Community groups supported to strengthen the Oxfordshire Way

Grass roots organisations in Oxfordshire are being invited to apply for a share of £500,000 to go towards funding projects that help promote independence and wellbeing within local communities.

Community capacity grants have been made available by Oxfordshire County Council and will be administered by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA), Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) and Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF).

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We want to support people to live well, within their own communities, for as long as possible. It’s something we call The Oxfordshire Way. Community capacity grants will enable grass roots organisations to deliver this support at local level, strengthening and developing their vital work and helping to identify areas which may need additional funding”.

Organisations from across Oxfordshire can apply for a smaller grant of up to £5,000 from connected community funding through the OCVA.  Larger, more formal grants of up to £20,000 are available through the OCF. Links for both applications can be found at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/communitycapacitygrants

Once an application has been received, a panel made up from the OCVA, CFO and OCF will assess eligibility and ensure the most appropriate organisations are selected to develop their capability and capacity. This will enable funding to be deployed quickly and bring the best value to each local community.

While a range of different initiatives will be considered, from arts and music groups to dementia friendly cafes, priority will be given to areas where there is a clear gap in provision.

Cllr Bearder continued: "Even though national government is forcing us to making alarming cuts to our budgets through decades of underfunding, it would make no sense to reduce the support to these vital frontline providers. With relatively small seed fund interventions at an early stage, we can prevent vulnerable adults becoming dependent on costly care in the future. This isn't only economically pragmatic, it is also the best thing to do for our residents."

Community capacity grants recognise the value and benefit that grass roots organisations bring to Oxfordshire and the need to invest in the wealth of local expertise, knowledge and connections they bring. They have been designed in collaboration with health, voluntary sector and city and district partners.

For anyone looking to access support within their local community, details can be found on our Live Well Oxfordshire directory livewell.oxfordshire.gov.uk

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