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This week at Oxfam, 22-26 April 2013

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

26th Apr 2013

The weeks are flying by at the moment. As it's Friday, here's your weekly update on what's been happening in Oxfam House over the past five days. 

To make sure everyone stays up-to-date with the Syria crisis, and Oxfam's response to it, our Internal Communications Team are currently sending a weekly email out to all staff. It outlines the current situation and tells us about the work being done by different teams - from Fundraising to Humanitarian. One difficulty, highlighted in this week's update, is that the media is focusing reports on the conflict and political side of the crisis, with less attention on the humanitarian aspect. Our staff our seeing first-hand the impact it's having on Syrian families and people such as Alaa (right), who I mentioned in a blog earlier this week. The words of Nigel Timmins, our Deputy Humanitarian Director, stayed with me after reading the update: "We must not stand by whilst so many families have their lives torn apart and the conflict spirals out of control.  We must collectively do all that we can to end the suffering of so many people."

We still need funds for our response. If you can, please support our Syria Crisis Appeal. 

London Marathon
The London Marathon took place last Sunday. It was sunny. It was emotional. It was brilliant. Oxfam's involvement was a real team effort. The Running and Event Operations teams were joined by lots of volunteers to deliver another unforgettable day. Massive well done to Oxfam House runners - Lucy, James, Kyle, Chloe and Damon - and of course, the entire Oxfam team. You can read how Lucy's day went on her 2013 London Marathon Adventure blog. My colleagues are already counting down the days to the next one - see their post-it note countdown on the left!

Oxfam House takes on the challenge of Live Below the Line
Next week, staff in Oxfam House will be joining people all over the country and taking on the challenge of Living Below the Line. That means that, for five days, they will be spending no more than £1 a day on food and drink - to make them think about what it's like to live below the poverty line, and to raise funds in the process. Different teams around the building - and in our shop network - have signed up to the challenge and the fundraising has already begun.  Staff in our Trading Division are leading the way having already reached £1284. I've been chatting to a few colleagues that did the challenge a week or two early, and it's been really interesting to hear about their experience. The verdict is, it's a lot harder than it sounds.  It really got them thinking about what they buy and they found themselves weighing up the options between quantity and nutrition. Five days isn't a long time but at least it's got everyone thinking. 

A light-hearted, inspirational, end to the week
Just after lunch today, post-it notes filled with inpirational phrases started appearing on a cupboard in one of the kitchens. I'm not sure how it began. Perhaps everyone just needed a few wise words to get them to the end of the day! This was my favourite, "I don't believe you have to be better than everyone else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." 

Have a good weekend everyone!

Blog post written by Suzanne Rodrigues

Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

More by Suzanne Rodrigues