The Didcot Powerhouse Fund, launched at the end of 2021, invites grant applications from charities and organisations providing support to the wider Didcot community. Grants are offered annually and are themed.
The theme for grants changes annually. The theme for 2023 will be ‘Supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing in these Times of Hardship’. The theme for 2022 was ‘Supporting children, young people, and families as we emerge from the pandemic’.
In its first year of grant-giving, a total of £95,000 was awarded to 17 organisations serving the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence, with grants ranging from £400 to £13,000. Find out more about the grants awarded here.
Perceived by many as affluent, the wider Didcot area has pockets of poverty that fall below the Oxfordshire average and, in some cases, place it in the lowest rankings inside the UK.
Charities on the ground are already working hard on a levelling up agenda, but there are neighbourhoods in wider Didcot and surrounding villages where additional support is urgently needed if the area is to become a more inclusive and sustainable community. The Didcot Powerhouse Fund aims to accelerate this by streamlining corporate and community giving more effectively.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund invites grant applications from charities and organisations providing support to the wider Didcot community, particularly those that are working closely with other charities and agencies. At least 90% of beneficiaries of any grant from the Fund must live inside the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence, within the outer blue line on the map.
Grant funding will offer sustenance to charities and organisations that know the area well, enabling them to help people help themselves, plus give them access to services they and their family need to thrive.
- Size of group’s income (£5,000 – £750,000); where a number of organisations are making a joint bid, the size criterion applies to the total group income
- Status: charity / community interest company / community group that has at least three trustees or committee members who are not related to each other
- Previous grant recipients may apply provided the new project meets the current year theme; performance against previous KPIs will be taken into account in assessing applications
- The group should have a bank account in its own name with at least two unrelated signatories, open for three months or more, and audited accounts available for the most recent financial year (if not yet available, submit management accounts or income/expenditure document)
- Priority will be given to those organisations based within the grant area
- Encouragement is given for organisations to work together to make joint applications for a joint project
- Not an individual
- Minimum one year of operation: if constituted for less than one year but have been active for longer please demonstrate activity; where a number of organisations are making a joint bid at least one organisation to have a minimum one year of operation, but not all
- Applications from individuals, for profit companies, public bodies or statutory organisations (including parish/town councils) are not eligible
- Reserves: minimum of one month of running costs or explain why this is not possible; explain why if reserves are more than 12 months
- Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for
- Applicants should be open to people of all religions and political affiliations, and must not proselytise
Small grants of up to £500 may be available for organisations and/or projects outside these criteria at the discretion of the Grants Panel.
- At least 90% of the beneficiaries of the project must live in The Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence (see map above)
- The project must be aligned to the annual grant theme
- The application should be for:
- the creation, or extension of a project, or programme of events in line with the annual theme where impact can be demonstrated
- The beneficiaries must be people (not one individual or animals)
Those bids invited to the final Grants Panel will be asked for an itemised, costed project budget indicating how the grant will be used, and details of where other funds have been secured (where appropriate) must be provided.
The project can run into a second year. In this case the grant will be released in two tranches. The second tranche of funding will be released when the first stage is complete and the monitoring report received.
More information can be found on The Didcot Powerhouse Fund FAQs. Please also read the general eligibility criteria at the bottom of this page, which give an overview of the criteria for all OCF grants programmes.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is aware that applying for grants can be a time-consuming process for organisations, and potentially frustrating when no grant is then available. So the process of grant application is in two stages:
In stage 1 organisations are invited to complete a short online form that is their Expression of Interest. These are reviewed by the Grants Panel. A small number of Expressions of Interest will then be invited to complete a full bid application and present to the Grants Panel in stage 2, the final round. In this way we hope to reduce time spent on unsuccessful applications.
STAGE 1 Initial Expression of Interest:
- Organisation details
- Amount requested
- A brief outline of how the grant will be used
- Area – geography
- Timing – at least the first stage of the project must complete by the end of the year of application, in order for impact monitoring and reporting to donors to take place in the same financial year.
An online workshop for applicants to explain the process; how to complete the form; what monitoring is required and how to measure it will be set up for the new grants round. This can also provide applicants with information that will support them in making bids to other organisations as well.
Those organisations invited to progress to the final round will be asked to provide:
- More detailed information about the project
- How they are going to measure success
- Timing of payments (how many tranches and when)
OCF will also run a workshop for successful applicants to assist with monitoring reporting, for an annual impact report. For applications for awards under £5,000, the Grants Panel may consider making an award without requiring a final round application.
Timings for the 2023 grants round will be published here once confirmed.