Oaksure Supporting Creatives


At Oaksure, we pride ourselves on our work within communities and our initiative to create new communities through property guardianship. Our prerogative is not only to work best for our clients, but also to give back to the places in which we work to create social value. As finalists for the 2021 Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management’s Social Value Award, our aim is to create, enrich and support endeavours that benefit society.

One way in which we aim to benefit society is to make housing more affordable, particularly for people such as artists and young people who might struggle to access suitable housing and space. At a property where we were asked to mitigate business rates in Derbyshire, we worked directly with our charity partner Proposition Studios to help fill the space and create an ecology-minded arts residency programme for creatives and artists, named. Derbyshire Arts Residency Programme (DARP).

The Eco-Syntax Residency provides accommodation and large studios for up to 20 creatives, affording time and space for collaboration, project development and practice beyond the pressures of city life. As the residency was conceptualised by Proposition Studios, there is a significant focus on questioning the role of The Human As Part Of Ecology and the residency welcomes creatives who are dedicated to re-thinking our relationship with the biosphere.

Ella Yolande, a guardian and artist at the property, creates “phytograms” as an alternative photographic process, using organic and natural materials to develop photos instead of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. She says, “I’ve been putting together flexible recipes for some of the processes I’ve been playing with over the last couple of months. These are in no way full-proof, or are they the only way to approach these materials, but they are more a way to remember how I got to where I got. Hopefully they can be useful as a starting point for others who might be interested”. (Click here to read more about her work.)

The residents at the property are deeply interested in communal living and a cooperative lifestyle, including growing food, cooking together, film nights, gardening, and outdoor activities. One of their primary focuses is living ecologically within the local community, which is done through means such as creating minimal waste and living off surplus local food. The community aspect fosters collaborative artistic practices as well as sustainable living.

By building thriving communities such as DARP, we enable young creatives to have affordable housing and space in which to create innovative works. Often it is hard to break into the arts, particularly if you are from a disadvantaged background; therefore, it is important that opportunities are created for people struggling to break into the arts or have a career as a creative. As a business, we understand our corporate social responsibility to create opportunities as value in the place we work, and Oaksure aims to continue this venture and other charitable ventures over the coming years.