What is KEEN?

KEEN is a registered charity and a joint organisation of Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. We provide social, sporting and recreational activities for children and adults with special needs in the surrounding area.

Who volunteers with KEEN?

Most of our volunteers are students from Oxford’s two universities but a number study at local sixth form colleges or are young professionals. We’re always looking for new volunteers, and the only qualifications necessary are enthusiasm and a sense of fun!

What can I get involved with?

Volunteers are the lifeblood of KEEN and we’d love to see you along at any of our core sessions. All are positively brimming with fun and you’ll find it hard to pick a favourite!

AllSorts is our Saturday sports session for athletes aged 4-25. Each week we rotate around three different activities, covering a whole range of sports, from old favourites such as football and basketball to slightly more unusual activities like cheerleading and quidditch!

Zig-Zag is our performing arts session, held on Thursdays, aimed at younger children. Each session features an exciting mash-up of music, dance, craft and games. Every block of sessions follows a different theme, covering anything from nursery rhymes to Horrible Histories; myths and legends to Hollywood blockbusters.

KEEN Teens, held on Monday evenings, is our social club for teenagers. We get up to all sorts of shenanigans, including cooking, fun science experiments, a multitude of games and even murder mystery nights!

GrEAT Social is our social club for over-18s. It’s very easygoing, and sessions can feature anything from bowling to campfires, pub quizzes and even owls!

GrEAT Sports is our newest session, providing sporting activities to over-18s. We work in three-week cycles so that members can get a proper introduction to each sport we try.

In addition, we run a variety of daytrips and special events, as well as some smaller holiday activities, known as KEEN+ or GrEAT+.

How do I get involved?

A good start is to sign up to the KEEN Review. It’s an e-mail newsletter we send once a week, letting everyone know when and where that week’s sessions are.

You can also see our latest term card here.

If you’re a student, you can just turn up – see the Review or the sessions page for the time and place to meet for each session.

If you’re not a student, we need you to fill out a DBS check form before you come to your first session. Don’t be put off – it’s easy and the turnaround can be surprisingly quick! Contact Damien, the KEEN Coordinator, at keen@keenoxford.org to arrange a time.