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OCF has awarded grants, totalling over £58,000 and supporting nearly 32,000 people, as part of a funding round to support COVID-19 response and recovery. These grants, funded from our Community Resilience Fund, aimed to give smaller organisations vital funding as they continue to respond to the pandemic, or enter the recovery phase.

38 grants, between £250 and £2,000 were made, totalling £58,544 and reaching 31,931 beneficiaries throughout Oxfordshire. They looked to support the ongoing needs of vulnerable people to maintain their health and wellbeing, activities that relieve pressure on local statutory services, food insecurity, and community response coordination. Priority was given to applicants who have not previously received funds from us for their COVID-19 response.

A full list of all the groups supported by this round of grants is given below.

One group funded, Abingdon Damascus Youth Project wanted to address those for whom social isolation and loneliness has become even more intense in this pandemic. Young people, supported by qualified and DBS checked youth workers, safely delivered care packs to elderly residents. One elderly resident is quoted as saying: “This is so lovely; I haven’t seen anyone in weeks, and this has made my day”. They are also aware of how the pandemic has worsened the feeling of isolation for their black and ethnic minority families, particularly the loneliness of young people, and intend to facilitate the setting up of a group of mixed ethnicity, including white young people. A 17-year old beneficiary wrote: “Living and growing up in a predominantly white area can affect people from minority ethnic groups psychologically more than other people may think. You are constantly the odd one out and depending on the strength of the support system that you have around you, it is easy to feel lost within your own identity as your mind develops.”

Mindfulness for Parkinson’s is a programme run by Community Based Mindfulness, and when they needed to go online due to lockdown, gained astonishing results. By making it easier for people to attend, they have increased from three face-to-face meetings a month to three online sessions a week. The sessions aim to facilitate participants in recognising their individual needs and, finding the resources in mindfulness, to meet them. They have also eased isolation by creating an amazing, supportive community. One participant summed up the value of the programme: “Generally speaking the Mindfulness sessions helped enormously as these provided much needed social interaction and a purpose to my day. I found the fact that regular sessions were offered gave me back a routine and structure. The sessions themselves calmed me down, lessened my anxiety and brought me serenity. They inevitably helped to re-set my clock. This was so valuable at such a difficult time. I feel I could easily have been overwhelmed without this release valve. Being able to chat with people who were sharing many of my Parkinson’s symptoms and experiences was reassuring and comforting.”

These small grants build on the work of our Community Resilience Fund, set up in April to support charitable organisations at the front line of the community response, where we have already made over £584,000 in grants.

Read our Community Resilience Fund grants report

List of grants made in OCF’s small grants round for COVID-19:
Group funded
Their aim
Amount awarded
Number of beneficiaries
Project funded
2nd Abingdon Scout Group
To actively engage and support young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society.
 £                    1,500
Equipment to allow the return to Face to Face Meetings.
Abingdon Damascus Youth Project
To holistically empower young people to become resilient and positive changemakers on their own doorstep.
 £                    1,723
Support for groups for whom social isolation and loneliness has become even more intense in this pandemic.
Banbury & District Samaritans
Their vision is that fewer people die by suicide, and to make sure there’s someone there for anyone who needs someone.
 £                       260
Keeping their volunteers Covid safe.
Banbury Community Church
A non-denominational Christian church with a focus on serving the local community.
 £                    2,000
The Faithworks Furniture Project collects donated furniture and furnishings, repairs and refurbishes them, before distributing them free-of-charge to individuals and families referred to them.
Banbury Muslim Mosque Society
To provide support and assistance to vulnerable and marginalised individuals, groups and communities.
 £                    1,000
Reaching out to the target audience supported over COVID-19, during autumn and winter months and providing food parcels.
Banburyshire Citizen Project
An independent charity which is part of the Advice UK Federation, providin welfare benefit advice, general advice and career counselling.
 £                       700
Tablets and zoom subscription so they can help clients remotely and the charity can carry out training and meeting remotely.
Bicester Christian Action SHINE Family Learning
Restore family relationships by delivering services that support and empower families to be the best they can be.
 £                    1,552
Delivering a ‘Healthy Families’ family learning parenting programme.
Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground
Provides play and recreation facilities and other leisure time occupation for children resident in and around Oxford.
 £                    2,000
Staffing requirement following COVID to ensure the administration of BLAP maintains a strong relationship with the children they support.
Chalgrove and Watlington First Steps Family Hub
To provide a service for children, and their parents and carers in Chalgrove, Watlington and surrounding areas so they can access support, activities and advice.
 £                       500
One to one support service for new mums and a baby group for new parents to meet and discuss aspects of motherhood, parenting and share ideas.
Cholsey Day Centre Trust
Open three times a week to the elderly, those with mild to moderate impairment issues, and mild to moderate dementia.
 £                    2,000
Continue to delivery and support services to isolated people and those who have clearly suffered emotionally and mentally from lockdown.
Community Based Mindfulness CIC
To facilitate participants in recognising their individual needs, such as anxiety and depression, and finding the resources in mindfulness to meet them.
 £                    2,000
Mindfulness programme for Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
Cornhill Companions
An independent branch of the Royal Voluntary Service, with all services provided by volunteers.
 £                    1,500
Supply of treats to elderly, isolated people.
Cutteslowe Community Association
Provides activities relevant to local needs which foster social inclusion, community cohesion, confidence and resilience.
 £                    1,906
Support Cutteslowe Community Larder, one of several activities undertaken by Cutteslowe Community Association in the Community Centre.
Dementia Active Community interest company
Provides a support service in Oxfordshire for people with dementia and their families.
 £                    1,994
Reopening their five Dementia Active groups
Dovecote Voluntary Parent Committee
To empower and support local families, to develop and co-deliver services meeting crucial community needs,  whist celebrating peoples’ unique abilities, promoting and preserving equality.
 £                    2,000
A ability to delivery half term playschemes; October, December 2020 and February 2021 along with more stay and play sessions.
Fellowship Educational Society
Aims to encourage the social integration of  community members with ethnic origin within the society they live in.
 £                    2,000
Support  over 30  newly arrived  immigrant children, who come from challenging circumstances and are struggling in English language, due to school closures.
Flash of Splendour
Work to empower disabled, marginalised and disadvantaged children and young people through the arts: music, theatre, film, art and creative writing.
 £                    2,000
Enabling  workshop leaders, to have the time, equipment and necessary resources to provide ongoing music, storytelling and song sessions to their  most vulnerable clients.
Food for Charities / Oxford City Council
Food for Charities picks up surplus food from supermarkets and wholesalers and delivers it to charities.
 £                    1,500
A community larder providing food that would otherwise be surplus.
Grandpont Nursery School and Childcare
The South Oxford Family Room, based in the grounds of the school, is a community led organisation, providing stay and play sessions, supporting new mums and a drop-in for parents with children with additional needs.
 £                    2,000
Equipment to enable outdoor provision during autumn & winter and family play sessions in a Covid-safe environment.
Joss Searchlight
A centre point for family cancer support, information and guidance.
 £                    2,000
Psychosocial therapy sessions for children in Oxfordshire for a 3 month period.
Mill Stream Day Centre
To provide relief to elderly and disabled people by providing day care services.
 £                    2,000
Supporting the elderly residents of Benson and the surrounding villages.
To promote re-use of waste materials, for art , creative play and home improvement through education and direct action.
 £                    1,000
Big reorganisation of the contents of the entire shop to make it safe for customers, staff  and volunteers.
Oxford Churches Debt Centre
Provides advice and assistance to those who are struggling with their debts and those who cannot manage within their income.
 £                    2,000
Ongoing running costs and to support increase of clients using their debt help service.
Oxford City Farm
Their vision is of empowered communities learning and working together to produce food locally and live healthy, enriched and sustainable lives.
 £                    1,950
Create more opportunities for family visits and volunteering sessions.
Oxford Community Action
A newly-formed organisation  to promote community development, social inclusion and justice for diverse multi-ethnic BAME communities in Oxford.
 £                    2,000
Relocating to a larger premises, with the Ark-T Centre, to expand their operations, allowing them to reach more families with their surplus food deliveries.
Oxford Mutual Aid
Oxford’s grassroots community support group, set up in response to Covid-19, but have become so much more than a crisis response.
 £                    2,000
Continue to provide their support services including a weekly food parcel and kitchen collective.
Populate Co-operative
Providing creative extracurricular activities to children in residential care, to build supportive, strong and positive connections and raise aspirations.
 £                    1,150
A program of positive extracurricular activities for a group of six looked after young people from 13-15 years old.
Ray Collin’s Charitable Trust
The relief of loneliness and poverty of elderly and vulnerable people, and on the relief and assistance of sick, disabled, injured and needy people in Wantage and surrounding villages.
 £                    2,000
Supporting vulnerable families and individuals experiencing Covid related problems.
South Oxford Adventure Playground (SOAP)
Believe all children have a right to play, regardless of background and/or ability.
 £                    1,431
Offer outdoor play and activities, and an opportunity for social interaction and independence for children, in a low risk setting.
South Oxford Community Association
The Community Centre’s aspiration to is develop services as a local hub, as well as making rooms available for community use and hire.
 £                    1,000
Continue to run a successful Community Centre Café.
Stonehill Community Garden
To build community; reduce environmental impact; improve nutritional health; create opportunity and create purposeful recreation.
 £                    1,300
To continue weekly open sessions, bringing together communities from diverse backgrounds and with varying abilities, to learn about edible horticulture, reconnect with nature, meet new people and increase wellbeing.
Sustainable Kirtlington
To help raise awareness of climate change and to take action on energy-saving actions in the community.
 £                    2,000
Setting up a community shop in Kirtlington.
Sustainable Wantage
A community action group, run by volunteers interested in lifestyles that have a lower impact on the environment and increase their resourcefulness and resilience as a local community.
 £                       700
Continuing a laptop repair and redistribution service.
Syrian Community in Oxfordshire SYRCOX
To support Syrians in Oxfordshire, to settle in, improve their skills and involve them in developing their society by positively presenting themselves.
 £                       700
One to one support to ensure Syrian migrants are able to understand how to use IT and access online courses.
The Maple Tree
To help young families in Wheatley and the surrounding area to have the best start in life together.
 £                    1,428
Continue support by phone and online including singing and story sessions for under 5s and their parents.
The Oxford Baby Bank
Distributes clothing and equipment,  from families who have finished with it , free of charge to families in need.
 £                       250
Meet increased demand  to support referred families.
Turl Street Homeless Action
A student run organisation, aiming to provide support and friendship to people sleeping rough in central Oxford.
 £                       500
Assemble 30 packs of essential hygiene products and gifts for rough sleepers in central Oxford.
Witney Community Fridge
Reducing food waste and helping those who might need a hand by giving away surplus food, working in partnership with local supermarkets and community organisations.
 £                    2,000
To support community fridge food distribution.
West Oxford Community Association CIO
To promote the wellbeing of the inhabitants of West Oxford by providing facilities in the interest of social welfare, recreation, and leisure.
 £                    1,000
Enable two groups, Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous to meet at the centre at minimal charge.