Oxford’s community and voluntary groups are invited to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to run projects, events and activities next year.
Oxford City Council’s annual open bidding grants programme opens on Monday 12 September.
Grants are available to support groups whose aims include promoting community cohesion, tackling social inequality or protecting the natural environment in Oxford.
Last year the open bidding grants programme funded the expansion of befriending services for isolated older people, teaching English to asylum seekers, food banks for clients unable to access benefits, and children’s activities in deprived areas.
Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA), which supports non-profit groups and volunteers, will be running two free workshops to assist with completing applications and to provide more information about the process.
The workshops will be held in OCVA’s central Oxford training room, Floyds Row, from 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday 27 September, and in Rose Hill Community Centre from 1pm to 4pm on Thursday 29 September.
Community and voluntary group representatives wanting to attend the workshops should contact OCVA, via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 251946, beforehand.
Councillor Christine Simm, Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “At a time of increasing pressures on public finance, I am delighted that Oxford City Council can continue to support the voluntary organisations and community groups which make such a difference for people in our City”
John Hayes, OCVA’s Group Development Worker said: “These community grants make it possible for many voluntary and not-for-profit groups to improve people’s life chances as well as quality of life.
“OCVA has seen a significant increase in the numbers of local charities seeking advice about funding, and we’re delighted to deliver workshops to help people through the application process for the grants.”
To apply for the City Council’s 2017/18 open bidding grants, projects must be delivered within the financial year starting 1 April 2017 and benefit Oxford city residents. The deadline for applications is Thursday 3 November 2016.
A Grants Panel will assess applications for eligibility, which will then be evaluated against criteria including value for money, evidence of need for the work and how it will be monitored and evaluated.
Oxford City Council provides £1.5m of grants to community and voluntary organisations every year, including through the youth ambition grants, annual open bidding programme, small community grants, and grants for organisations to run holiday activities for young people.
In 2015/16, 71 voluntary and community groups were funded across the grant programmes, with 268,886 people recorded as benefitting from one or more of the projects. The City Council’s £1,479,339 investment in 2015/16 helped secure an additional £11,015,908 of funding – for every £1 awarded £7.44 was secured.
The City Council is committed to maintaining the grants funding level until at least April 2018.
On top of this, the City Council also provides £1.4m of funding every year through grants to homelessness organisations and charities in the city. These grants helped homeless people and rough sleepers improve their accommodation, learn new skills and get into employment.
For more information or to download an application form please visit the website www.oxford.gov.uk/grants.