A CHARITY which runs day centres for people with dementia and another which helps young people affected by crime are among five groups competing for a £5,000 Jubilee Diamond grant.

Launched during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in April, the Oxfordshire Jubilee Fund was created to provide much-needed cash for the county’s struggling charities.

Businesses, schools and individuals have been donating to the fund and throughout the coming year the money is being distributed to worthy causes in the shape of £5,000 grants.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), which is overseeing the Jubilee Fund, shortlisted the five from a total of 40 groups which applied for the most recent grant, and on Tuesday of last week the charities gave a presentation about their work to the independent grants panel at OCF’s HQ in Woodins Way, Oxford.

The five contenders are Daybreak, which runs day clubs for adults with dementia; The Oxford Wheels Project, which is fundraising for a permanent wheels-based sports facility in Meadow Lane, Oxford; Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh), which sends volunteers into schools to help children read; SAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime, and Base 33 Youth Trust, which mentors disaffected youth in West Oxfordshire.

Claire Dowan, director of Base 33, said: “It’s a great accolade to be shortlisted from 40 groups, but being awarded the money would be the cherry on the cake for us and would allow us to select five more young people, who are particularly disengaged, to work intensively with them via a 10-week mentoring programme.”# Jane Rendle, the founder of ARCh, said: “The money would enable us to send more volunteers to more schools, and provide the lasting legacy of imparting the joy of reading to more children.”

Andy Buckland, the director of Daybreak, said: “We would use the grant to set up a new group, in Blackbird Leys, for people who have been newly-diagnosed with dementia.

“We would offer support to help them make important decisions and ultimately this would enable more families to stay together.”

Pete Wallis, the chair and founder of SAFE!, said: “We provide tailored support to young people, aged eight to 25, who have been the victims of crime, usually violent or sexual crime. This award would enable us to provide 100 sessions of individual support for young people who are really struggling.”

Mon Barbour, secretary of The Oxford Wheels Project, explained: “This money is absolutely vital to the Wheels project. “Building has been delayed on the skatepark for a couple of weeks because of flooding and this has actually been a blessing because we are still around £15,000 short of the £320,000 total cost of the project. “This grant, together with a final push of fundraising will see us pay for the skatepark and get it open for young people at last.”

Jayne Woodley, the OCF’s chief executive, said: “We were delighted to receive so many nominations, and to have so many inspiring words for the grants panel to consider.

“The five shortlisted groups really dazzled us, and making the final decision will not be an easy task. Thank you to everyone who nominated a group.”

The first group to receive a grant in September was the Special Effect charity from Charlbury, West Oxfordshire, which adapts computer and video games equipment for children and adults with disabilities.

The result of this round will be announced after Christmas and new grant applications are now being sought to go forward for consideration in January.

  •  Charities and community groups that wish to be considered should email diamond@oxfordshire.org or write to: Oxfordshire Community Foundation, 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD.

To donate to the Jubilee Fund or to volunteer to fundraise on its behalf, email: jubilee@oxfordshire.org, call 01865 798666, or drop into OCF’s offices at 3 Woodins Way, Oxford.

Alternatively, donate by phone by texting JBLE 12 to 70070 with a donation.


  • SAFE!, based in Oxford, work with young people who have been harmed by crime and bullying. The charity provides individually tailored support to help young people cope without responding physically or internalising their feelings; to develop strategies to report incidents; and realise it is not their fault if they have been hurt.
  • Assisted Reading for Children (ARCh) recruits, trains and support volunteers in primary schools across Oxfordshire, helping hundreds of children who are struggling with reading every year.
  • BASE 33 of Witney mentors some of the most disengaged and disadvantaged youngsters in the town who are affected by issues such as addiction, crime and difficulty getting employment and skills.
  • Daybreak runs three day centres for dementia sufferers and their loved ones and also offers support and advice around all the issues caused by dementia.
  • The Oxford Wheels Project was set up in 1997 and in January was granted planning permission to build a permanent skate park at Meadow Lane in Oxford. The charity has so far raised £280,000 of the £320,000 it needs to build the park.