Throughout the pandemic, OCF’s priority has been to act swiftly yet responsibly to ensure the support, sustainability and development of Oxfordshire’s community infrastructure.
In March 2020, we established the Community Resilience Fund, a dedicated fund to support the community sector during the pandemic, thanks in large part to a strong base of generous donations from the National Emergencies Trust and the Indigo Trust, as well as from many of our regular supporters.
- Respond better: OCF responded rapidly to distribute emergency grants to charities at the frontline of the crisis, and supported many organisations with their core costs to avoid them having to close. We gave out over £619,000 in total for the ‘respond better’ phase. This video demonstrates the pace and effectiveness of this phase.
- Recover stronger: OCF understood that the pandemic would have far-reaching effects beyond immediate emergency relief, and so earmarked a portion of the funds raised for further ‘recover stronger’ grants, which nurtured a sustainable community response to associated issues such as homelessness and loneliness. So far we have given out over £392,000 for recovery, bringing our total COVID-19 grant-making to over £1 million.
More information about the impact of this funding can be found in our Journal of a Pandemic Year report.
In November 2021 we asked our network of charity contacts how they adapted during the pandemic, what new ways of working have enhanced their services, and what they now need to sustain these improvements. We received 70 responses, and this report summarises what they told us.
The report concludes that charities need investment in their resilience – to be equipped to keep on tackling these challenges, as well as reap the benefits of more efficient working they saw during the pandemic. We are therefore still seeking donations to our Community Resilience Fund so that we can continue to support Oxfordshire’s vital charitable sector.
Every month OCF hosts a webinar that brings together donors, partners, charities and community groups and looks at hot topics affecting communities in the context of COVID-19. This includes presentations from subject-matter experts, a view from a community group, and the perspective of other supporters or funders.
More details of the schedule, links to recordings of past webinars and information about how to register can be found here.