Good causes pitch in to get energy grants

Herald Series: Oto Velicka, Jenny Ekelund, Fiona Mullins and Julieanne Porter at Barracks Lane Community Garden Oto Velicka, Jenny Ekelund, Fiona Mullins and Julieanne Porter at Barracks Lane Community Garden

GROUPS across Oxfordshire are hoping to share a grant pot of £10,000.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, energy provider Opus Energy is offering grants of up to £3,000 for community groups across the county and neighbouring Northamptonshire and each has created a video which people are asked to vote for online to show their support.

Barracks Lane Community Garden, in East Oxford, is asking for £3,000 for structural work.

Garden trustee Fiona Mullins, who lives in Florence Park, said: “There are some raised beds, which are really good access for disabled people, that are all coming to the end of their life and need to be replaced.”

The garden was created from a dilapidated disused garage site five years ago after local residents campaigned to take it over.

Last year more than 4,000 people attended events there.

Ms Mullins said: “Everything else that goes on doesn’t need a lot of money, it’s run by volunteers and the community, but we have to have the main structure in place.

“It’s such an inspiring story.

“It all looked like such an impossible dream then some people put a lot of their time into it and made it happen.

“Now it’s a really thriving space, there is a real buzz around it. It’s an amazing addition to the community.”

The Porch Steppin’ Stone day centre for homeless people in Magdalen Road, East Oxford, is seeking £2,000 for its Porch Pickles project. The scheme offers homeless people the chance to be involved in a social enterprise project, working in the centre’s training kit-chen to make and sell pickles and chutneys. rganisers need a grant to help pay for ingredients, jars and labels, and to cover other costs.

Senior project worker John Fitzpatrick said: “It is a relatively new project and we aren’t managing to recover all our costs.”

Disabled charity My Life My Choice, which supports 10 county groups of people with learning disabilities, wants £3,000 to spend on a campaign against hate crime, working with members and the police to raise public awareness.

Champions co-ordinator Dan Harris said: “Getting this money will allow us to do so much more.”

Videos from all the groups can be seen at opusenergygift.com and people need to vote online before Monday, September 10.

BIDDING FOR CASH

THE groups which are applying for grants are:

  • Witney TV
  • ENRYCH Oxfordshire
  • Ark T Music Project
  • Aspire Oxfordshire
  • Oxford Food Bank
  • The People’s Supermarket, Oxfordshire
  • Oxfordshire Playbus
  • Childrey Little Ducks Pre-School
  • Messy Jam
  • Wheatley Park Science Club
  • Special Effect
  • The Miss P Foundation
  • Bike Safe West Oxfordshire
  • Barracks Lane Community Garden
  • The Edge
  • Eve Women’s Wellbeing Project
  • 2nd Oxford Scout Group
  • UCARE (Urological Cancer Research and Education)
  • Cumberland Road Allotments
  • My Life My Choice
  • South Ward Allotments (Kennington)
  • ‘Movers and Shakers’ Parasol Project’s inclusive dance company
  • CANTO Ltd
  • Transition Eynsham Area
  • Porch Steppin’ Stone
  • BG Records and Young Women’s Music Project
  • Campion School Athletics Club
  • Northampton Festival of the Performing Arts
  • Bert Jansch Exhibition

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