This week at Oxfam, 8-12 April 2013

Posted by Suzanne Rodrigues Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

12th Apr 2013

A lot happens in Oxfam House over the course of a week. And it's interesting stuff.  When you're working in an international organisation that has loads of great events, campaigns and shops to get involved in, there is always something new going on. Given the fact that everything that happens in this building is only possible because of the support from the UK public, I thought it was about time we started sharing the news of the week with you. So I'll be doing that every Friday from now on.


Atrium update on Syria

At 12pm on Monday morning, everyone in Oxfam House was asked to gather around the atrium. To help you imagine the scene, the image on the left shows a previous atrium update. Our acting Chief Executive, Penny Lawrence - who usually leads our International Team - told us that the decision had been made to raise our Syria Crisis response to a 'Category 1' emergency.  Earlier in the week, we talked on the blog about what re-categorising the crisis as Cat 1 means and it's certainly not a decision taken lightly. Internally, it means we have to prioritise all work relating to Syria.  The situation there, and in the neighbouring countries, is a complex one. It's not getting the media attention of other emergencies. And we have to do all we can to get the story out there and raise the funds that are so desperately needed for Oxfam's response

Auction of promises

At lunchtime of Monday, one of the conference rooms was packed full of staff bidding in an auction of promises. Janine, Alan and Amy from our In House design team are taking on Trailtrekker this year and they decided to team up with Lucy from Trading, who's doing the London Marathon, to do some fundraising.  Friends and colleagues were asked to donate promises and on Monday, we got to bid on them.  There was a huge variety of promises, from 'a cuppa and a motivational quote every morning for a week' to 'a made-to-measure dress' and 'a week in a holiday home in the Alps'.  People were really generous and they ended up raising over £1000. I personally ended up with 'a performance by a string quartet' and a 'a 2 hour meditation session'. Fancy. 

What happened last week?

As this is the first weekly update, I want to tell you about two other things that have already happened in April - it's been a pretty eventful month already. On April 2, after years of campaigning by the Control Arms coalition, the world voted overwhelmingly for an Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the global arms trade. Two days later, we launched our partnership with Nectar, which means our supporters can now get Nectar points every time an item they've donated to a shop is sold. Two very good bits of news to kick off the month. 

I'll tell you more about what's happening in Oxfam House next week. 


Blog post written by Suzanne Rodrigues

Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

More by Suzanne Rodrigues