Cost of Living Fund

Our Cost of Living Fund will make grants to charitable organisations working to help the most disadvantaged in our county cope with this unprecedented crisis. We know what is needed and we’re poised to help. Could you or your business join us in stepping up to this challenge?

The cost of living is affecting the poorest families the most, as well as driving more people than ever into poverty – forcing them to deal with crisis after crisis in the wake of the pandemic.

It can be difficult to know what to do to help, but we believe it is time for all of us to step up to the challenge. This is why OCF is partnering with Oxfordshire County Council to establish a Cost of Living Fund, which will direct financial support to local charitable organisations delivering vital services at the front line. We now urge other funders, businesses and the general public to join with us by donating their share to the fund.

Our Cost of Living Fund will build on our long grant-making experience and critical response during the pandemic.

Donate to the Cost of Living fund
What is needed to tackle the cost-of-living crisis?

We have consulted our capable local charitable sector about what exactly they need, and have used their feedback to design a round of grant funding opening in September 2022. This means the grants will directly target the issues we know are most pressing in a local context.

The report concludes that:

  • Cost of living issues are increasing, multiple and inter-related – crisis support funding is vital to meet the demand for essentials such as food, heating, clothing, together with practical support and guidance, via super local community hubs. This demand is far beyond what they saw during the pandemic. There is a genuine fear from the community as to how they will cope.
  • More complex issues and preventative solutions will take longer to resolve, and local charitable organisations have the experience to support their communities but not necessarily the right ‘toolbox’.
  • Charities need investment in their running costs to continue their vital work, at a time when they need to offer heavily discounted or free services, and their own costs are rising.

Read the consultation report

How you can donate
  • The best way to donate to our Cost of Living Fund is online via our Enthuse donation platform. Enthuse gathers Gift Aid for us and makes the process easy for you. Donate online now
  • Payment by bank transfer can be made using the bank details shown here.
  • Don’t forget to complete a Gift Aid form to really boost the value of your donation.
  • If you would prefer to donate by CAF or cheque, please make it payable to “Oxfordshire Community Foundation”, write “Cost of Living Fund” on the reverse, and post it to us at 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD. Note that the postal strikes may delay our receipt of any cheques posted to us, so please do consider an online payment if you can.

Your generosity also helps us do our job. 8% of your donation is used to allow OCF to design and administer grants that truly meet the needs of the sector. The rest of your gift will go directly to grassroots community organisations delivering their vital work. A 25% uplift is also added to your donation via Gift Aid wherever possible. 

Key stats

  • In Oxfordshire in 2020-21, the existing rate of child poverty was 11.2% of children, and was highest in Oxford City (14.3%) and Cherwell (13.1%). 81% of children in poverty in Oxfordshire were in working families.
  • Recent ONS analysis of the 30 lowest price food products in seven supermarkets showed increases in the year to April 2022 for 24 out of 30 items, with low-price pasta increasing by 50% in the year.
  • The new Energy Price Guarantee limits the average household energy bill to £2,500 a year, but this is a 55% increase from as recently as 2019, when the energy price cap was £1,137.
  • During September, the Bank of England announced a rise in the base rate of interest to 2.25% with immediate and long-term impacts for those with the least, such people in debt and renters. The Bank also predicted a recession lasting until the end of 2023, with a potential 50% increase in unemployment by early 2025. Overall, the Bank of England predicts a 5% drop in living standards.
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OCF gives £286k boost to charities tackling the cost-of-living crisis

In December 2022 The Cost of Living Fund awarded its first set of grants, totalling £286,165 to 43 local organisations, supporting charitable organisations working to help the most disadvantaged in our county cope with this unprecedented crisis.