We will launch a grants round in the autumn/winter to alleviate the cost of living crisis across the county. We are working with local charities and community organisations to help us direct funding where it is most needed.
The cost-of-living crisis is impacting those who were already struggling the hardest. Although Oxfordshire is relatively affluent on average, our county still has a large number of households living at or near the poverty line. Following our webinar on this topic in May, bringing in subject-matter experts as well as the views of two charitable organisations, we know that the local charitable sector is seeing an increase in demand.
We want to work with local charitable organisations to ensure our funding has impact. The evidence from this consultation will also help us raise more money from our donor community, to contribute to this round of funding. How could a grant from OCF enable charitable organisations to help communities most at need from the rise in the cost of living? What type of costs or activities do charitable organisations need us to fund? How can our funding make the biggest difference?
To help answer these questions, we are running both a survey and an online workshop to consult with the local delivery organisations working directly in our communities. These are both now closed, but we will publish a report drawing conclusions about what our funding priorities should be in the next week. We will then use this feedback to finalise the eligibility criteria for the cost of living grants round, which open at the end of September.
In addition, we will shortly be launching a fundraising appeal for our Cost of Living Fund. We will be asking for support from local funders and philanthropists, and from anyone who can afford to donate their energy rebate to tackle the urgent needs arising from this crisis.