Oxfam gets Freedom of the City

Oxfam shop The charity has more than 700 shops across the UK

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Oxfam is to receive the Freedom of Oxford where it was founded 70 years ago.

The humanitarian organisation started life as The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in October 1942 at a meeting room at St Mary's church.

It now has more than 700 high street shops in the UK and is supported by 22,000 volunteers.

The charity's chief executive Dame Barbara Stocking will receive the scroll at a ceremony in October.

'Special role'

The award will be presented by The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Alan Armitage, who said: "Oxfam has made a huge difference to the lives of many millions of people across the world during 70 years.

"We in Oxford can be very proud of the organisation's strong links with our city and the unfailing support it has had from our citizens."

Dame Barbara said: "Oxford residents have played a big part in our success over the years as staff, volunteers and supporters and Oxfam shops play a special role within the community."

The Freedom of the City is an honorary status and does not confer any special rights to the recipient other than the right to attend some ceremonial civic events.

In the past it has been given to the likes of Sir Roger Bannister, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, the City of Leiden and the City District of Bonn.

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