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Living Essentials Fund

Our Living Essentials Fund makes grants to grassroots charitable organisations working to help the most disadvantaged in our county cope with the continued high cost of living. We remain dedicated to raising awareness and funds around this issue into 2024. Could you or your business join us in stepping up to this challenge?

Our recently published research Oxfordshire Uncovered reveals concerning issues affecting local communities, including unaffordable essentials such as housing, food and energy. To reflect this, we have decided to refresh the name of our Cost of Living Fund to be called the Living Essentials Fund as we move forward.

This lack of affordability of essentials is still affecting many communities locally. Despite a new price cap from April 2024, energy bills still remain 49% higher than in 2020/21. Those on the lowest incomes are struggling with a burden of debt, and continue to be unable to pay for basic standard of living costs such as food or heating. Persistent debt and poverty also have a knock-on effect on other issues, such as wellbeing and education.

Our most recent donor report on our cost-of-living grants offers some hope for communities in Oxfordshire, showcasing the absolutely vital work of our dynamic and resourceful local charitable sector.

Crucially, Oxfordshire has a precious network of grassroots organisations that are doing essential work to help people stay afloat. However, these organisations are still experiencing huge demand for their services, alongside high costs, which they cannot pass onto the people they help.

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What is needed to tackle the ongoing cost-of-living crisis?

OCF is committed to giving ongoing support to grassroots charitable organisations over the coming year, helping them to build their long-term resilience. These charities will continue to provide practical support to enable individuals to survive in the short term, alongside robust support structures and preventative solutions for them to thrive in the long term.

We have raised nearly £600k so far from the general public, our generous donors and other funding partners; and we have delivered two rounds of grant funding totalling nearly £560k.

Our Living Essentials Fund helps build resilience in communities, funding proactive preventative measures as well as frontline services. Grants have gone towards food and supplies, warm spaces, homeless support, sexual abuse support, family support hubs, mental health groups, education, enrichment activities, and many other services that people are relying on.

We would now like to raise at least a further £70k to support the next round of grant funding. The grants round will open in autumn 2024.

How you can donate
  • The best way to donate to our Living Essentials 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. Please contact the team on 01865 798 666 or and we will share our bank details.
  • 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 “Living Essentials Fund” on the reverse, and post it to us at 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD.

A 25% uplift is also added to your donation via Gift Aid wherever possible. 

Thank you so much for supporting us in this appeal.

Key stats

  • Rental prices in the county are 50% higher than the national average, and 8% of households are living with fuel poverty (Oxfordshire Uncovered).
  • The same goods and services costing £10,000 in 2021 now cost £11,856 in February 2024.
  • In Oxford, one in six children live in poverty, one in nine across Oxfordshire.
  • On any one night in Oxfordshire during 2022, it is estimated that there were over 400 homeless people across the county, including 160 children.
  • 73% of charities can’t meet current demand for the services they deliver, putting many of them at crisis point.
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OCF’s latest donor report reveals nearly £560k awarded in cost-of-living grants

Since December 2022, OCF has awarded nearly £560k in cost-of-living grants to 77 charitable organisations, reaching almost 50,000 direct beneficiaries across the county.