Now running for a second year, this fund is an exciting opportunity for communities to develop activities in their local area that help to achieve the countywide ambition of creating places that “support the people of Oxfordshire to live well in their community, remaining fit and healthy for as long as possible”.
The Connected Communities Fund aims to create opportunities for socialising and building meaningful connection by increasing the number of activities available for older people and adults with additional needs by encouraging grassroots initiatives to access flexible funding alongside an ongoing package of support.
Projects will be funded up to £5,000 per project.
The funding has been made available by Oxfordshire County Council and will be delivered to the voluntary and community sector through an innovative new route.
This fund will be open from Wednesday 6th September 2023.
What kind of projects will be funded?
This programme is looking to support:
- the continuation or expansion of activities – we are aiming to increase the number and range of activities available across the county that provide opportunities for people to get or remain connected within their communities.
- activities for older people (over 50s) and / or adults (over 18s) with ‘additional needs’. ‘Additional needs’ has been defined broadly and has included support regarding mental and physical health and wellbeing, isolation due to language or other cultural barriers and caring responsibilities.
- regular / ongoing activities – we are looking to fund activities that have weekly, fortnightly, or monthly sessions over a sustained period. We won’t be funding one-off or short-term events (e.g. fetes, carnivals, exhibitions, or shows that do not have associated introductory / lead-up and / or follow-on activities).
- activities that provide opportunities for socialising.
- inter-generational or community-wide projects only where clear benefits, that are in line with aims of the fund, can be demonstrated for the older people involved in the activities.
- all costs directly associated with providing the activities: including ongoing running costs, project costs, and promotional costs. Small capital costs will be considered where capital works are completed and the benefit shown before the end of the funded period, and they leave a continuing legacy beyond the end of the funded period.
- projects from the following organisations: charity / CIO / registered company with charitable status / co-operative community benefit society / social enterprise / community group. We don’t fund private organisations.
How to apply
Groups and members of the community are encouraged to come forward with their ideas and will have the opportunity to talk through their proposal with the ongoing support and expertise of OCVA and Community First Oxfordshire.
There is no closing date, but applications will close when all funding has been allocated. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) will be considered, groups contacted, and funds distributed on a rolling basis.
Please complete the expression of interest form available at the link below:
Read about some of the groups that have been funded so far: Connected Communities Fund – the story so far – Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action (ocva.org.uk)
Oxfordshire County Council has made a further £325,000 available through the separate Community Capacity grants scheme administered by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation. This separate scheme offers larger grants of £5,000 to £20,000 also to support the council’s vision to help Oxfordshire’s residents live independently and healthily for as long as possible in their lives, building community resilience and increasing independence. There is an application form to complete and the deadline for applying is 28 September.
Organisations may only receive funding from either Community Capacity grants or the Connected Communities Fund – please consider which of these two schemes is best suited to your work.
For further information and to apply for a Community Capacity grant please visit