AN Oxfordshire organisation has been ‘overwhelmed’ with the amount of applications it has received from local charities seeking funding help during lockdown.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) has distributed more than £730,000 in grants during 2020, with a focus on helping charities and community organisations across the county reach all neighbourhoods and families in need.

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It set up its Community Resilience Fund in April 2020 in response to the pandemic and has funded 140 projects enabling food distribution, maintaining support and advice services, and moving essential work online.

But there is still a pressing need for help with more than £400,000 in applications received in less than a week in early January after the third lockdown was announced.

One disability charity said in its application: “Lockdown is particularly difficult for people with learning disabilities, many of whom were shielding as they are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

“People with complex needs find it hard to understand the dramatic changes to their daily lives and have limited communication to ask questions and express their wishes. The suspension of support services affects their wellbeing.”

Other projects are looking to support vulnerable refugees, provide laptops to disadvantaged school children, or deliver support to people experiencing homelessness.

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A mental health charity said in its application: “Over the past three months we have noticed that the complexity of need has increased. This is especially apparent for the young people who are coming to us for support. People are really struggling and with the latest lockdown measures and we are expecting a further increase in demand.”

OCF is appealing for donations so that it can continue to support charities seeking extra funding.

Chief executive Adrian Sell said: “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems facing our communities at this time. But OCF is confident that there is a mobilised, expert and capable charity sector already doing a huge amount to respond to the needs.

“Charitable organisations are telling us that although they face unprecedented challenges, they are responding and adapting in an agile and resilient way. Supporting our appeal is a simple but proactive and important action that those with the means can take right away.”

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To send an online donation, go to

Alternatively, you can post a cheque payable to “Oxfordshire Community Foundation” with a covering note indicating what your gift is for to 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD.