A new Fund with Didcot at its heart, The Didcot Powerhouse Fund, formally opens on 26 January 2022 and is inviting community-focused organisations inside the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence to apply for grants.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Supporting Children, Young People and Families as we Emerge from the Pandemic’.
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund is a Donor Advised Fund and was founded to address inequality in Didcot, a town that has a mixed profile of neighbourhoods where affluent areas adjoin those with greater need, placing some of Didcot’s wards in the top 20% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation in England which encompasses seven key social measures.
Fuelled by financial donations from an initial core group of businesses and individuals in 2021, the Fund is managed by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation. An annual Grant-giving process will be used to help community support bodies sustain their important work, sharing £80,000 across eligible organisations in 2022.
The Fund is keen to attract many more local business donors, churches, and individuals to help fundraise, either by making donations or by offering their services or fundraising efforts in support. Donors already committed to the project are Didcot First, who host the Fund; MEPC Milton Park, Soha, Evotec, Hachette UK Distribution, Harwell Campus, Ipsen, Asda, CTS, Diamond Light Source, Infinium and Reef Group.
Williams Jones Estate Agents in Didcot celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2022, and William Peddie, a Director, said: “We immediately saw the advantages of becoming a sponsor for the Didcot Powerhouse Fund as an opportunity to return the incredible goodwill we have received from Didcot people during our last decade of business here. We were unaware of some of the issues locally and want to do something proactive to help.”
Richard Kennell, Director of charity SOFEA, said: “Even though SOFEA is now too large to apply, we welcome this new source of funding for Didcot. We provide education, employment, and wellbeing programmes for vulnerable youngsters as well as tackling food insecurity. Funding is always a primary concern for charities such as ours to be able to plan forward.”
Ann Middleton, President of the Didcot Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is really positive news for Didcot, and very soon we will be reaching out to invite Didcot businesses to engage with The Didcot Powerhouse Fund. I am confident there will be a willingness to support these collaborative efforts to build a better town for everyone to enjoy.”
Charities and community organisations can go to https://oxfordshire.org/the-didcot-powerhouse-fund to make an Expression of Interest. The closing date for applications is 17 February 2022.