Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) today announced a new fund and package of support available to help community and voluntary organisations meet the new needs and challenges created by the Coronavirus. OCF’s new Community Resilience Fund has been kick-started with an inspiring donation from the Indigo Trust and has already reached more than £500,000.
At a time when they have never been more needed, many charities and voluntary organisations are at risk, with little or no working capital, thus anticipating significant cashflow problems. “We want our new fund to unlock the power of our community,” OCF CEO Jayne Woodley commented, “This is a time when their services have such potential to provide the essential lifeline so needed by those who are most vulnerable and at risk in our communities.”
The fund will help organisations like SOFEA, who can scale up their efforts to distribute food to vulnerable people across Oxfordshire. It is working together with existing volunteer hubs, such as Oxford Together and Citizens Advice Banbury, to ensure support for those who need to self-isolate. This means renting additional vans, buying more fuel, cleaning materials and redeploying staff. SOFEA have committed to this even as their cashflow is reaching a critical point. Restrictions on educational activities are reducing SOFEA’s income.
The speed with which the fund has been set up means that SOFEA has already received an emergency cash injection of £10,000. CEO Richard Kennell said, “Support from this new fund is vital for us. It enables us to focus on meeting the urgent needs of the crisis and gives us confidence that SOFEA will still be here when the crisis is over.”
Jayne Woodley added, “OCF has the infrastructure, governance and networks to distribute funds raised effectively and ethically, which is why we have launched our Coronavirus: Community Resilience Fund for Oxfordshire. We will also pool resources with any additional monies received via The National Emergencies Trust to continue to help local charities overcome the challenges presented by this ongoing emergency.
These are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary responses and our priority is to act swiftly yet responsibly to ensure the support, sustainability and development of community infrastructure, enabling charities to not only respond better but also recover stronger.
We cannot thank the Indigo Trust enough for an unbelievably generous gift and we hope that such philanthropic leadership will inspire others to add their support too.”
To donate to this fund please go to oxfordshire.org/donate.