The UWS-Oxfam Partnership ‘for a more equitable and sustainable Scotland’ was launched in October 2012 at the UWS Paisley Campus. In the morning, there was a meeting of the Policy Forum, followed by the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding by Professor Seamus McDaid, then Principal and Vice Chancellor of UWS, and Judith Robertson, who was at that time Head of Oxfam Scotland.
Professor McDaid commented:
“We are delighted to be establishing this important partnership with Oxfam Scotland, developing policies that further our shared vision of a more equitable, sustainable and socially just Scotland.
This partnership will bring an added dimension to the work of the University and its contribution to the communities we serve, providing new opportunities for both staff and students to get involved in project work in this important area.”
Judith Robertson told the press that:
“The experience of our work around the globe shows that some of the most innovative and most effective solutions for tackling poverty come from people in the poorest communities. Our partners in Scotland have first-hand, on-the-ground experience about how government policies help or hinder them. By combining their ideas and their experience with the expertise of students and staff at UWS, we hope to create new policy ideas that will help Scotland become a nation where poverty is a thing of the past.”
In the afternoon, there was a very successful ‘Meet the Partners’ session, at which UWS staff were able to meet with Oxfam’s local community partners tofind out about the latter’s activities and needs, and to begin to explore possible collaborative projects which could receive initial support from the monies generously provided by the University to the Partnership. Out of this event some initial links and relationships were established which have since been further developed, for instance the link between Drs Darryl Gunson and Lawrence Nuttal and Oxfam’s community partner organization, Amina, the link between Drs Gordon Heggie and Will Dinan and Oxfam itself on , and the link between Maria Feeney and Oxfam’s community partner, Tea in the Pot.