Call for community groups to apply for grant

By Sarah Edwards at

Community groups in Cherwell are being encouraged to apply for a new grant to help residents struggling in the wake of COVID-19, to access food and essential supplies.

Cherwell District Council is distributing £70,000 from the Community Hub Emergency Relief Grant, provided by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) through Oxfordshire County Council.

The fund is available to support the work of voluntary not-for-profit organisations, working to relieve hardship in their community and prevent food insecurity. Projects that can be funded include, but are not limited to, community food banks and food projects such as larders and fridges.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “It is clear we will be feeling the knock-on effects of COVID-19 for many months to come. Sadly, it seems the most vulnerable members of our community will be the hardest hit and it’s crucial they are supported through this difficult time.”

“In Cherwell, we are fortunate to have a long list of established organisations, alongside a number of newly formed groups, who have operated solidly during lockdown to help those in need. I would urge these groups to check to see if they are eligible for a slice of the Community Hub Emergency Relief Grant, to enable them to continue their essential work.”

Cherwell District Council is offering grants of up to £5,000 per constituted voluntary group to support programmes of work that reduce food insecurity and alleviate the hardships of residents in Cherwell during the COVID-19 crisis.

Any event or project that is supported needs to be accessible to all and to bring communities together.

The fund is already open and will close on 31 March 2021. Due to the finite nature of the grant, the closing date may be sooner if the budget has been allocated.

To check eligibility please refer to the guidance document located at www.cherwell.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/9694/community-hub-emergency-relief-fund-guidance.pdf

If your organisation or project is in scope and you wish to apply, please email Cherwell’s grants team at grants@cherwell-dc.gov.uk