Residents should not face discrimination in any form. That is the united message from Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service and Oxford United Football Club. The two have teamed up to tackle all forms of prejudice.
Professional footballers and firefighters are considered community role models, particularly in terms of professionalism and teamwork. The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness and promote anti-discrimination, equality, diversity, and inclusion throughout the county.
Rob MacDougall, Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service's Chief Fire Officer, said: "Over the next year, we're going to be working closely with Oxford United to bring firefighters and footballers closer together, to understand each other's role and discuss the benefits of tolerance, showing how diverse communities can thrive, and taking a strong stance against discrimination.
"This will be delivered through different activities and live discussions between footballers and firefighters, jointly promoting our respective campaigns: Fire Doesn't Discriminate and Neither Do We, and Oxford United's support for the football community's Kick it Out initiative."
Karl Robinson, Oxford United Manager, said: "It's a fantastic initiative and we are proud to be working with the fire service. There are lots of similarities between what we do and how the fire service operates, but the central one for me is that everyone is welcome. There are some exciting ideas for us to work together on and I look forward to being part of that in the coming months."
Rob MacDougall recorded an interview for Oxford United's YouTubeOxford United to work with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service followers in advance of the club's home game against Morecambe last Saturday (30 October), sharing his personal passion for equality, diversity and a no tolerance attitude to discrimination.
His attitude is reflected in Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service's ongoing recruitment campaign.
Rob explains: "If you want a rewarding career as part of your local firefighting team, we want to hear from you. We aim to become an employer of choice in parts of our community where we are currently underrepresented, whether this is gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
"We want to attract people who will bring a diversity of life experience and an understanding of the many different cultures, communities and religions that make Oxfordshire such a vibrant and diverse place to live."
For further information about becoming an on-call firefighter, and other employment opportunities in Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service, email firstname.lastname@example.org.