leysdvpc@hotmail.com 01865 712299
Funders and Donations

We are pleased to announce we have received three year funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. 

Dovecote Children & Families project provides various services with the aim of improving outcomes and life chances for young children, children with impairments and families experiencing multi deprivations and social exclusion.

We have in place a strong network of support and partnerships working with a variety of local voluntary and statutory organisations. Our work has been recognised by a broad range of statutory, voluntary organisations and trusts, at local and national level.

Working in Greater Leys

The Dovecote Children & Families project is a community led, parent managed scheme delivering various services to support the development and wellbeing of children, children with disabilities and families experiencing complex issues, poverty and social exclusion. We work to empower and support local families to develop and co-deliver services meeting crucial community needs.

Our work is area based focused on Greater Leys housing development and neighbourhoods. With a strong network of support and partnership work, spanning several years, covering Social Services, Schools, Children’s Centre’s, Early Intervention Hubs, Oxford City and County Council and a range of other organisations working with children and families. Our regular activities are facilitated by our Children and Families Services Manager, in consultation with the committee.

We support a unified approach to securing the delivery, expansion and development of fundamental services to support vulnerable children aged 0 to 12 years old and their parents/families experiencing chaotic lives, poor health and, for many, social exclusion. Working with our partners and social housing providers where our families reside we will strengthen our methods involving parents in the design and delivery of services; including upskilling by offering experiences and opportunities that build and enhance their confidence, knowledge and aspirations.

The population in The Leys (Greater & Blackbird Leys) has increased from 8,500 to approximately 13,000 over the past 22 years.

Statistics have shown that the most socially excluded are very hard to reach making it even more crucial for existing successful groups working within these communities to be able to build on the trust and relationships already in place. Early intervention is crucial if we are to tackle social exclusion.

The Project

Project is fully inclusive, offering schemes below cost to ensure accessibility for vulnerable children and families. Project also provides much needed opportunities for children with impairments to socialise with other children living in their community, providing them with the support they need to fully participate.

There are very few initiatives engaging with families in Greater Leys. The Dovecote centre is the only provider of stay and plays sessions and out of school play facilities for young children including children with impairments aged in Greater Leys. We are also the only provider of out of these fundamental services for children aged 4 to 8 across the Leys estate.

We are Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) registered.  We have various policies and procedure in place including a very comprehensive child protection policy which is implemented in all aspects of our work. All staff and volunteers are DBS checked (Disclosure Baring Service).


Our project aspiration is around early intervention support for children and families to overcome barriers to accessing opportunities that increase their prospect to improve both their immediate wellbeing and their future life chances. We provide many different accessible low cost out of school play schemes and clubs; afterschool club sessions, centre based Easter and summer playscheme,  half term playschemes (subject to funding) for children aged 4 to 12 years old and stay and play sessions for 0 to 4 year olds.

Engaging in constructive activities increases children’s positive attitude improves motivation, increases aspirations, develops social and life skills, and enhances interpersonal skills. All of which is vital for children and to help them avoid taking risks such as experimenting with drugs/alcohol or being involved in anti -social behaviour and crime.

In order to be able to continue delivering affordable low cost, good quality services in a Nationally recognised area of disadvantage, Dovecote Children and Families project are writing on behalf of the committee to ask the St. Jude’s Trust to consider supporting our organisation. This is to help us to continue providing the delivery of crucial facilities supporting children, including children with impairments and families living in a nationally recognised area of disadvantage.

To summarise, the need for local accessible good quality facilities and support is highlighted in Oxford City Council’s Children and Young People Needs Analysis: “Blackbird Leys is one of the three areas in Oxford with the highest rate of households with no adults in employment with dependent children. Children and families are experiencing multi deprivations, along with the more deprived areas of Oxford tending to have poorer outcomes.” This research emphasised the high levels of social disadvantage, benefit dependency, high child density, high unemployment, educational under-achievement and low expectations amongst local families.


The cost of providing our essential services is approximately £62,500 per year.

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