Jesus College is to donate funds from the sale of its newly-launched 450th Anniversary clothing range to city-based charity Oxford Mutual Aid (OMA), as part of an ongoing drive to support local communities and businesses during the pandemic.
The College, which is located on Turl Street, was founded by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1571 at the bequest of a Welsh clergyman called Hugh Price, and is the only Oxford College to have been established during her reign. As well as an exciting online events programme for alumni and friends to mark the 450th Anniversary (which will also see the opening of the new Northgate building on Cornmarket), the College was keen to explore opportunities for more community-based activities in Oxford.
Jude Eades, Jesus College Communications Manager, explains, “We are committed to supporting the Oxford community during the current pandemic, and especially during our 450th anniversary year. Oxford Mutual Aid has been providing an incredible service to those in need across the city over the past year, providing food parcels, meals and support to the most vulnerable in our local communities. The College has previously helped out by donating hot meals and essential items, and we felt this was another way that we could support the charity at this difficult time”.
Murieann Meehan Speed from OMA says, “OMA started in response to the coronavirus crisis, and whilst the successful rollout of the vaccination programme is a cause for hope, lots of people in Oxford are still in need of support as we continue to feel the effects of both the pandemic and the longstanding poverty and inequality in our city. This week alone, OMA delivered 256 regular food parcels to a total of 769 people experiencing food insecurity, as well as cooking and delivering 600 reheatable meals in partnership with schools, restaurants and colleges. In addition to this regular support, we’ve also seen a huge rise in need for emergency food parcels over recent weeks, and sent out 66 emergency parcels in just the last seven days."
She added, "Every pound donated though the 450th Anniversary collection is invaluable in enabling OMA to continue its work, and ensuring that support is available in Oxford to all those who ask for it”.
The College has been collaborating with local personalised-clothing specialists Blueblood, who are based in the Covered Market, on the small range of commemorative t-shirts and sweatshirts, and will be donating £1 from every t-shirt and £2 from every sweatshirt sold to OMA. Keen to ensure the clothing is produced from sustainable resources, the new items are made from 100% organic cotton and recycled materials, derived from sustainable sources and approved by the Fair Wear Foundation.
Jude says, “Local retailers have suffered greatly during the pandemic, as our vibrant, busy city has been unable to welcome shoppers and visitors for much of the past twelve months. It’s been great to be able to work with an Oxford-based business on this project, and we are extremely grateful to Blueblood for all their help”.
Dale Harris, Director of Blueblood, says, “It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Jesus College on this major milestone in the College’s history. We love the design and the choice of garments have been considerately selected. Working closely with the Oxford colleges is very important to us and it gives us an enormous satisfaction to put our name to such a prestigious and historical University. Jesus College has always been very mindful about working closely with local businesses and being so closely situated in the Covered Market, it is a perfect combination of local sustainability and reduced carbon footprint.”
Using as its inspiration the Jesus College Charter of 1571, the specially-designed t-shirts and sweatshirts feature the College’s 450th campaign tagline ‘For all future times’. The tagline derives from a line in the founding Charter that says;
“We decree that it shall be created, erected, founded and established with one Principal, eight fellows and eight scholars, and by the tenor of these presents we truly and entirely create, erect, found, ordain, make, constitute and establish the said College of one Principal, eight fellows and eight scholars to endure for all future times to come, and we desire and order that its perpetual establishment shall be inviolably observed.”
The 450th Anniversary collection is available in a range of colours and sizes to suit all. To order, please go to the Blueblood website here.