre in East Oxford our activities focus on play, food, support and community development.
We aim to increase happiness and emotional wellbeing for local children, young people and their families, and to support good mental and physical health. We want to improve life chances for the socially excluded children and young people we work with, and to enable them to realise their full potential. Through this we will see a stronger, safer and more integrated community in our surrounding areas.
Oxford is often seen as a privileged area – think of the dreaming spires of the university, and the fact that it’s often cited as the most expensive UK city to live in. Yet under the surface there is real and shocking deprivation, both in our immediate estate and across wider Oxford. Families gravitate towards us from all over the city and beyond.
Our services aim to meet this need head on. Families can drop in and play two mornings a week - “fun, messy and free” is our tagline! We offer advice and support, and families can enjoy healthy home-cooked meals on Wednesdays which use supplies from Oxford Food Bank. They provide good surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Our services are not just for families with young children. We offer evening youth sessions, and we run the Step Out project which works with children at risk of sexual exploitation. We operate an Ofsted-registered pre-school with an emphasis on providing funded two-year-old places to low income families. We provide specialist advice to families in need, we host community events and parenting programmes, and so much more.
Want to know more about our aims, our play ethos and who we work with? Check out our latest Annual Report