Oxford United in the Community will significantly expand its engagement across Oxfordshire after securing a substantial grant from Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s (OCF) Step Change Fund.
The funding boost will help the football club’s official charity deliver the first stage of its new ‘Oxfordshire – A Community United’ strategy, designed to enable it to deliver more positive social impact in more geographical areas.
To deliver its vision to engage with more people across the county the charity has designed a ‘Hub and Spoke’ operational structure to deliver programmes in up to 15 of Oxfordshire’s towns over time. Funding from the Step Change Fund will ensure Oxford United in the Community can make the necessary investments in people, systems, and infrastructure to enable it to broaden and deepen its social impact across a broader spectrum of Oxfordshire.
The grant will enable the charity to establish the first ‘town spoke’ to test the project’s effectiveness. It will also fund a new full-time role in addition to supporting the development of an e-commerce website to provide the platform required for growth.
The Step Change Fund is an initiative that focuses on strengthening the county’s charitable sector. Grants between £10,000 and £50,000 are awarded to charities that demonstrate exceptional visionary leadership qualities and wish to create a solid platform to deliver their core work. The initiative was launched to help charities across a variety of sectors tackle the hard-hitting social problems its donors wish to address.
Step Change Fund have allocated project manager Nick Paladina to work alongside Oxford United in the Community throughout the funding period to monitor community activities and social impact.
Jeremy Faulkner, Chair of Trustees at Oxford United in the Community, said: “This is a significant step forward in the delivery of the charity’s new strategy designed to deliver on the Board’s vision to increase our positive social impact across Oxfordshire.
“The Step Change Fund grant is vital to helping us build the resources required to take this positive first step towards scaling up to support the lives of more people and the charity becoming more sustainable. Thank you to the Step Change Fund for its support and to our colleagues for delivering a successful bid application.”
Chris Lowes, Head of Oxford United in the Community, added: “This is an exciting time at the charity, the financial support from the Step Change Fund will help us increase our impact using the power of football. We’re looking forward to activating our plans at a time when the need for increased support in communities has never been greater.”
Oxford United in the Community is the football club’s official charity and helps inspire people to achieve their potential and improve their health and wellbeing via the power of football. Last year it engaged with more than 5,000 people in Oxfordshire.
Recruitment for the charity’s new Operations Support Executive role will launch this week and details of the first ‘town spoke’ to benefit from the Step Change Fund’s’ grant will be revealed soon.
For further information about Step Change Fund, visit: https://oxfordshire.org/grants-2020/step-change/