Oxford City Council to award nearly £80k of grants via The Good Exchange to support Oxford’s diverse residents and help the community to thrive

Published: Wednesday, 2nd June 2021

Oxford City Council is continuing its partnership with The Good Exchange, the online funding and fundraising platform, to offer £76,000 of grants for arts, culture, youth activities and leisure.

Why the Good Exchange

In 2018 Oxford City Council began a partnership through The Good Exchange to maximise the impact of the local authority’s funding in the community. Since then, the partnership has supported a range of projects with Council funding, from supporting low income families to access Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground, to educational projects at Oxford City Farm, to helping Oxford Food Bank with annual costs of keeping their delivery vans running, and a variety of other culture, leisure, and equality projects.

The pandemic has put pressure on local government budgets, just as communities are asking for more support from charities and community groups. The Good Exchange provides an online service that helps organisations use local government grant offers to attract extra funding and donations, so that they can do more with their projects.

The funds all support the Council’s primary objective of being inclusive, by supporting smaller organisations, people who experience disadvantage, young people’s involvement, and communities that support health, well-being and mental health initiatives. The funds that can be invested through the Good Exchange range from the popular Culture Fund, Small Community Grants programme, and the Holiday Activities Fund (Youth Ambition), as well as a new fund supporting getting people active, Leisure for All are available for community groups and charitable organisations operating within Oxford city.

What funds are available?

Applications open today, 2nd June, for the next rounds of the Culture Fund. This is open to organisations supporting arts and culture activities across the city. There is £500-£1,000 of funding per project available, but organisations must secure the equivalent amount from another funding source, for example another local authority, charitable trust or foundation or public/company donors. Applicants can’t apply for more than 50% of their income from the Culture Fund. Previous projects that the Culture Fund has supported include Response, and Iraqi Women Art and War. The deadline for Round 2 of Culture Fund applications is 30th June and for Round 3 it is 15th October 2021. Individuals can also apply for the Culture Fund outside of the platform.

Oxford City Council’s popular Small Community Grants programme is returning this year and is available for any community activities. There is no minimum but the maximum grant that will be awarded is £5,000. Previous projects that have been supported include £5,000 for Oxford’s KEEN 'ages 4-25' Recreational, Social, and Physical Activity Programme. Applications are invited until 28th February 2021 and the grants are awarded on a rolling basis (awarded every two months).

The Holiday Activities Fund (Youth Ambition) aims to provide funding for holiday activities for 11–19-year-olds in areas of deprivation. This fund is available to organisations with a minimum of 4 weeks’ open access. There is up to £5,000 available in grants and match funding per project. The deadline for applications is 23rd June.

Leisure For All is a new fund in partnership with leisure centre operator Fusion Lifestyle. It aims to support charities and community groups who are tackling inequalities in exercise and involve leisure centre users and non-users in a bid to get them more active. The Leisure for All fund was created following the publication of Sir Michael Marmot’s Build Back Fairer review into communities who have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the Covid pandemic. There is up to £1,000 available per project for those who meet the criteria. The grants are available as match funding on a rolling deadline until 28th February 2021.

With children’s mental health challenged by the Coronavirus pandemic, the popular Youth Ambition Fund (with grants and match funding of up to £7,000 per project) will be back later this year to help provision of community-run, non-formal, term-time education activities for 11–19-year-olds that benefit their mental health and tackle inequality and accessibility. Look our for further details on availability and application criteria.

“Our grants funding is a vital source of support for groups working in our communities to ‘improve people’s lives. We want to make sure that funding goes as far as possible to help the most people, using the Good Exchange helps us do that. Our £76,000 of funding can more than double its impact when we use the Good Exchange, and I encourage community groups and charities look at what they can apply for. In Oxford we are proud of our communities and our diversity, we are using our grant funding to be a catalyst for inclusivity, where communities come together, share ideas, get involved in designing projects that really do benefit everyone.”

Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities

 “We’re excited to continue working with Oxford City Council to support the delivery of some of their key grants for 2021/22 and would encourage charitable organisations operating within Oxford city to apply via The Good Exchange. Oxford City Council (and other interested funders) can quickly and easily see and shortlist all live fundraising projects that meet their grant-giving criteria and therefore streamline and speed-up their grant management processes.”

Julian May, head of Collaborative Funding at The Good Exchange

All applications should be made via the Oxford City Council Funder Page on The Good Exchange.