The Didcot Powerhouse Fund has confirmed that in its first year of grant giving, it has made grants totalling £95,508 to 17 organisations with amounts ranging from £400 to £13,000.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund was launched in November 2021 by local people to raise funds to support the local community.
At least 90% of the beneficiaries of any grants must live in the Area of Influence of Didcot Garden Town, including Didcot and villages such as Culham, Steventon, Milton, Chilton, and Harwell.
The theme for grants this year was ‘Supporting children, young people, and families as we emerge from the pandemic’.
Elizabeth Paris, Interim Chair and Deputy Lieutenant, Oxfordshire, said: The volume and quality of grant applications the Fund received was extraordinary, giving the Grants Panel an incredibly difficult task in deciding how to allocate funds.
“The submissions highlighted the incredible work that so many local people, volunteers as well as charities are doing to support the local community. The Fund received 31 applications, requesting a total of £232,000 in grants, and I also want the applicants who did not receive a grant this year to know that they too are playing a vital role.”
Local MP for Didcot and Wantage, David Johnston, said “The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is a great addition to the local community, and I’m delighted to see so many local organisations being awarded grants in its first round of funding, grants which will enable these organisations to achieve even more.
“The Fund has hit the ground running in its mission to support Didcot, and I encourage individuals, businesses, churches, and other community bodies to donate to it if they can, so it can support many more community bodies in 2023.”
Successful grant activities ranged from the provision of wellbeing, mental and physical health initiatives for young people to education, including reading and maths assistance.
Young carers will receive additional support, and there will be more help and advice for parents who are breastfeeding, as well as a boost for parent-infant therapy.
During the school holidays, disadvantaged families will have the opportunity to visit the Didcot Railway Centre, with a meal included, and there will be more baby and toddler sessions over this period too.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is hosted by Didcot First and is administered by Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Grant applicants were from the villages around Didcot as well as the town itself, and this inclusivity factor was of particular importance to the Grants Panel.