Museum of Oxford volunteer wins national Volunteer of the Year award

Museum of Oxford volunteer wins national Volunteer of the Year award
A local volunteer at the Museum of Oxford has jointly won the Volunteer of the Year category at the Museums and Heritage Awards.
19-year-old Aaron Lee of Rose Hill was announced as a joint winner for his services since 2015 at the museum equivalent of the Oscars. The awards took place in a glitzy celebration in the Historic Staterooms of London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue on 17 May.
Aaron Lee said: “Winning this award was an experience to remember and a reward which I know both I and the Museum will be able to cherish. The awards really put into perspective how the work volunteers like me do can have such a large impact on our local communities and their heritage. I’d like to thank the Museum and its staff for being a home away from home, as well as all the volunteers young and old for being friends to hold on to forever.”
David Juler, Museum Development Assistant at Oxford City Council, said:
“We are delighted that Aaron’s incredible contribution has been recognised. Aaron has shown remarkable commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering at the Museum, even when he was doing his A Levels and now he is studying history at university.
“We have ambitious plans to develop the Museum with our Oxford’s Hidden Histories project, and our volunteers are crucial to allowing us to realise these. Aaron continues to offer us support at events and family activities, and it is this kind of commitment that will help us revitalise and transform the Museum.”
The Museum of Oxford aims to transform itself through its Oxford’s Hidden Histories project. Oxford City Council has committed £500,000 to the development of the Museum, with £315,000 of this specifically for Oxford’s Hidden HistoriesOxford’s Hidden Histories is now planning a Round 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the £2.8m project. The Museum will also need to fundraise £450,000 to complete the project. For more information, visit

BIG LUNCH – £50.00 mini-grants

Residents in the Leys encouraged to run a “Big Lunch” over the summer, with the release of five £50 mini-grants

The Leys looks set to celebrate community, with a Big Lunch planned at The Barn in Greater Leys on Saturday 9th September 2017. What’s more, over the summer, up to five groups of residents in the Leys could scoop a £50 mini-grant to organise a Big Lunch in their street.

The Big Lunch is the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours. Launched in 2009, 2017 will be the ninth year. An incredible 7.3 million people joined the Big Lunch in 2016. This year will be bigger than ever, as it partners with the Big Iftar and the Jo Cox Foundation for The Great Get Together. The official weekend for this is 16th to 18th June 2017.

The Big Lunch sees people throughout the country set up bring-and-share lunches and forge stronger bonds with their friends and neighbours.

The Leys held a Big Lunch in 2015 but this did not return in 2016 because the Oxford City Council officer that originally set it up left her post.

This year, thanks to Good Food Oxford and funding from Oxford City Council, the annual event is set to return to The Leys.

Hannah Fenton, Manager of Good Food Oxford says, “The Big Lunch is a wonderful way to get over our usual shyness and reserve and get to know our neighbours over some shared food. The event on Saturday 9th September will be a chance for everyone in The Leys to get together, and anyone who brings food to share will be entered into the raffle.”

“But we noticed that people actually wanted to meet their immediate next-door neighbours, and that is why we’re offering five £50 mini-grants for groups of neighbours to spend on supplies, to run their own Big Lunch on their street. We can also help with practical things like closing the street for the day.”

“You could run a Big Lunch, a Big Iftar, or a Great Get Together – and it can be at any time over the summer. The idea is just to meet your neighbours, share some food, and hopefully have a good time.”

Groups can apply for a £50 mini-grant at any time before 1st September 2017, and grants will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups should apply by email to

Big Lunch grants 2017

FUNDING: 65 Funders have just been added to our free online funding lists

OCVA’s free online funding advice has this week received what is likely to be its biggest update for 2016/17.

Lighting a sparkThe update is the result of checking five years’ worth of OCVA funding advice documents generated during OCVA’s Big Lottery-funded development project (2011-2015) against funders currently active today.

OCVA has recently identified that our sector includes at least 95 local charitable trusts, and invites any trust or other philanthropic body in Oxfordshire to make full use of this online advice to target the county’s non-profit sector.

65 funders (mostly UK wide) have been added to the listings, bringing the number of list entries up to 260. The additions are as follows:

  • Arts
    • Foyle Foundation Arts Main: Helping to make the arts more accessible by developing new audiences, supporting tours, festivals and arts educational projects
    • Jerwood Charitable Foundation: Dedicated to imaginative and responsible funding of the arts across the UK
    • The Wingate Foundation: For not-for-profit companies with a record of artistic excellence
  • Broadly Defined (* new category)
    • Bernard Sunley: Community, education, health, social welfare
    • The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust: The Hedley Trust
    • Social Business Trust for social enterprises
    • Charity Bank Social Enterprise Loans
    • Greggs Foundation Local Communities
    • Peter Stormonth Darling Charitable Trust
    • The Charity Times Awards
    • Community Builders Fund
    • DSC Social Change Awards: Everyday Impact Award
    • FSE Group Local Growth Finance
    • RBS Social and Community Capital
    • Resonance Community Land and Finance
    • The Donald Forrester Trust
    • The Four Acre Trust
    • Triodos Bank Loans
  • Deprivation
    • The Hobson Charity Limited: Includes poverty relief/disadvantage
    • The AB Charitable Trust: …and to support the disadvantaged by fostering community action.
    • The Charles Hayward Foundation: Themes include social and criminal justice (alternatives to custody, rehabilitation)
    • The Hilden Charitable Trust UK Fund: In the UK: Hilden’s grant making priorities are: Homelessness, Penal Affairs, Asylum Seekers and Refugees, and Community Based initiatives for Disadvantaged Young People Aged 16 to 25
    • Sanctuary Housing Grand Ideas: Themes include Projects which ensure that everyone is able to access the basic financial services products that are needed to participate in a modern society. For
      example, accessing appropriate and impartial advice on managing a budget
    • Woodward Charitable Trust: Themes include: Prisoners and ex-offenders. Projects that help the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners and/or ex-offenders are supported as well as requests
      to help prisoners’ families, Disadvantaged women, covering refuges, domestic violence and
    • The Archer Trust for a “defined group of needy or deserving people”
    • Woodroffe Benton Foundation: “Relief of persons in need, hardship or distress by reason of disaster or as a consequence of social or economic circumstance.”
  • Disability
    • The Boshier-Hinton Foundation
    • Forces in Mind Trust: Includes research projects which further understanding of the mental health needs of ex-Service Personnel and how best to meet them
    • Bruce Wake Charitable Trust: Beneficiaries are physically disabled and/or improved access for wheelchair users and/or a sporting or leisure activity is involved
    • Contact a Family Parent Carer Participation Grants for one parent carer forum in each Local Authority area of England
    • Barchester Healthcare Foundation: Includes adults with a physical or mental disability, where health and/or social care needs cannot be met by the statutory public sector or by
      the individual
    • The Archer Trust: For instance those with physical or mental disabilities…
    • Ulverscroft Foundation: Projects for visually impaired people
    • Woodward Charitable Trust: Includes for disability projects, which can include rehabilitation and training for people who are either physically disabled or learning disabled
    • The Childwick Trusts: Including for adults and children who have mental health problems or a learning disability
    • Green Square Community Chest Fund: Target groups include those who are disabled
    • The Foyle Foundation: Includes special educational needs
    • The Persula Foundation (Julian Richer): For original project ideas in areas including disability
  • Elderly (* new category)
    • Barchester Healthcare Foundation: Where health and/or social care needs cannot be met by the statutory public sector or by the individual
    • The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust: The Hedley Trust
    • Woodroffe Benton Foundation: Provision/Maintenance of care and accommodation for the sick and elderly
  • Environment
    • The Clothworkers Foundation: includes buildings, equipment, and vehicles
    • Sanctuary Housing Grand Ideas: Themes include community safety and infrastructure, and projects which make our neighbourhoods greener and cleaner places to live and to assist our residents to live more sustainable lifestyles. For example, supporting people to get involved in improving green spaces
    • Nationwide Foundation: For projects about alternative affordable housing models
    • Pothecary Wytham Weld: The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation: Includes Education (organic farming, animal husbandry, veterinary science, animal welfare and animal surgery), the preservation of buildings of architectural or historical significance, The accommodation of those in need
    • The Prince’s Countryside Fund: For helping the people that live and work in the countryside
    • The Ashden Awards support sustainable energy leaders to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world
    • Biffa Awards (Two Schemes) for Biodiversity, community buildings, cutural facilities and recreation
    • Cobb Charity: Grants to encourage the awareness and application of environmental care and sustainability
    • Forestry Commission: A list of grants for forestry and woodlands
    • Green Grants Machine: A website listing grants for organisations specifically to help them fulfil low-carbon operations
  • Health and Wellness (* new category)
    • Pink Ribbon Foundation: Projects relating to breast cancer
    • Health and Social Care Volunteering: for an effective and integrated role in addressing health, public health and social care needs in conjunction with commissioners
    • Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Grantss: for new original and innovative projects that actively promote Heart Health
    • People’s Health Trust Active Communitiess
    • Sturgeon Ventures LLP Wellness Fund: Focus includes non-invasive medical devices, technology for wellness in the workplace, consumer safety products
    • The Albert Hunt Trust: Promote and enhance the physical and mental welfare of individuals, or groups of individuals, excluding research or the diagnosis and treatment of specific medical conditions
    • The Kings Fund GSK Impact Awards
    • Sanctuary Housing Grand Ideas
  • Religion
    • Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme
    • MB Reckitt Trust for constructive communication and understanding between Christianity and the other principal faith traditions and more
    • Porticus UK Fund
  • Women
    • Rosa UK Fund for Women and Girls
  • Youth
    • The Monica Rabagliati Charitable Trust: In support of organisations that focus on the alleviation of child suffering and deprivation
    • The Hilden Charitable Trust UK Fund: Including initiatives for Disadvantaged Young People Aged 16 to 25
    • True Colours Trust: To provide support for children and young adults, from the age range 0-26 years
    • vInspired Cashpoint: For projects run by a 14-25 year old volunteer in the UK
    • DM Thomas Foundation: For children and young people with disabilities, who are sick in hospital, for employability and training programmes for disadvantaged young people, children and young people who are life limited (requiring palliative care)
    • Peter Cruddas Foundation: To help disadvantaged and disengaged young people
    • Rosa UK Fund for Women and Girls
    • Green Square Community Chest Fund: Includes disengaged young people
    • The Elizabeth Jane Foundation: Building family values and in crime prevention
    • Alec Dickson Trust: For young people in the UK who want to use volunteering or community service to do brilliant things in their communities
    • Pothecary Wytham Weld: The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation: Includes: The skills based training of young people

PRESS RELEASE: New ideas to help disadvantaged young people in Oxfordshire to get European and Big Lottery funding

More than 60 representatives from organisations working with young people in Oxfordshire came together Thursday 10th September to hear about important new project funding. A joint venture by the European Social Fund and Big Lottery, ‘Building Better Opportunities’ will spend more than three quarters of a million pounds over the next three years on work to help young people not currently in education, employment or training (the so called ‘NEETs’), as well as helping avoid others become ‘NEET’ in the first place. Oxfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership OxLEP, which guides how European funds are spent in the county, decided last year that young people struggling to keep learning or find a job are a priority in the county, and has been working with the Lottery to set up a programme specifically for them.

Thursday’s event set out the scale of the problem – with more than 500 NEET young people in the county now, even though employers still struggle to fill available entry level jobs – and how partnerships with ideas about what to do about it can apply for funds. Oxfordshire County Council, which is responsible for NEETs overall in the county, is fully behind the new programme and is standing by to help make sure new project ideas will offer something new and different from the support which already exists.

Kiera Bentley, Chair of Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA), which organised the meeting, said ‘All too often vulnerable young people fall out of education unnecessarily and can’t or won’t enter the world of work. We are really pleased that ESF and Big Lottery are going to be supporting new ways to tackle the problem in Oxfordshire, and it’s a great credit to the LEP that it has had the vision to put young people at the top of its agenda alongside its usual work supporting businesses and investment in the county.’

Full details of how to apply will be launched Big Lottery in October, but in the meantime any organisations – charities, social enterprises, educational institutions, businesses – with something to offer should use the OCVA web site ( to get more details, register their interest and look for partners.

Notes for editors

  • Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is a joint Big Lottery/European Social Fund programme which will spend more than half a billion pounds on work with disadvantaged people across England from 2016 to 2023. More details here:
  • OCVA is the umbrella support organisation for the third sector in Oxfordshire, and is funded by Big Lottery to promote BBO in the county. More on OCVA here:
  • Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) drew up the detailed plans for using nearly £20m of EU funds in the county, including targeting three quarter of a million on disadvantaged young people. More on Oxfordshire’s European programme here: