NewsOCFYellow Submarine staff and participants with their OCVA Charity of the Year award

The prestigious event at Oxford’s Town Hall gave well deserved recognition for many individual volunteers and hard-working groups who are the lifeblood of Oxfordshire’s communities – and many of whom have received funding from OCF.

There was a great atmosphere at the OCVA Charity Awards (Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action) on Wednesday 4th February, as 60 volunteers and 30 charities doing fantastic things in the county were honoured for their work. The awards celebrated the organisations and volunteers who dedicate their free time to making people’s lives better, and an inspiring number of different causes were represented amongst the 26 shortlisted groups. Several groups that have received OCF grants won awards, including gamers’ disability charity SpecialEffect, who have received nearly £9,000 from OCF, Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, who have had grants of over £14,000, and the Oxford Food Bank, recipients of over £7,000 of OCF funding.

The individual volunteer awards were presented by Tony Stratton, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, and the groups received their accolades from Tim Stevenson, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and President of Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Each award was sponsored by a local business, including Hunts Paper and Pixels, who have also supported OCF.

The evening culminated in the announcement of the Charity of the Year Award, won by Yellow Submarine, who have made the headlines during the past year with their innovative social enterprise cafe in central Oxford. OCF has been instrumental in Yellow Submarine’s success, awarding six separate grants to the group since it began. Toby Staveley, founder and director at Yellow Submarine, said “It’s been something of a rollercoaster! I’m proud to say our first ever grant (vote of confidence) came from OCF and the Grassroots Fund, less than five years ago, on the 14th July 2010!”.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!