We’re very pleased to announce that the final few projects have now been confirmed and the full £175,000 allocated to the Connected Communities Fund from Oxfordshire County Council has been distributed to grass-roots organisations across the county.
This fund opened on rolling basis in September 2022 and since then 58 projects have been supported. I joined OCVA in the role of Community Development Programme Officer at the end of January this year, working two days a week to support the administration of the fund, and have enjoyed the pace and passion of working in a small organisation dedicated to supporting the community and voluntary sector.
This particular programme aims to increase the number of activities available to older people, and/or adults with additional needs, offering a greater variety of opportunities to get, or remain, connected in their communities. Bringing to life ‘the Oxfordshire Way’ – a ground-up whole system approach aiming to provide people with the ability to support themselves through personal, local, and system assets that ‘keep them in the centre’ – this programme is not only enabling activities to run in the short-term but also creating an asset-building legacy.
It’s been fantastic to learn about so many inspiring groups that are creating spaces and places for people to get together and share common interests, learn a new skill, reminisce, or simply spend time alongside one another.
Now the funds are allocated we are hoping that time is freed up to visit groups, understand more about what they do, and how they can be supported further. We’re also really keen to celebrate the important work that these groups do and to encourage others to get involved and support their efforts.