A POP-UP tent to take theatre shows out to children in isolated and disadvantaged communities is one of four bright ideas being funded by grants totalling nearly £22,000.

The winners of this year's cash are: 

  • The Oxford Playhouse
  • Headway Oxfordshire
  • Restore
  • East Oxford Community Assocaition 

£7,000 cash, which will help buy, adapt, furnish and transport The Oxford Playhouse’s travelling tent, is being handed out on behalf of the Oxford Mail’s parent company Gannett Media.

Oxford Playhouse producer Hannah Groombridge said: ‘We are delighted to have received support from the Gannett Foundation for our Playhouse tent.

“The tent will allow us to take our work out into the community – making theatre more accessible to everyone and creating brilliant experiences for children and families across the county.”

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Playhouse celebrates the cash pledge

Other local charities to benefit from the cash windfall include Headway Oxfordshire.

The Gannett Foundation grant for £7,250 will buy three pieces of specialist neuro physiotherapy gym equipment for its Activity and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) in Kennington, to support people with acquired brain injury.

Headway Oxfordshire chief executive Jamie Miller said: “It is fantastic news.

“We are really grateful for the support of the Gannett Foundation, as it will allow us to complete one of the projects we have been working on.”

Other projects receiving a slice of the money are Rehabilitation Services Trust for Oxfordshire, known as Restore, which was given £4,660 to buy a potting shed for its East Oxford site.

Oxford Mail:

The project at The Beehive in Manzil Way is one of six recovery groups Restore operates around the county.

Restore head of external relations Tom Hayes said: “With recovery, it’s about supporting people to gain positive insights into themselves, to develop new skills and set goals they work towards, providing a sense of structure and purpose.

“The money for this shed will be really helpful, as it will provide a space for us to do that for a larger number of people.”

Finally, films for all the family to spread a feel-good factor across the generations has also been given a boost thanks to an award of £3,000 for East Oxford Community Association’s Over-50s club.

The Cowley-based charity will use the cash to buy computer, video and audio equipment for members to watch movies or instructive videos, listen to speakers and many other activities.

East Oxford Community Association secretary Catherine Gundry said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the grant.

“It means we can really extend our family and educational activities.”

Voluntary groups all over Oxfordshire applied for a slice of the grant money.

Gannett Foundation, the official charity of the Oxford Mail’s parent company Newsquest and its parent Gannett Media, invited applications from registered charities and community groups looking for donations of £5,000-£10,000.

Each year, it gives about £20,000 to worthy causes in the county, as part of £300,000 awarded nationally.

Chairman of Gannett Foundation trustees Simon Westrop said: “We were glad to be able to give to some exciting projects making people’s lives better in all sorts of ways – like the Oxford Playhouse plan to wrap-up theatre and take it out to isolated and disadvantaged communities in Oxfordshire.”