EventsNewsOCFScreenshot of a Zoom webinar

Following positive and constructive feedback from our survey, OCF’s webinars series will continue over the coming months, taking a deep dive into issues affecting our communities in the fall-out of COVID-19. We will talk to subject-matter experts, charities on the frontline and funders about how we can bring people together to tackle isolation, homelessness, educational disadvantage and digital exclusion, whilst facing up to the economic fallout of the crisis.

We are very grateful to everyone who completed our survey giving feedback on our webinars so far, which have been running since the start of lockdown and featured case studies from charities supported through OCF’s emergency coronavirus funding, as well as practical sessions with experts in relevant topics. Recordings of all previous webinars can be found here, along with shorter clips of each of the speakers.

Feedback from the survey was that 72% gave the past webinars 4 or 5 out of 5, and 62% would attend a future webinar, with 36% unsure (perhaps waiting to see the schedule and format!). Top subjects of interest were charitable funding, mental health, loneliness and isolation and the economic impact of COVID-19, with interest shown in a range of other topics. We have therefore planned a series of monthly webinars themed around these hot topics, with less focus on specific places, and more input from subject-matter experts such as academics, thought leaders and people with lived experience. We will also try to bring a funder perspective into each webinar, along with sessions dedicated to different types of funding available (starting with the Step Change Fund early next year).

Alongside a greater variety of speakers, the new sessions will continue to include data on the issues from our needs analysis tool Local Insight, and will build in more time for Q&A and networking between attendees. The sessions and interviews will be chaired by our Interim CEO Adrian Sell, with High Sheriff Amanda Ponsonby contributing to the discussion section on an occasional basis. The webinars are aimed at both charitable organisations delivering work on the ground, as well as donors, funding bodies, businesses and other stakeholders with an interest in improving people’s lives in Oxfordshire.

The full schedule until the end of the year is as follows (all webinars are from 2-3pm):

16th September

Reducing isolation through physical activity

At a time when we have all been distancing from one another, the fallout from COVID-19 on our wellbeing has been palpable. This is even more so for those who were already at risk of loneliness and isolation. This webinar will focus on how sport and physical activity can change mindsets and bring people closer together again.

13th October (date change)

Tackling homelessness: a unique opportunity

During the COVID-19 lockdown, all rough sleepers in Oxford and beyond were brought in from the streets and accommodated in hotels and hostels, seemingly ending rough sleeping overnight. Long-term solutions now need to be found, and with an economic crisis looming, there is a danger that yet more people will experience the trauma of becoming homeless. This webinar will focus on lessons learnt from recent events and how Oxfordshire Homeless Movement is creating opportunities from the crisis.

11th November

Closing the attainment gap: the importance of reading

With Oxfordshire already facing a larger attainment gap at age 16 than the rest of England, what will the impact of lockdown be? Following the return to school at the start of term, this webinar will focus on how reading has the potential to close this gap. How is the local charitable sector complementing the work of schools, and how can we prevent children from the most disadvantaged families from becoming a lost generation?

16th December

Facing the economic impact of COVID-19

Charities are bracing themselves in anticipation of a socio-economic crisis in the fallout from COVID-19, with unemployment increasing by 160% across the county since March. With the impact of the reduction of the furlough scheme expected to worsen the picture, how can charities support a potentially increasing number of people in need through the next phase of the pandemic, when some of them are struggling to survive?

Slated for 2021 are webinars on reaching under-represented groups, funding charity infrastructure and bridging the digital divide.

We will now be asking attendees to sign up to our webinars in advance on EventBrite. We will share registration links and details of the speakers for each webinar when confirmed on our events page. You can also sign up to receive invitations by email here.