early £90,000 of funding available for volunteer groups and organisations to help vulnerable residents affected by Covid-19

Voluntary and community sector groups in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse can apply for a share of nearly £90,000 to help people affected by Covid-19 in the districts. 

South Oxfordshire District Council has £45,373 to distribute and the Vale of White Horse District Council has £43,077 to provide funds for voluntary and community sector projects that are delivering essential services to vulnerable residents in the districts who are struggling to afford food and other essential provisions as a result of COVID-19. 

Voluntary groups and organisations can now apply for grants of up to £5,000 to go towards:  

  • projects directly helping vulnerable people affected by the effects of COVID-19, such as providing access to food and other essentials e.g. toiletries; 
  • existing schemes supporting people struggling to afford food and other essentials, and where the need is greatest; 
  • projects advising and providing information to people to help them access longer term support they might need, such as benefits; 
  • projects that provide targeted support in areas of greatest need and deprivation, including rural areas. 

Town and Parish Councils who are collaborating with un-constituted third-party groups e.g. COVID-19 community response groups, mutual aid groups will also be eligible to apply. 

The scheme is now open, and applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. The first deadline for applications is Midnight on Tuesday 15 September 2020.  Further rounds will be assessed every two weeks thereafter, and the scheme will remain open until the funds are spent, so early applications are encouraged. We anticipate that funds will be spent by 31 October 2020. 

To apply, please read the application guidance notes before completing the online form which you can find on the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse websites.   

The funding comes from £63 million of emergency assistance from the government for local authorities to support people who are struggling to afford food and other essential provisions as a result of COVID-19.  

Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers Cabinet member for community services at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “This funding is going to make a great difference to residents in need across South Oxfordshire. The Voluntary groups and organisations in the district have been working tirelessly since the pandemic began to help those who need this extra support, and these grants will enable them to continue this vital work”   

Cllr Helen Pighills Cabinet member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “It is so important that with this grant we are able to continue to support vulnerable people in our communities via the work of voluntary groups and organisations in the Vale.  

This pandemic has had a devastating effect on the finances of some residents and we need to make sure that they continue to receive the help they need to feed their families and get the daily essentials many of us take for granted” 

If you require any further information or have any queries, please contact the Community Connector Team at communityconnectors@southandvale.gov.uk 

Note to Editors: For more information on the grant, the guidance notes and application form please head to the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse websites.