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Oxfordshire Community Foundation has recently partnered with Oxfordshire County Council and distributed Community Capacity grants to grassroots organisations throughout the county. The grants aim to create the conditions for people to connect with others and thrive, promoting independence and self-reliance within the local communities.

34 grassroots charities have recently benefited from grants totalling £325,000 funded by Oxfordshire County Council. As part of their focus on preventing vulnerable adults becoming dependent on costly care in the future, the Community Capacity grants recognise the value and benefit that grassroots organisations bring to Oxfordshire. Local community organisations play a huge role in supporting people to thrive both physically and mentally, helping them to live well in their communities with less reliance on statutory services. The benefit this brings to these individuals is huge, with a much enhanced and fulfilling quality of life.

Lives transformed through social interaction

Daybreak were recently awarded a £9,809 grant through the Community Capacity fund. They provide social and therapeutic respite days for people living with dementia, helping couples stay together at home, thus delaying or avoiding residential care.  The grant will be used to fund the specialist equipment, staff and training to deliver music, art and movement activities at the Rosewood Club based in Greater Leys, Oxford.

Increased social interaction and cognitive stimulation can slow the degenerating effects of dementia, resulting in a delay of a person needing a care home. “Sally” started attending the Rosewood Club after some reluctance. She was very quiet but her confidence grew day by day, leading to her dancing, making friends and socialising with everyone. The staff at Rosewood say “Sally tells us all everyday how much she loves coming in and that we make her laugh and brighten up her day.” Her daughter says she has seen a change: “Mum can hold almost a full conversation now, whereas before coming she could barely put two words together.”

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We want to support people to live well, within their own communities, for as long as possible. It’s something we call The Oxfordshire Way. Community Capacity grants will enable grassroots organisations to deliver this support at local level, strengthening and developing their vital work and helping to identify areas that may need additional funding.”

OCF donors enable additional funding

In addition to the £325,000 provided by Oxfordshire County Council, OCF were able to leverage extra funding, to the tune of £129,000, thanks to generous donations made through some donor-advised funds held by OCF.  This enabled OCF to reach more charities than initially anticipated, a great example of how statutory organisations and philanthropists can come together for greater impact. 16 further charitable organisations from across Oxfordshire received grant funding to help them support independence in the community and for individuals to feel more connected.

One of those to receive a grant was APCAM (Assisting Parents of Children affected by Mental Health) who received a grant of £4,000. They offer a free at the point of need mental health clinic supporting parents and young people affected by mental health and additional educational needs. Based in Carterton, the grant will enable them to provide more 1 to 1 sessions for children with a clinical psychologist to help meet the overwhelming need for mental health services.

“Harry” started attending weekly 1 to 1 sessions with APCAM after he experienced severe anxiety, social isolation, severe OCD, school refusal and trauma. Following 5 months of weekly sessions they were able to work with his school to reintegrate him back into school and to complete his GCSE’s. Harry now attends school daily and comes to a weekly drop-in session as well as socialising with the friends he has made at the sessions. He is on course to take all of his GCSE’s and plans to go to college. APCAM have helped to ensure Harry has a positive educational and social outlook.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation worked with Oxfordshire County Council to administer and distribute the grants, made available through funding from the county council. Our expertise and understanding of the grassroots charity network in Oxfordshire enables us to reach charities supporting the most vulnerable in areas of need throughout the county. There were two rounds of grant-making (December 2022 and April 2023) resulting in 50 charities receiving funds to benefit an estimated 24,420 individuals throughout the county.

Read a full list of all grants awarded through the Community Capacity Fund.