Images of support over the pandemic
COMF small grants

Voluntary and community organisations delivered emotional and practical support during the pandemic. This allowed the most vulnerable to maintain their health and wellbeing during self-isolation and reduce onward infection rates. To enable these organisations to continue to deliver vital services that support communities and residents, grants are being awarded from Oxfordshire County Council’s COMF (Contain Outbreak Management Fund). 

Amounts available: £500 - £1,500. (Note larger grants of £1,501 to £10,000 are available in a separate, more comprehensive application form. PLEASE COMPLETE ONE APPLICATION ONLY.)

Group annual income: Under £1,000,000

Type of cost: Ongoing running, revenue, and capital costs

Closing date: Thursday 16th June at midday

Continuing vital services and sustainability of the sector

As well as continuing to deliver vital services to support communities and residents, this funding also aims to provide sustainability for the Voluntary and Community Sector post-pandemic, to enable communities to recover and renew.

  • Increase the number of organisations who can receive funding, to continue enabling people to remain self-isolated as required, advised or preferred. Focus on supporting organisations who have the mechanisms to provide wraparound support in communities so that they can expand it and be in a position to deliver in the winter, should we see a significant spike again.
  • Minimise the risk of people leaving their house when required to self-isolate
  • Support people self-isolating to remain connected and supported at home
  • Minimise the impact on physical and mental well-being of periods of self-isolation
  • Increase individual and community resilience to the direct impact of COVID-19 and the secondary impacts of self-isolation, thereby increasing compliance with guidance and requirements for testing and isolation and reducing the likelihood and impact of infection
  • Support long term sustainability of the VCS across organisations and enable organisations to continue to deliver vital services in line with the county council’s COVID Renewal and Recovery Strategy.
Types of activity

Examples of activities covered by contain outbreak funding include:

  • Community transport: volunteer driver schemes – to support residents in attending important appointments such as accessing vaccinations and key health appointments
  • Provision of food and essential packages – through food banks, community larders, community fridges, meals on wheels and personal food shoppers
  • Befriending schemes – providing phone calls to residents unable to leave the house and signposting to key services
  • Digital inclusion projects with hard-to-reach groups and individuals to support people to live well at home
  • Community Support Groups – providing localised support to residents to reduce their need to leave the house, such as dog-walking, prescription collection, food and essential supplies collection and delivery. Linking in with social prescribing projects across the county
  • Supporting and developing innovative schemes and projects, joining up grassroots organisations to create sustainability and improve access to services and support across the county
  • Reaching sections of the community at high risk, such as areas of economic deprivation
  • Reaching black and minority ethnic groups and communities of culture, not just place; advisory groups for underrepresented communities and supporting them to have vaccinations, for example
  • Recovery and renewal post-covid: groups that are helping to rebuild communities, such as groups providing support for mums and babies who didn’t get the same support during COVID
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
  • The beneficiaries must be people (not an individual), rather than animals and the environment more generally.
  • We will fund ongoing running costs, one-off events or a programme of events.
  • We will fund revenue costs (e.g. volunteer costs, PPE costs) and capital costs (e.g. IT hardware), but you must explain why the expenditure is required for your project.
  • Permission is required for the sale of grant-funded capital items within three years of their purchase.
  • Grants are not available for direct cash payments to members of the community.
  • The number of people participating will be considered and proportional funding assigned as appropriate.
  • The project must be completed within 12 months of application.
  • Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for.
  • The project budget must be itemised and well costed, indicating where other funds have been secured.
Which application should you complete?

Please start by reading the general eligibility criteria at the bottom of this page, which give an overview of the criteria for all our grants programmes. You can then choose to apply for either:

  • A small grant of £500-£1,500, which has a simpler application form, OR
  • A large grant of £1,501-£10,000, which has a more comprehensive application form. Switch to the larger grants application page here

The online application form will require you to supply specified documentation showing evidence of good governance, as well as an appropriate referee. Your organisation needs to have minimum one year of operation; if you have been constituted for less than one year but have been active for longer, please demonstrate this activity. Reserves are expected to be a minimum of three months running costs, and if they are more than 12 months, it would be helpful to explain why.

Your application will be reviewed by the OCF Community Impact Team and designated independent assessors, before a Grants Panel Meeting with representatives from Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council in mid July 2022. Successful grants will be paid within four to six weeks of notification of success.

Grants need to be spent by 30th March 2023 and your project and grant monitoring must be completed within 12 months of application.

Application workshop

You are invited to attend an online application workshop to support you in completing the best application, on Tuesday 24th May at 2.00pm. The workshop will take place on Zoom.

Register for this workshop here

Advisory one to one

Applicants must have a one-to-one conversation with one of the following partner organisations before submitting their application. This will ensure your application meets the criteria, and help you describe the benefits of your project.

Community First Oxfordshire

Get in touch with Emily Lewis-Edwards at Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) if you want to talk through any project application in or around themes such as: community transport and Good Neighbour Schemes, community halls and buildings/spaces, community shops, environmental and climate actions, community planning and/or actions bringing the community together, community engagement, housing or transport needs and finally community-led housing. If you aren’t sure whether you fit into any of these themes then don’t worry – get in touch with Emily anyway.

Email: info@communityfirstoxon.org or call 01865 883488.

Good Food Oxfordshire

Good Food Oxfordshire can help organisations looking to apply for funding to provide food-related support to local residents and communities.

The types of applications would include (but not limited to):

  • increasing your capacity to provide food deliveries for people who need to isolate or COVID-safe collection options
  • improving your service to operate in a COVID-safe way
  • supporting people who use your service with advice, signposting, cooking support and connection
  • helping communities who have suffered during COVID to reconnect around food in COVID-safe ways, avoiding the risk of unsafe gatherings

Email: mail@gfo.org.uk

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA)

OCVA provides support, training and advice to all sizes and shapes of community groups, charities and non-profit organisations across Oxfordshire. We are available to talk through project ideas and can work alongside you to help you build your funding case.

Email: john.hayes@ocva.org.uk

Dates and timings

Early applications are always appreciated.

Opening date Closing date (midday)
Thursday 12th May 2022 Thursday 16th June 2022


Before you start your application, please read the full eligibility criteria. 

Applicants must have a one to one conversation with Community First Oxfordshire, Good Food Oxfordshire or OCVA BEFORE submitting their application for COMF small grants.

General Eligibility Criteria

QUICK LINKS
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