The Didcot Powerhouse Fund was launched in November 2021 by local people to raise funds to support and empower the local community. By attracting regular donations from a wide range of sources, the fund, held and managed by OCF, aims to accelerate the wider Didcot area to become a more inclusive and sustainable community. At least 90% of the beneficiaries of their grants must live in the area of influence of Didcot Garden Town.
In April 2022 The Didcot Powerhouse Fund awarded its first set of grants, totalling £95,508 to 17 local organisations, on the theme ‘Supporting children, young people and families as we emerge from the pandemic’. One of these organisations was Abingdon DAMASCUS Youth Project who used their funding to support Year 6 school leavers in their transition to Secondary School. Rita Atkinson, Trustee and Voluntary Line Manager at Abingdon DAMASCUS Youth Project explains: “This project has really been driven by what parents tell us – that their children are not settling into the new school, their mental health is affected, that children can be cruel to each other at that age. The children have been well supported in the village schools but as soon as they step on to the school bus heading for Didcot they are in a different world, with much older children”.
Swathes of research has been done around identifying factors that contribute to a successful primary to secondary transition. It suggests there is a need to help children develop their social and personal skills (friendships, self-esteem, and confidence). This needs to continue beyond the school gate, especially where there are vulnerabilities and/or a lack of support in the home. Read more about the approach of Abingdon DAMASCUS Youth Project in their case study here.
All organisations awarded from The Didcot Powerhouse Fund 2022 Grants:
|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|
You can read more inspiring stories from the other organisations awarded in The Didcot Powerhouse impact page – from youth counselling to practical support for parents and children, to a climbing wall installation, summer scout camp and days out that build personal skills and confidence in young people.
If you would like to become a donor, alongside those who have already kindly committed funding, or if you would like to help fundraise for Powerhouse, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the team behind The Didcot Powerhouse Fund at the Didcot Festive Market on 4th December. For 2023 the theme for The Didcot Powerhouse grants is ‘Supporting Mental Health & Wellbeing in these Times of Hardship’ to give Didcot and the surrounding community some much needed support during the cost-of-living crisis.
Find out more about the next round of Didcot Powerhouse grants which will open in January 2023