At the start of the Covid pandemic Oasis Community Centre faced an uncertain time, as did everyone in the community. Instead of closing everything as many centres did, Centre and Project Manager Steve Williams had the idea of starting a new project.
This new project began with hundreds of bunches of spring flowers grown at the Oasis Community gardens being given to local people, all with a little tag saying that people could find help and support if they needed it from Oasis.
The community goodwill these bunches of daffodils and tulips brought was amazing and it started the idea for ‘Operation Oasis’.
Steve said: “I woke my wife up in the middle of the night with the idea and the name and the excitement of giving rewards for local heroes, giving gift bags and presents to Bassetlaw children at Easter and Christmas and having the star of the week (the greatest mum, carer, dad, nurse, shopkeeper, doctor etc). This progressed to food hampers and boxes of essential items and toiletries being given out right across Bassetlaw.”
Since then, the project has raised over £130,000 and turned it into over 18,000 food parcels, boxes, hampers and gifts which have gone to so many people across the local and wider community in the last two-and-a-half years. Steve added: “It has been amazing to see the response and the joy and relief at times when people gain that little bit of encouragement, support and hope in the form of a gift. I had the phrase ‘The Gift opens the way for the Giver!’ on my mind and this has and is surely happening as people are responding and coming along to other Oasis projects, are finding the support in their times of need and are responding in such positive ways.”
Due to the current problems and continuing financial challenges within the community, Oasis has decided to continue the project while funding continues to support it. The challenges are huge, but by community projects like Oasis playing a part and working with the community many people will get some help in this crisis.
Anyone wishing to give to support food boxes, essentials hampers and toiletries for people in need please contact Steve on 07795 194957 or on Stevemark126@hotmail.com.