Support for Community Groups
There is wide range of support for community groups in Thame – from grant funding to facility hire, and plenty of promotional opportunities. The links on this page will direct you to more information about the support options available to your community group or organisation.
Local groups and organisations who work and operate for the benefit of Thame and its residents could be eligible for a grant of up to £2,400 from the Town Council. The annual grant scheme aims to fund projects that address the needs, aspirations and issues of the people in our community. It supports initiatives that develop skills, improve health, revitalise the local environment and enable people to become more active citizens. Applications are open from the end of March to the beginning of May – click here to find out if you are eligible and how to apply.
Information about other funding that we are aware of can be found at the bottom of this page.
The Town Council is pleased to offer a range of opportunities to help Community Groups promote themselves and their activities. The Town Council’s website offers free listings in our Community Directory, opportunities listings and events calendar. We also offer opportunities to promote yourself at our Christmas Lights Switch-On event or around the town at town entrances, on banners and feather flags. You can also hold a stall at many other town events – click here to find out more information on all the opportunities listed here. Please note that prior permission must be obtained, to meet the Terms & Conditions and contained in our Application Form.
The Town Council offers two rooms for hire in the Town Hall, as well as external electricity points, football pitches & changing rooms, and a number of open spaces around the town suitable for community events, festivals and activities. Thame Equipment Bank offers a wide range of equipment for hire, from gazebos to tables & chairs, which can be hired by any community group, individual or business subject to following the hire procedure. Click here to read more about these hire options and for a list of all the room & facilities hire options in Thame.
Other Useful Resources & Support
OCVA (Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action) – offers training, networks & forums and support & advice for non-profit organisations.
South and Vale Voluntary & Community Sector Forum – a free annual event for people from local community groups and voluntary organisations to meet, discuss ideas and share advice in a relaxed setting.
Community Loan Scheme – South Oxfordshire District Council has £5million available in community loans for registered charities and town and parish councils to apply for. These loans, which can be between £50,000 and £1million must be used to help fund projects such as the purchase of land and buildings, new build or building refurbishments.
Charity Lottery – Charities, and community and voluntary groups across South Oxfordshire are being encouraged to sign up to a new lottery to help them raise funds. South Oxfordshire District Council invites good causes to register as beneficiaries.
Funding for your Community Group
Councillor Priority Fund
Your local county councillor now has the opportunity to direct money towards making improvements in your local community, and resolving important local issues to help your part of Oxfordshire thrive. Each of the areas represented by Oxfordshire’s 63 county councillors will have a community budget of £15,000 to be spent in each of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years. It can be spent within the area they represent or in combination with fellow county councillors. Details are on the website at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/councillorpriorityfund and an early chat with your county councillor is strongly recommended.
Volunteering Grant Scheme
South Oxfordshire District Council has launched a new Volunteering Grant Scheme to support some of the costs of volunteering, which may include transport, insurance, refreshments and training costs. This scheme is open to small voluntary, community and social enterprise groups operating in South Oxfordshire and the volunteering activities must specifically benefit South Oxfordshire residents. Eligible organisations can apply for a grant from £250 to a maximum of £750. For more information, visit http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/community-advice-and-support/grants-and-community-loans/volunteering-grant-schem.
Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) – Main Grant Scheme:
As Oxfordshire’s independent environmental funder, TOE invites applications from ambitious, creative projects which deliver real improvements for Oxfordshire’s environment and benefit local communities. Applications are invited from projects which:
- Promote and improve biodiversity
- Support Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Agenda through encouraging energy efficiency and the sustainable use of renewable resources in community facilities (includes food production)
- Improve access to green spaces and the countryside
Most grants are up to about £7,000 but some larger projects are supported; please contact TOE to discuss your project ideas.
Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) – Achieving No Net Loss of Biodiversity on the Greater West Programme:
TOE and Network Rail are offering an exciting funding opportunity for biodiversity in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. They are inviting project applications in the range of £10,000 to £100,000.Funding focus:
- Creating new woodland, providing better links and connectivity between woodlands, and enhancing existing woodland and scrub mosaic; other habitats could also be considered if in close proximity to the railway line
- Preference for large projects (e.g. 10ha new woodland planting or 5ha of woodland management) or clusters of smaller projects delivered by partnerships
- A key aim is to improve good quality areas by making them bigger and better connected to other wildlife sites and to improve the quality of existing habitats
- The projects should be as local as possible to the railway line within the following local authority areas; Oxford City, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, West Berkshire, Reading Borough, Wokingham Borough, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Locality Bright Ideas Fund
The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the startup and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000. Your community group will be able to apply for support and tools to set up a community business. Before you apply, please ensure you read the Guidance Notes thoroughly, and check that you meet all of the eligibility criteria.
Not sure if you have a community business idea? Find out about Locality Bright Ideas Fund here.
The LEADER programme is coming to the last stages and the deadline to get your Expression of Interest (EOI) submitted is 18 July 2018. It’s a short form and enables LEADER to check if you’re eligible to move forward to a full application. The EOI form and guidance can be found on the ‘Application Process’ page on their website.
So far Oxfordshire LEADER has awarded £759,857 to 25 projects. They have £564,817 left to allocate. See the LEADER website for more details or contact them on 01235 422245 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.