The Didcot Powerhouse Fund aims to tackle inequality and deprivation within the Garden Town Area of Influence in Didcot. It was founded by Didcot First, key local employers, professionals and volunteers. Together they want to ensure Didcot becomes a more inclusive and sustainable community by attracting funding from a wide range of sources. The Fund was officially launched at an event on the 10th November.
The largest town in South Oxon, and growing, Didcot is a key part of the broader Oxfordshire Innovation Engine, driving the local economy and attracting leading science, R&D, technology, engineering, and innovation companies to the area. The Fund hopes to attract donations from companies, grant bodies and philanthropists.
Elizabeth Paris, Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and a member of the founding body, said: “The Didcot Powerhouse Fund has received a groundswell of support from Milton Park, Harwell Campus, Culham Science Centre, Evotec, Hachette Distribution, Ipsen, and Soha, as well as individuals who are dedicated to making a difference locally. This extraordinary energy, driven by visible need, has lifted the project off the ground.”
Philip Campbell, Commercial Director MEPC Milton Park said ‘Having worked at Milton Park for over 15 years now, I have had the privilege of supporting many world-leading, innovative businesses and seeing the science sector go from strength to strength. Through my involvement with Didcot First, I have also seen social challenges that affect the area, which are often hidden by the amazing economic statistics. I believe it is important for all businesses, that the environment within which they operate thrives and The Didcot Powerhouse Fund will give businesses a real opportunity to come together to make a significant local impact.’
The primary function of the Fund is to dispense grants to sustain organisations that are working on the ground in the Didcot community, to deliver more and better community services. The theme for their 2022 grants is ‘Supporting young people and families as we emerge from a pandemic’. Their first grant applications will open in the first quarter of 2022. OCF holds and manages the fund and will also administer the grants awarded.
Donors can be confident their money will be directed to where there is most need in Didcot, guided by people who know where there are gaps in community support. It’s an easy way for local companies to give to charity in a highly effective way. So far, the Fund has raised over £100,000, derived from corporate sponsors, local businesses, and pledges, for the next 2 years.