We have set up the fund to help the voluntary sector in the county respond better and recover stronger from the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
OCF is now seeking applications from organisations for:
Respond Better – immediate relief
Based on our understanding of needs today*, the priority areas where help is needed are:
– Food distribution
– Advice and support for the most vulnerable in our communities:
- The elderly
- The homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless
- At risk children
- Those with medical conditions for whom the virus poses additional risks or undermines their ability to meet their daily living needs
- Those who have lost their income and don’t qualify or must wait for government financial support.
*Needs will evolve as the crisis develops. For instance, the experience of other countries suggests we can expect to see increases in domestic abuse and mental health problems.
We expect to work closely with larger organisations who can help us understand needs, deliver at scale and deliver solutions that may involve more than one organisation. Cooperative structures like the Oxford Homeless Movement have a key role to play to help share understanding, resources and develop solutions. Smaller organisations also have a role to play, in particular where they have a close knowledge of a local area or need.
Recover Stronger – resilience of the voluntary sector
Identify organisations large and small, in the Oxfordshire voluntary sector whose existence is threatened by the crisis – for instance, due loss of income. With bridging support, we want to help them survive short-term cash flow problems or other unforeseen consequences of the Coronavirus. To do this we will:
- Bring together resources: people, expertise and financial, to provide advice, mentoring support, short term financing for essential core expenditure and other actions to maintain viability of the organisation.
- Work in close collaboration with Oxfordshire voluntary sector umbrella organisations, such as Oxfordshire Community Voluntary Action (OCVA), Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) and Oxfordshire All In, to identify, liaise with and assess support.
Please read the general eligibility criteria at the bottom of this page, which gives an overview of the criteria for this grants programme. You need to complete a short online application form.
Your application will be assessed by our office-based grants team. Successful grants will be paid within one week of notification.
A note about reserves
We would encourage charities to reflect on how they might use some of their reserves to respond to this crisis. The Charity Commission has made it clear that this is an acceptable use of reserves, and indeed emergencies relating to your organisation and your beneficiaries are just the sort of thing that reserves should be for. This may mean that reserves have to be diverted from expenses you have earmarked them for. In general, OCF expects charities to be keeping enough reserves to be legally solvent, but if there is a reason for keeping more than three months’ reserves, please do discuss this with us so that we can keep building our understanding.