A Day at Oxford

While living in the London for four months in 2015, I absolutely loved taking day trips around the UK. The train made it so easy and it was great to be in a new place so quickly. One of my favourite trips was to Oxford. The city exudes education and excellence throughout its whole being. As you walk amongst the landscapes and the stunning buildings, you think of all of the incredible people that have studied and spoken here and the amazing impact they have had on society. I happened to be there on graduation day and was greeted with sights of joy and celebration amongst students and families alike.

I was excited to return this year to visit my friend, Will, who is now doing his grad work there. He explained the different campus buildings and traditions to me and the history and culture blew me away! We even got to see the Harry Potter canteen! We visited two of the museums – both offering endless amounts of knowledge and exposure. The Museum of Natural History is in a cage set-up of sorts, giving the look and feel of pre-historic days and the Ashmolean has every type of esteemed artwork from all over the world imaginable. Throughout the day I had the opportunity to speak with students and the work they are doing, material they are studying and impact they are having is very inspirational. Each working towards improving and bettering our world.

Turl Street Kitchen

For lunch, Will brought me to Turl Street Kitchen, a cafe just steps from campus. Turl Street Kitchen offers incredible food and also an amazing purpose as a social enterprise! When you walk in, you are greeted with chalkboard walls detailing its mission and purpose. All of Turl Street Kitchen’s profits go towards its sister charity: Oxford Hub, a generator for student’s social action initiatives. The cafe strives to be as sustainable as it can be in terms of sourcing, waste, procurement and community.

Turl Street Kitchen Oxford
Turl Street Kitchen Oxford
Turl Street Kitchen Oxford

The menu changes week to week depending on the local/seasonal food available but it is always delicious! I had a great tea and poached eggs (amazing vegetarian options!!). The mission: “healthy, fresh, seasonal, affordable food.” Oxford Hub is spread across 10 UK universities and enables students to create change in their communities and supports them in their career path development. It is so amazing that this college town cafe gives back directly to their customers and also, the community. The space upstairs of the cafe is used for get togethers and brainstorming for students working on these projects.

Student Enterprise Projects

Some of their projects include Jacari (tutoring for children whose first language is not english), and People & Planet (variety of sub-projects – ie fairtrade, labor laws, clean energy).

Jacari also supports mothers to help them learn English. The tutoring has proven to increase performance and confidence at school. Also, Jacari is the oldest student-run charity on campus – dating back over 50 years! The history and momentum of Oxford is one thing that stands out to me the most.

As mentioned, People & Planet works on a variety of projects for human and planet rights. In addition, it serves as a platform for grassroots work and provides resources and a network for those looking to get involved. Through blogs, events, regional organisers, etc. People & Planet brings people together and mobilises students for a greater cause.

Further Information

You can check them out here: http://www.turlstreetkitchen.co.uk/

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