A £100,000 fund to support voluntary groups tackling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Swindon has been set up by a pioneering housing development and will be distributed through our own grants programme.

Oakfield, in the east of Swindon, will be a new neighbourhood of 239 sustainable homes.  The fund has been set up to respond to local communities in Swindon and is available through our Swindon and Wiltshire Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund.

The Oakfield Community Response Fund will provide support for Swindon causes, said Rachel Smith, Senior Social Investment Manager for Oakfield: “We recognise this is a really difficult time for many people, and we’re thrilled to be working with the Wiltshire Community Foundation,” she added.

“We wanted to find a way to support small grass root community groups in the Swindon community during this time, and the appeal is helping those who need it most. Our Oakfield housing development is in the town, and throughout the whole project, community engagement has been a priority for us.

“Now our community needs us – so it feels right to support the Swindon community directly. We hope this funding, which has been set aside by the project’s sponsor, Nationwide Building Society, will support the community where it’s needed most.”

Applications for grants will be assessed and awarded by our grants panels. Our Response and Recovery Fund has already distributed more than £560,000 to more than 150 groups, including Swindon Night Shelter, the Swindon Food Collective, Age UK, Swindon City of Sanctuary, Swindon Scrapstore, Swindon Women’s Aid and the Stratton Juniors meals for the elderly project.

Our interim co-chief executive Fiona Oliver said “The partnership is a testament to Oakfield’s commitment to the area and our in-depth knowledge of the voluntary sector.

“We are very thankful for this support by Oakfield for the groups in Swindon who have really stepped up to meet the challenges of this pandemic. The effects of it will be borne by the voluntary sector for some time to come and this amazing contribution will go a long way to making a fantastic difference in many people’s lives.”

Work has already begun on the Oakfield Development on the former Oakfield Campus site in Walcot with the first homes set to be available from Autumn 2021. The neighbourhood will provide quality, sustainable housing, with a focus on community.

For more details about the development go to www.oakfieldswindon.co.uk

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