GroupsImpactNewsOCFHealthy hearts grants recipients

Oxfordshire Community Foundation is delighted to have awarded grants worth more than £135,000 to support healthy hearts. The funding was made available from Oxfordshire County Council Public Health and allows local organisations to improve or maintain cardiovascular health, by raising awareness, increasing knowledge of the issues, and promoting positive behaviour, such as increased physical activity and reduced smoking. 

This is a huge opportunity to make a difference in improving heart health, as the majority of heart disease cases are preventable. Cardiovascular disease causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the leading cause of premature deaths in vulnerable people, such as those experiencing homelessness, with mental health conditions or who live in deprived areas. In these areas smoking rates are between three and eight times higher than average.

Heart disease is one of the conditions most strongly associated with health inequalities. Those in the most deprived communities are 30% more likely to have high blood pressure, the biggest single known risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Nine organisations were awarded a total of £135,018, and aim to reach over 1,600 beneficiaries through their projects. See the full list of grants awarded below. One organisation, Style Acre enhances the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism. They highlight that people with a learning disability have worse health than people without a learning disability and are more likely to experience a number of health conditions (MENCAP). The beneficiaries of this project often need support to access health services, information, and suitable physical activity sessions. This project will create opportunities for vulnerable adults to receive heart health information in accessible and enjoyable formats, and people will be supported to make healthy choices about physical activity and adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

Aspire will use their healthy hearts grant to sustain and develop their variety of fitness classes and wellbeing sessions. To date, both have proved vital for people facing mental health difficulties, isolation and a lack of positive relationships and support in their lives to meet like-minded people and develop new relationships, with opportunities to access further support from Aspire as needed. Over the years, Aspire has found that many people thoroughly enjoy the physical activity, but equally important is the connection to others, strengthened by session topics covering wellbeing, nutrition and goals. Aspire’s ‘social prescription’ approach to wellbeing supports individuals facing mental health difficulties, mental distress, physical inactivity, social isolation and reliance on medical services to branch out, try new activities, meet new people and find healthier ways to work through the challenges they face. They do this alongside people who have direct experience of what they are going through – from the participants enjoying sports and activities alongside them, to the activity leaders.

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List of grants made in OCF’s Healthy Hearts grants round:
Project Name
Primary Beneficiary
Number Of Beneficiaries
Amount Awarded
Style Acre
Ways to Wellness : Inspire Banbury
People living with a long-term health or life-limiting condition
 £                       7,294.00
Sunrise Multicultural Project
Sunrise Healthy drop-in
People from a particular minority ethnic or racial origin
 £                     13,193.00
Oxford United in the Community (OUitC)
Men and/or boys
 £                     33,161.00
Banbury Rugby Football Club Ltd
Banbury Heath & Wellbeing
People living with a long-term health or life-limiting condition
 £                       9,220.00
The Porch
Healthy Steps Project
People experiencing homelessness
 £                       9,516.00
Focusing on health for homeless people
People experiencing homelessness
 £                     11,795.00
Aspire Active Projects
People living in poverty/disadvantage
 £                     20,620.00
Oxford City Farm
Grow your way to a healthy heart
People living in poverty/disadvantage
 £                     23,919.00
Root and Branch
Healthy hearts and minds
People living with a long-term health or life-limiting condition
 £                       6,300.00