FinancialGroupsNewsOCFSome of the recipients of the loneliness and isolation grants

OCF awarded grants, totalling over £76,500 and supporting over 26,000 people, as part of a funding round aimed at combating loneliness and isolation in Oxfordshire. In OCF’s research report Oxfordshire Uncovered, OCF had shown that the county has some key demographics making it vulnerable to this social problem. The report also highlighted that loneliness is not just a problem felt by the elderly. 

OCF created a new Needs Analysis report specifically on Loneliness and Isolation that identified the issues in more depth and grant applicants were encouraged to use it to ensure their projects were meeting local needs. This grants round, therefore, was looking to support a wider range of people than the elderly and the report included information on other vulnerable minorities – such as disabled people, ethnic minorities and the younger population. We also signposted applicants to the results of the BBC’s Loneliness Experiment, the largest survey on loneliness in the world. This showed that 40% of 16 to 24-year olds often or very often feel lonely, compared with 27% of over 75s. The BBC survey also supported our findings, that those who feel discriminated against are more likely to feel lonely, including people who feel discriminated against because of their ethnicity, sexuality or disability.

17 grants, between £1,500 and £10,000 were made, totalling £76,507 and reaching 26,333 beneficiaries throughout Oxfordshire. OCF’s funding mostly covers core costs for proven activity by trusted charity partners – allowing them to ensure the continuation or growth of their projects. For example, by supporting project or specialist workers to reach isolated groups. A full list of all the groups supported by this round of grants is given below.

One group funded, OYAP said: “Our work with our local schools shows there is a need for young people to have more meaningful engagement with their communities, especially to address their own mental health needs”. Their grant will pay for a highly skilled facilitator of inter-generational arts projects who will undertake outreach to schools, youth groups and older people, and bring them together for group activities. The grant will also cover visiting practitioners, such as radio producers or graffiti artists to help bring to life their plans and engage the groups.

OCF has now launched a new grants round called the Community Friendship Fund. This fund is open until the end of July and aims to bring people from different backgrounds together to build long lasting community friendships.

If the stories of the groups supported here inspire you to help too then please consider contributing to our new fund. We are always over subscribed and would like to be able to invest more. Every donation makes a difference as we are in a unique position to pool resources and direct them into the geographic and demographic areas of most need locally. Find out how to donate now



List of grants made in OCF’s Loneliness and Isolation round of Delivering Impact funding
Group funded
Their aim
Amount awarded
Number of beneficiaries
Primary beneficiary
Area of Focus
Project funded
Berinsfield Information And Volunteer Centre
We act as an information hub for the village and offer support and advice for the community.
Local residents
Car transport scheme and volunteers to help people in this isolated village attend appointments and social events.
Body Politic – a hip hop theatre company
We improve self-confidence and self-esteem through dance.
Children and young people
Blackbird Leys, Rose Hill and Barton
Help secure the long term future of this project and in particular fund another year of weekly dance sessions for 11 to 16 year olds in Blackbird Leys,  expand to Wood Farm, and offer taster sessions in local secondary schools.
Oxfordshire charity which promotes a love of reading.
Older people
Wantage, Didcot, Abingdon and Bicester
Support for existing and new TeaBooks groups. Plus increase access to e-books and e-audio books for the visually impaired, expand the social activities, and signpost to other local activities and services.
Cutteslowe Community Association
Improving the conditions of life for local people.
Local residents
Provide a social cafe club for the over 50’s experiencing social isolation and work with the very elderly and those needing a more structured approach to organised activities. Transport will be provided as required.
Provides social and therapeutic respite days for people living with dementia.
Older people
Greater Leys, Kidlington and North Oxford
Support the three Daybreak Dementia Day Clubs to give a person with dementia a day of companionship and enjoyment including music therapy and inter-generational activities with local preschoolers.
One of the most nationally respected charities for the support of families affected by addiction.
People with mental health issues
Continue the delivery of weekly support group sessions plus fortnightly wellbeing sessions and costs of volunteer group facilitators.
Leys CDI
The Clockhouse Project offers low cost or free drop in activities to over-50s in the area.
Older people
Blackbird and Greater Leys Oxford
Provide a Development Worker to run and encourage participation in The Clockhouse – a welcoming space owned by local over-50s. Plus to provide transport for disabled users thorugh more volunteer drivers.
OYAP Trust
Inspiration, motivation and accreditation for the next generation of young artists.
Local residents
Bicester and across the county
To run inter-generational arts projects, outreach work into schools, youth groups and older people’s settings, bringing them together regularly in our town centre venue.
Root and Branch
Provides activities that promote recovery for people who experience mental health difficulties
People with mental health issues
Faringdon and surrounding area
To offer additional courses and classes with local specialist tutors in a range of subjects – from metal work and jewellery making to meditation and GCSE maths! The activities utilise the well-equipped facilities, as well as a use of a town centre location.
Sound Resource
Runs fun, inclusive, participatory singing sessions with adults in Oxfordshire.
Older people
Banbury and surrounding areas
A singing initiative in partnership with the local community, including radio, GP practices, the district council and various charities, with the aim of setting up inter-generational activities.
Tandem in Oxfordshire
Provides one-to-one befriending outside of the home to people who have been through a period of mental ill-health.
People with mental health issues
In order to ensure continuity and stability to the service, a dedicated co-ordinator will be appointed who can take time to build up relationships with both service users and volunteers.
The Mill Arts Centre Trust
To inspire creativity and enrich the lives of our communities by providing a high quality, varied artistic, education and participatory programme.
Older people
Banbury and surrounding areas
Developing and and running audience engagement projects, identifying new partnerships and groups to work with in order to extend our reach into those sections of the community that might otherwise not be culturally engaged.
TOAD Oxfordshire Limited
Community group for local people with learning difficulties.
People with learning difficulties
Witney and Carterton
Offer more socials and day trips or activities to local people at a reduced cost or for free.
VIBNO (Visually Impaired But Not Old)
A group for the 18 – 50s in Oxfordshire to meet socially and have fun.
People with physical difficulties
To enhance social event opportunities with tailor made accessible tours for the visually impaired and their families or carers.
West Oxfordshire Community Transport
We aim to work with our community to deliver sustainable public transport services.
Older people
Witney and Chipping Norton
To upgrade ticketing equipment to ensure that every pass is accounted for and offer contactless payments. Also allows simplified reporting of payments.
Yellow Submarine
We believe people with learning disabilities & autism deserve to live life to the full.
People with learning difficulties
Across Oxfordshire – Cafés in Witney and Oxford
To fund the Oxford Launchpad project – weekly evening term time sessions and additional days of social activity. Use volunteers to recruit new members..
Young Dementia UK
A charity that exists for one reason – to help people whose lives are affected by young onset dementia
Cassington and across Oxfordshire
To set up a monthly Supper Club – a themed evening event with food and entertainment.