COMIC Relief is gearing up to spread cheer across Oxfordshire with a fantastic grant giveaway.

The Oxford Mail today reveals £50,000 is being offered to community groups across the county.

The Red Nose Day Community Cash grant scheme is being offered to 50 small organisations making big impacts on the lives of people in Oxfordshire.

The project run by Comic Relief will see between £500 to £1,000 given to small community groups.

It is the second time the scheme has run.

Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill said: “We are lucky to have so many fine charities in Oxfordshire doing great work for people at home and abroad.

“It is a sad fact that their funding lifelines are being squeezed relentlessly by the economic downturn, so I am delighted that this excellent initiative will once again offer some help in these tough times.”

Among the projects which benefited two years ago was the Agnes Smith Advice Centre in Blackbird Leys Road.

Single mum Kim Poyser, 46, said the centre helped her hugely when she was struggling to cope with three children eight years ago.

Now the Blackbird Leys resident volunteers at the centre.

She said: “I have been at the bottom and scrapped the barrel but the centre helped me massively.

“It is so important to the community. You would be surprised how many people come through the doors needing help.

“Even if it is just a little chat we help people change their lives.”

Sue Wicks, the UK grant manager for Comic Relief, said: “Comic Relief is delighted to be working with the Oxford Mail and offering Red Nose Day Community Cash once again to local groups in Oxford. We’ve funded some truly inspiring projects in the city in previous years.

“We know from our long experience of grant making in communities all over the UK that local groups can make a huge impact at the heart of their communities with a small amount of money.

“Thanks to these groups, money raised through Red Nose Day can make a real difference where it’s needed most. I urge as many groups as possible to get their applications in now for their chance to get a grant from the £50,000 on offer.”

The announcement marks the countdown to Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2013 on March 15.

Applications for a share of the funds close ahead of Red Nose Day on March 8.

A three-person panel run by the Oxfordshire Community Fund in Woodin’s Way, Oxford – and including representatives from Comic Relief and the Oxford Mail – will then decide which projects the money will be given to.

Chief executive Jayne Woodley said: “It is for all groups across Oxfordshire and it is always good to get local people together.

“It is always nice to know as well that the cash doesn’t just go to Africa and abroad but makes a big difference here too.”

To apply for a grant go to before March 8 or call 01865 798 666

Who is eligible to apply for a £500 to £1,000 share of the £50,000 to be handed out around Oxfordshire?

The grants are available to community organisations, registered charities, social enterprises, co-operatives and community interest companies.
Groups that have been established for less than 12 months are not eligible.
Groups eligible to apply for Red Nose Day Community Cash grants need to:

  • Be working in a disadvantaged or deprived area
  • Be small local groups with an income of less that £100,000 run by local people
  • Have limited access to other sources of income
  • Examples of the type of activities which can be funded:
  • Parent and toddler groups
  • Dad and lads groups
  • Equipment and material for sport groups
  • Community festivals
  • Cross generational work
  • Sport tournaments / competition costs
  • Lunch clubs
  • Running costs for self help groups
  • Committee and volunteer/staff training
  • Hire of sports facilities

    The closing date for applications is March 8, 2013.
    Successful applicants will be contacted by the end of April.
    Grants will not be awarded to the following:
  • To individuals
  • To statutory organisations including PCTs and schools
  • Groups who are not constituted

    Grants will not be awarded for the following purposes:
  • To fund trips abroad
  • To fund buses, mini buses or other community transport schemes (not including transport costs forming part of a project)
  • To fund building costs, including access adaptations to buildings
  • Groups already in receipt of any Comic Relief funding (not including the last Red Nose Day Community Cash grants)

The Red Nose Day Community Cash grant scheme is being run in conjunction with Oxford Community Foundation, Comic Relief and the Oxford Mail.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your project before making an application, please contact the Oxfordshire Community Foundation on 01865 798 666 or email