Our annual impact report argues that COVID-19 is creating a whole new world – and we must make sure it is one that we want to live in. This is why our work on the priorities identified long before the pandemic has never been more needed.
Every autumn we share the impact we were able to have with the support of our donors during the previous financial year. But 2020 is a year like no other, and we cannot report back to you on the year to March 2020 without also looking at the impact of this pandemic, which has had such a huge impact on the most recent nine months.
March 2020 brought a feeling that all of our previous priorities had to be put on hold, including plans to celebrate our 25th birthday this year, and a new way of working embraced. We quickly set to work on an emergency crisis response, which we dubbed “respond better” – with a focus on fast, flexible support for the local community via the charity and voluntary sector.
However, as this year goes on, we are realising that we had our priorities right all along. Some of those most affected by this crisis are people experiencing homelessness, disadvantaged children, and our society’s most isolated – groups that have been our focus since 2016, corresponding with our strategic programmes.
We are confident that an evolution of our existing work in these areas has never been more needed. The partnership approach that we advocate for has never been more relevant. And we believe that we will only succeed in tackling disadvantage by playing to our strengths as well as adapting when needed.
Now we are turning our attention to the “recover stronger” phase of the pandemic, with further rounds of long-term funding in the pipeline. We believe that a stronger society of the future will need the capacity to thrive through challenging economic times, drawing strength from well organised, empowered communities. These connected communities are exactly what we aim to nurture through both our strategic programmes and grant-making.
Our newly published impact report is now available as an online ebook, and gives snapshots of this journey as well as links to follow for those interested in more detail. Highlights are:
- £735,973 awarded in grants to 139 different organisations between March and December 2020
- Initiation of a new project to get more people in Oxfordshire online following needs identified during lockdown
- Ongoing support for homeless people brought inside during the pandemic via Oxfordshire Homeless Movement
- Scaling up of online support services for vulnerable families as part of our Growing Minds project
- Support for isolated older people in the north of the county via our Age Friendly Banbury partnership
- £1,225,576 distributed via 148 grants to charities and community groups in Oxfordshire and beyond in the 2019-20 financial year.