The Didcot Powerhouse Fund, which is hosted by OCF, has confirmed that in its first year of grant-giving it has been able to make grants totalling £95,508 to 17 organisations, with grants ranging from £400 to £13,000.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund was launched in November 2021 by local people to raise funds to support the local community. At least 90% of the beneficiaries of any grants must live in the Area of Influence of Didcot Garden Town, including Didcot and villages such as Culham, Steventon, Milton, Chilton and Harwell. The theme for grants this year was ‘Supporting children, young people and families as we emerge from the pandemic’.
Elizabeth Paris, Interim Chair and Deputy Lieutenant, Oxfordshire said “The volume and quality of grant applications the fund received was extraordinary, giving the Grants Panel an incredibly difficult task in deciding how to allocate funds. The submissions highlighted the incredible work that so many local people, volunteers as well as charities, are doing to support the local community. The fund received 31 applications, requesting a total of £232,000 in grants, and I also want the applicants who did not receive a grant this year to know that they too are playing a vital role.”
Local MP for Didcot and Wantage, David Johnston, said: “The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is a great addition to the local community, and I’m delighted to see so many local organisations being awarded grants in its first round of funding, grants which will enable these organisations to achieve even more. The fund has hit the ground running in its mission to support Didcot and I encourage individuals, businesses, churches, and other community bodies to donate to it if they can, so it can support many more community bodies in 2023.”
Successful grant activities ranged from the provision of wellbeing, mental and physical health initiatives for young people, to education, including reading and maths assistance. Young carers will receive additional support, and there will be more help and advice for parents who are breastfeeding, as well as a boost for parent-infant therapy. During the school holidays, disadvantaged families will have the opportunity to visit the Didcot Railway Centre, with a meal included, and there will be more baby and toddler sessions over this period too.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is hosted by Didcot First and is administered by Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Grant applicants were from the villages around Didcot as well as the town itself, and this inclusivity factor was of particular importance to the Grants Panel.
Successful organisations receiving grants in 2022
|12th Didcot Scouts||Didcot Community Partnership||Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire|
|TAB (Didcot and villages project)||Didcot Runners
|Damascus Youth (Milton, Appleford, Steventon, Sutton Courtney)||Didcot TRAIN Youth Project||Oxford Parent Infant Project (Didcot project)|
|ARCH (OX11 primary schools)||Great Western Society||Oxfordshire Foster Care Association|
|Be Free Young Carers
|GWP Babies & Toddlers Group||Quest for Learning (Didcot Schools)|
|Didcot APUK (Didcot Baby Mondays)||Harwell School Association|
Total fund allocated in 2022 by The Didcot Powerhouse Fund: £95,508
Full details of the successful grants are available on the Grant-Giving page of The Didcot Powerhouse Fund’s website.
Sabiene North, CEO of Be Free Young Carers, said: “Our grant will enable us to provide local schools with a professionally produced video and toolkit, as well as 1:1 emotional support sessions for our most vulnerable young people who undertake a caring role in their family.”
Kathryn Goldsby-West, Chair of Didcot Baby Mondays, said: “This grant will make such a difference to our parents, enabling us to increase our capacity for breast- feeding support, introduce a variety of new activities and extend our contact with more diverse and harder to reach families.”
Patron of The Didcot Powerhouse Fund, Lord Vaizey of Didcot, said: “Corporate donations represent the greater percentage of The Didcot Powerhouse Fund to date, but it’s important that we all take an active role in fundraising. Running the London Marathon last year was a huge personal challenge for me but was also incredibly rewarding, knowing that each step would be raising money for The Didcot Powerhouse Fund.”