On Sunday, Andrew Smith MP attended Cowley Road Carnival, where a record crowd of over 45,000 people joined in the celebrations including a host of musical acts including marching bands, and a street procession.
The event was a tremendous success, and the carnival spirit was helped along by the sunshine and a host of musical acts including reggae bands, and an array of colourful dance routines.
"The carnival is a showcase of the diversity and talent that we are privileged to be a part of in East Oxford, and it's fantastic to see it flourishing this year with a record number of people attending. Many thanks to everyone who took part in, organised and sponsored this year's fantastic Cowley Road Carnival," said Andrew.
The Cowley Road Carnival was re-launched last year thanks to sponsorship and support, including Labour councillors' local allocations, after a rocky few years of funding uncertainties.
"It's fantastic that Cowley Road Carnival is back and is better than ever," said Andrew. "The event means a lot to residents in East Oxford and gives a huge boost to the local economy."
This morning Andrew Smith MP joined staff and volunteers to present the certificates at the ceremony for students of Oxfordshire County Council's English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes.
ESOL programmes are attended by new arrivals to Oxfordshire from all over the world seeking to learn how to speak, read and write in English. Many of them have overcome great difficulties in order to make a life in Oxfordshire.
Andrew said: "It was an honour to be able to attend today's ceremony and to present the certificates. Many of the students came to the UK with very limited English and it was great to learn about all their hard work to learn English as an important step in their contribution to the social, cultural and economic life of the area, as well as securing a better life for themselves and their families. There was very moving testimony from a number of students about just how much it meant to them."
Today Andrew marked Employee Ownership Day 2014 by taking part in a celebration event at Waitrose in Headington.
The aim of the event is to raise awareness of employee ownership -- this is where employees not only have a voice in how the business is run through but also have a stake in the success of the business. Employee ownership reportedly accounts for annual turnover of £30 billion, and is a rapidly growing force in the UK's economy.
Waitrose's unique co-ownership structure in which all partners are co-owners and share the rewards of growth and success has been widely applauded for its benefits for local people.
Andrew said, "It was great to meet with employees and customers at Waitrose today. Waitrose is an excellent example of both the commercial and social benefits of employee ownership businesses. I welcome Employee Ownership Day as a way to raise awareness of the benefits of being a co-owned business for employees, other local businesses and the wider community. Staff at the Headington store told me how much it meant to them to work in a business where they shared in success and got a significant annual bonus"
England may have gone out of the World Cup before playing their final group match, but footballers here in Oxford did us proud over the weekend, raising money for the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind.
Andrew Smith MP enjoyed cheering on a 6-a-side tournament organised mainly by members of the local Pakistani community, all 32 teams named after a national team currently competing in the World Cup. Held at St Gregory the Great School in aid of blind or partially sighted children and adults throughout the county, the tournament organisers hope to raise more than £2,000. As well as teams from Oxford, Banbury, Swindon and other places were represented.
Andrew said, "Everybody at the tournament revelled in the sunshine, the BBQ, and a fantastic event, run for a very good cause. Well done in particular to 'Team Cameroon' - from Oxford - on winning the cup with style."
Andrew continued, "Oxfordshire Association for the Blind (OAB) does great work to enhance the lives of Oxfordshire's blind and partially-sighted people. I was pleased to present the trophies to the finalists and winning team for the third year in a row. This tournament goes from strength to strength, is now well established as an annual event, and I look forward to next year's again raising money for brilliant local causes."
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