Introducing the Didcot Powerhouse Fund - Fuelling Better Futures
Published on 18 November 2021
Introducing the Didcot Powerhouse Fund – Fuelling Better Futures
As many people living and working in the area will know, Didcot has become an important cog of the broader Oxfordshire Innovation Engine, driving the local economy and attracting leading science, R&D, technology, engineering, and innovation companies.
At the same time, however, Didcot features in the top 20% of the Index of Multiple Deprivation in England, whilst adjoining, more affluent neighbourhoods feature in the bottom 20% of the index. One in five people have no educational qualification and 12% of children are living in poverty in Didcot. Last year alone, members of the community visited the Didcot Foodbank more than 3,000 times, up by 45.6% on the previous year.
The statistics show that additional financial and practical support is needed to support the community, ensuring that the inward investment seen across Oxfordshire can benefit everyone living here.
To help make this a reality, businesses, institutions and prominent local figures from across Didcot and the surrounding areas have come together to start the Didcot Powerhouse Fund - a new and exciting Donor Advised Fund and force for positive change.
The Fund will attract donations from companies, grant bodies and philanthropists, which will them be used to dispense grants to sustain organisations that are working on the ground in the Didcot community. This funding will help deliver more and better community services and in doing so, will help address inequalities that exist in the town.
Lord Ed Vaizey of Didcot is the new Patron of The Didcot Powerhouse Fund and at a recent event hosted by Milton Park, was delighted to announce that he has raised over £21,350 including Gift Aid, from running the recent London Marathon. This contributes to the headline fundraising total raised of over £100,789, derived from corporate sponsors, local businesses, and pledges, for the next two years.
Lord Vaizey is on a mission to recruit more support, “We need more donors and to work as a collective force if we are to ensure the Fund can sustain the Didcot community into the future, to provide grant applicants with the money they need to deliver hope to many more people.”
The Didcot Powerhouse Fund was founded by Didcot First, key local employers, professionals and volunteers and is administered by registered charity, Oxfordshire Community Foundation. The Fund’s guiding theme for 2022 is a timely one - ‘supporting children, young people and families as we emerge from a pandemic’.
Philip Campbell, Commercial Director at Milton Park, gave his thoughts, “Having worked at Milton Park for over 15 years now, I have had the privilege of supporting many world-leading, innovative businesses and seeing the science sector go from strength to strength.
“Through my involvement with Didcot First, I have also seen social challenges that affect the area, which are often hidden by the amazing economic statistics. I believe it is important for all businesses, that the environment within which they operate thrives and The Didcot Powerhouse Fund will give businesses a real opportunity to come together to make a significant local impact.”
The Fund will open for grant applications in Q1 2022, and a Grants Panel of people with local insight will ensure that grants go to organisations demonstrating partnership with others, a high level of local impact and with a minimum of 90% of beneficiaries living in the Didcot Garden Town Area of Influence. Businesses will benefit by being able to streamline their giving into a Fund that demonstrates positive outcomes, in a highly transparent and accountable way.
There will be an information event at Cornerstone, Didcot on 26th January 2022 for businesses in Didcot to find out more about the Fund, hosted by the Didcot Chamber of Commerce. We’ll make sure to share more details of this as they become available.
To find out more in the meantime or to make a donation, please visit www.didcotpowerhousefund.co.uk