The Oxford Hub’s new building on Turl Street was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor last Thursday to become “the home of student volunteering in the city”. Over 800 Oxford students a week volunteer through the organisation making it one of the largest student volunteering centres in the country.The million-pound facility features the brand new Turl Street Kitchen, which serves ethically-sourced and sustainable produce.According to the the Oxford Hub, “The menu at TSK will be short and sweet, changing daily to minimise waste and to accommodate our commitment to fresh, seasonal produce. You don’t need to think twice about what’s on your plate here – a community effort goes into every mouthful.” Hannah Martin, Community and Venue Manager, told Cherwell, ‘We’re all really excited to open up the Turl Street Kitchen and the Oxford Hub to students and the local community. I think Oxford Hub and hundreds of student volunteers have already been making a huge difference to the local community by working with diverse and amazing community partners on lots of projects.’In the evenings the kitchen transforms into a bar, open until midnight or later every night, whose range of eclectic offerings includes artisanal new-school gin and vodka, as well as local lagers.The building also contains meeting rooms, events spaces, a resource centre, offices for student-facing charities and a centre for social enterprise.‘A lot of people have put a lot of work into preparing this new space to encourage student civic engagement. We’re thrilled to now be up and running and ready for the new term. We hope that students, members of the university and local residents alike will use and enjoy the space for many years to come,’ said Adam O’Boyle, who helped found the Oxford Hub in 2007.The Oxford Hub’s initial aim was to encourage student volunteering around the city. It has since grown into a national organisation, Student Hubs, with centres in Bristol, Southampton and Cambridge.The Oxford Hub now connects hundreds of students to volunteering opportunities with 35 Oxfordshire-based charities, while Student Hubs currently helps 15,000 students around the country to get involved with their communities.Trisha Soneji, a second-year student who has volunteered through the Hub before, stated, ‘The Oxford Hub provides great opportunities for students to volunteer and contribute, whatever their interests. This new building should definitely help more people get involved.’Speaking at the new centre’s opening, Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton said, “Student Hubs is a forward-thinking charity which has worked for a number of years to increase student engagement in social action. Their vision for this social enterprise is both innovative and extraordinary and I look forward to seeing it flourish in years to come.”To encourage students to visit, the venue will host a Hub House Party on Wednesday of 1st week to welcome students back to uni and vouchers will be given out at Fresher’s Fair for free hot drinks from the Turl Street Kitchen.
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