Human Circles, a newly founded not-for-profit organization has recently raised £600 to fund two new innovative projects to improve mental health in Oxford. The funding, raised from private donors was given to Coffee Ambassadors and Oxford Link. The first is a project that is creating a decentralized platform for peer supporters to provide support to all members of the student community. Oxford Link is developing an app to increase knowledge of and access to mental health resources in Oxford.
Human Circles consists of students and townspeople in Oxford that work on supporting different projects, both small and large, to improve some aspect of the community ranging from mental health issues to homelessness or making Oxford more sustainable. The group has as its goal the promotion of community, with a premise that involvement in local projects provides agency to members of the community and promotes a shared sense of responsibility.
A statement on the webpage of the group reads “In the past 200 years of human history, we have gotten increased efficiency and access to information. Yet, despite the rise of technology which claims to connect us, a great number of people feel disconnected and unappreciated. Our goal is to change that.”
The founder of the Human Circles, Parth Ahya has stated: “I want to emphasize that we all have the capacity and gifts to add value to our communities and sometimes just need a push. I got that push when I was unexpectedly made the cofounder of a startup in San Francisco this past summer. Human Circles is a project to give people and communities that push. It is a project to provide them with tools, resources, and motivations to shape, however they think is right, the spaces they share.”
The new focus of the group is homelessness; they are hosting a panel on homelessness on Wednesday, February 13th, 7:30 PM at St. Peters College. The panel will serve as a catalyst for a new initiative within the community to develop innovative solutions to homelessness in Oxford.