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Sanctuary Housing - Cherwell

Sanctuary Housing manages more than 5,400 homes in the Cherwell area of North Oxfordshire.

We have a wide range of homes available and are committed to providing quality homes and excellent services that meet the needs of the local community.

General rented housing provides affordable homes for people on low incomes. Our rented properties are available at lower rents than the open market.

If you would like to apply to live in a Sanctuary Housing home, please call us on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511. If you’re already a Sanctuary Housing resident or live in one of our homes in a different area of the country, you may be able to transfer to us.

Change of circumstances

Should your circumstances change, please let us know by filling in the 'Change of Circumstances' section on our online form.

Sanctuary provides high quality schemes which benefit from a scheme manager service, allowing residents to live comfortably, securely and independently.

Residents have their own self-contained accommodation; services include a dedicated scheme manager responsible for the management of the building and communal areas, 24 hour in-house telecare service and a separate 24 hour phone line to report any repairs or raise enquiries.

For further information:

  • For further information about housing for older people in the Cherwell area, please call us on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511.

Cherwell Volunteer Awards

Nominations are now open for the Cherwell Volunteer Awards 2019.

Sanctuary in neighbourhoods

Bretch Hill

Our approach to regeneration in Bretch Hill is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in Bretch Hill, or run a business.

The choir was launched in 2011 by local resident Simon Hill, who runs a music production company. With the help of Sanctuary staff and financial support, the group has grown in numbers and welcomes people of all vocal abilities.

How we’ve helped

  • Funding from Sanctuary and partner organisations to cover room hire, equipment and CD production.
  • Staff have volunteered 10 hours of their time.


  • Choir attended by 15-20 members aged between five and 60-years-old each week.
  • Released a CD which has had tracks played on BBC Radio Oxford. Income raised by sales has been invested back into the community.
  • Improved intergenerational relationships in the community.
  • Members regularly volunteer their time to help the group flourish.

Bobbie became involved with The Hill Youth Project after supporting her nephew get involved with activities in the area. After being made redundant, Bobbie began volunteering on a number of projects which eventually led to her getting a job at The Hill.

How we’ve helped

  • Sanctuary provided £22,000 to The Hill for a youth worker who then supported Bobbie.


  • Bobbie has volunteered for the past two years, contributing more than 250 hours of her time.
  • Bobbie helps run two football teams for youngsters aged between eight and 17-years-old.
  • Bobbie has been involved in the Pimp my Bike scheme to improve young people’s road safety.
  • Bobbie has also been involved with the Fixers project which has seen youngsters help regenerate the youth centre.

The Sunshine Centre is based in the heart of Bretch Hill and offers residents a one-stop-shop for health services, education and community activities. More than 20 groups use the centre each week. The centre was refurbished in 2006 which has given the building a new lease of life.

How we’ve helped

  • Supported projects, including a support worker for victims of domestic violence.
  • Staff have volunteered 40 hours of their time.
  • Awarded £3,000 to support Job Club.
  • Provided funding for a new kitchen to support community events and group activities.


  • Up to 25 groups use the centre each week meaning around 700 people have access to activities and services.
  • Attained Children’s Centre and Learn Direct status.
  • Job Club attended by around 25 job seekers each week.
  • Plans to extend midwife services to provide antenatal education.


Our approach to investing in Cherwell is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in Cherwell, or run a business.

Restore works to train volunteers to become employment coaches and to give clients with mental health needs the encouragement to believe in their aspirations. Coaches work to build confidence, and to develop skills such as CV-writing and interview techniques.

How we’ve helped

  • £20,000 support from Sanctuary Group over 2 years.
  • 10 hours of Sanctuary staff time in 2014/15.


  • Development of Recovery College in co-production with Restore clients to support people with their self-care and recovery.
  • Developing partnerships between Restore and other local health organisations is providing a joint approach to mental health services.

Fred Riches, a member of the rotary club of Banbury, has championed The World Health Organisation’s cause of eradicating polio by 2018. Fred has organised projects in Sanctuary Retirement Living schemes and involved children from local schools in events ranging from crocus planting to concerts. This project has been supported by Cherish Cherwell fund in the last 2 years.

How we’ve helped

  • £1,000 Sanctuary funding to the Rotary Club of Banbury for the Crocuses for Polio project.
  • 10 hours of Sanctuary staff time.
  • 500 hours of time from members of the Rotary Club of Banbury.


  • £5,000 raised in 2014 used to vaccinate children against polio, and Sanctuary Retirement Living schemes are now annually involved with fundraising and raising awareness through bulb planting.
  • Largest musical collaboration between Banbury Area Secondary schools to date at the Crocus Concerts, which has developed a basis for future generations.
  • Awareness raised in the wider community about the impact of polio in the developing world.

An independent charity since 2005, OYAP Trust’s artists and volunteers have worked with over 20,000 young people in Oxfordshire. In 2013, funding from Sanctuary’s Cherish Cherwell Fund and other local partners enabled OYAP to launch its Youth Action Team (YAT) project. Three YATs are based in Cherwell, encouraging young people to engage in positive social action and helping them to change perceptions about young people within their neighbourhoods.

How we’ve helped

  • £20,000 investment from Sanctuary Group to set up and run Youth Action Teams in Cherwell.
  • 15 hours of Sanctuary staff time.
  • Four Youth Action Teams have been set up: two in Bicester and one in both Bretch Hill and Grimsbury, Banbury.


  • Development of a variety of skills among young people including leadership and teamwork.
  • An enhanced sense of belonging to a neighbourhood for the young people and those who benefit from their community based activities.
  • Changing perceptions of young people by bringing together young people who have a strong sense of community and want to make a difference.

Play:Full logo

Working with Brighter Futures, Cherwell District Council and other partners, Sanctuary Housing has lined up an action-packed schedule for the summer holidays to keep the children busy. The best part is, lunch is included and it’s all free!

Find out more about Play:Full.

Cherwell News

Eden Davis having fun blowing bubbles

Boost for children’s centre in Banbury

1 April 2020

Children in Banbury are benefiting from essential play materials to help keep them entertained during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cherwell Volunteer Awards 2019; Good neighbour winner Lacey Leonard (left) and Young Volunteer of the Year winner Morgan Leonard (right)

Awards celebrate inspirational Cherwell volunteers

18 November 2019

Inspirational volunteers who make a real difference to the Cherwell community have been celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony.


Advice on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

In response to Government guidelines following the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made some changes to how we provide services to our customers. More information about our response can be found on our dedicated webpage and via our social media channels.

We are monitoring Government advice around local lockdowns and will highlight any specific service changes for each area should they arise.

Read our notice