OCVA in partnership with Community First Oxfordshire are delighted to share with you our report on the first year of the Connected Communities Fund delivered on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council. This innovative approach aimed to help achieve the vision of the Oxfordshire Way by “supporting people to live well and independently within their communities, remaining fit and healthy for as long as possible” by stimulating a rich tapestry of community activity across the County.
Our report found that the increased number of activities available to people in their own neighbourhoods and beyond has resulted in people having increased choice when making decisions about the sorts of activities that they want to take part in according to what help they feel they need. People who live alone (34% of questionnaire respondents) often reported seeking out groups that allowed them to meetup with others:
“I live alone, so for me, this is really an important social outlet and social gathering – and a connection to community”
People also reported that activities fulfilled their needs regarding learning and personal development – often mentioning activities they have enjoyed taking part in at other stages of their lives:
“[I] love doing the course as I did art at school and college and enjoy expanding my knowledge”
The fund was able to support 58 projects, involving over 70 groups and organisations, providing close to 100 activities across more than 700 sessions.
Read the full report here: Connected Communities Fund Report 22-23