GRANTS worth thousands of pounds handed out by the Oxford Mail’s parent company each year have totally “transformed” the lives of people across the county.

And now, for 2015, charities of all shapes and sizes in Oxfordshire are invited to apply for another round of grants, to help make their dream project a reality.

Every year the Gannett Foundation, the official charity of the Oxford Mail’s parent company, gives away a total of about £20,000 to a range of worth causes in the county.

Applications for this year are open and organisations which have registered charity status are encouraged to apply now, to be in with a chance of receiving a grant of £5,000 or even £10,000.

Local charity Oxtalk was one of the lucky organisations awarded a £3,000 grant in 2013.

The group, which operates from the base of Radio Cherwell at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, provides blind and partially-sighted people across the county with a weekly ‘talking newspaper’.

The charity’s vice-chairwoman Anne Ambler, from Wheatley, said the much-needed funds were spent on 100 brand new listening devices which were then sent out to the people who needed them.

She added: “We were so grateful to the Oxford Mail.

“We had got to the stage where the devices we had were no longer working and with the grant, we were able to buy better and more efficient ones.

“I would tell people to go for it and apply for the grant. What have you got to lose? We were so happy when we got ours.”

Mrs Ambler said Oxtalk would not be applying for the grant this year as they were doing well for funds.

But she said she was certain they would be applying in the future.

In 2013 members of Oxford charity Yellow Submarine were overjoyed to receive a £10,000 grant as part of the scheme, which they put towards opening a new café staffed by young people with learning disabilities.

Head of finance and compliance at Yellow Submarine Kate Sankey said: “The Gannett grant transformed Yellow Submarine. It kick-started what we now are.

“I would urge anyone who is eligible and has a project that they want to fund to apply.

“It certainly gave us the kickstart we needed to open the doors to our first café.”

Other charities that have benefited from the Gannett Grant include SpecialEffect, based in Charlbury, West Oxfordshire.

In 2012 the organisation, which helps people with disabilities enjoy a better quality of life through the use of video and computer games, was awarded £7,000.

Just last year Mabel Prichard special school in Blackbird Leys was awarded £4,500 which allowed them to built a sensory garden, wheelchair swing and integrated roundabout for children to enjoy.

The deadline for applications this year’s Gannett Grant is Friday, October 16.

Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill said: “We are again delighted to hear from registered charities with projects that take a creative approach to issues such as education and neighbourhood improvements, economic development, youth development, local problem solving, assistance to disadvantaged or disabled people, environmental conservation and cultural enrichment.

“The grants focus on projects that bring lasting benefits to communities served by our newspapers and websites.”

How to apply: 

Applications must be made on an official form available from