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Home > News > Almost £13,000 in grants for seven local projects

01 February 2023

Almost £13,000 in grants for seven local projects

We have awarded grants totalling almost £13,000 to seven local community projects.

The grants have been provided from our Cottsway Community Fund which offers a total funding pot of £30,000 to support projects which benefit our local communities.

The scheme runs throughout the financial year and the most recent projects to receive grants are:

  • APCAM (Assisting Parents of Children Affected by Mental Health): £2,500 towards funding young persons’ counselling and an on-going parent support clinic in Carterton, helping families with children who may be struggling with an array of mental health issues, SEN and learning difficulties.
  • Burford Environmental Action Group: £835 towards running four repair cafes in the town and surrounding area to encourage people to bring along their unused or unwanted items for repair or refurbishment and help prevent sending more to landfill.
  • Branching Out Drama Society: £2,090 towards the cost of scenery flats which will enable this community theatre group, based in Milton-under-Wychwood, to put on performances in community venues which do not have access to theatrical equipment. 
  • Home Start Oxford: £2,500 to help them to continue to provide a free programme of events in Witney, offering parents and their young children the opportunity to attend inclusive groups to help them connect with their local community and peers.
  • Learn 2 Sustain: who, working with Transition Chipping Norton, received £1,950 to help towards continuing to provide a youth group at Cotswold Crescent Recreation Ground in Chipping Norton. The aim is to focus on environmental activities so young people feel they have a role to play in shaping the environment of their town.
  • Living in Fitness: £1,445 towards providing online exercise classes ranging from 10 – 30 minutes to help support people to work out at home, while encouraging an inclusive and active community through digital interaction.
  • Quest for Learning: £1,670 towards running a ‘BookQuest’ literacy support programme at Brize Norton Primary School to help seven children whose skills may have fallen behind due to the pandemic.

Our customers are asked to vote via social media for projects that apply to the Community Fund. They are asked which ones they would like to support and have a say on the amount of funding that is awarded.

Mandyrae Jessey at Branching Out Drama Society said: “We’re extremely grateful that Cottsway customers chose to support our community theatre group. We offer young people and adults the opportunity to build confidence and transferable skills through practicing theatre craft.

“Purchasing our own scenery flats – which can be expensive to hire or build – will not only allow our members to learn how to create, build and paint sets, but will also enable us to take our shows on the road. By visiting community venues such as retirement homes, schools and local fetes we’ll be able to offer a wide range of people the chance to participate in cultural performances that they may not otherwise be able to access.”

The Community Fund is also available to our customers and their immediate family who wish to learn new skills and increase job prospects. Grants of up to £250 are available to help pay for training and coaching courses, qualifications and learning support materials.

Tahlia Davidson-Wright, 15, who lives in a Cottsway home in West Oxfordshire, is looking to further her sporting career. She has already played ice hockey for England’s under 13’s, under 14’s and under 16’s teams and received a £245 grant to use towards club fees and travel costs.

Tahlia, who is currently studying for her GCSE’s, said: “I’ve been playing ice hockey for 9 years. I started out playing inline hockey with a local team, the Chippy Trixters, this naturally led me to the world of ice hockey – which I love! I am currently playing for two teams, both based in Berkshire, and have recently been called up to play for England’s under 18’s national team.

“During ice hockey season, I travel all over England to play so I’m over the moon that Cottsway has supported my sporting ambitions. The grant will predominantly help towards travel expenses, enabling me to attend matches and additional, more advanced training camps so I continue playing at the highest level I can.”

Lorna Jones, our Community Investment Officer, said “These seven projects are the latest to receive funding from the 2022-23 Cottsway Community Fund. As it’s our customers who vote on each application, it’s great to know that we’re supporting the projects that mean the most to them - enabling worthwhile projects to carry out some great work in our local communities.”

To find out more about the fund, and how to apply, see: Community Fund


Pictured: Mandyrae Jessey and some members of the Branching Out Drama Society.

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