Image Description: A person standing on the steps of the Bodleian.
Oxford City Council is launching a new community campaign called #WeAreOxford with grants of up to £5,000 available for projects that seek to promote cross-community relationships.
Although the project was initially launched in January 2020 to “help build stronger communities post-Brexit”, the scope of #WeAreOxford has now been expanded to projects that help build cross-community relationships as well as projects that help individuals who have experienced increased hardship due to the past year’s lockdowns.
According to the council, projects with a focus on building lasting friendships will be prioritised.
In explaining the motivation behind the campaign, Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for supporting local communities, said that, “you’ll start seeing more of the #WeAreOxford tag over the coming weeks, and we’ll be searching for our Community Connectors to show us the best of what is happening in our city. In our current limited life, it’s important that we all feel the sense of connection that #WeAreOxford aims to celebrate. While our communities can’t be physically together, we can be closer in other ways”.
Highlighting Community Spirit
The grants, worth up to £5,000, will also be aimed at projects that “help build bridges between residents from different national, cultural, economic and social backgrounds from across the city and support the cultivation of a shared sense that Oxford is a city of diversity, belonging and community”.
Looking ahead, Councillor Marie Tidball, also noted that: “in this really difficult time it’s important not to lose sight of what’s to come. A lot of the most positive activity in our city is invisible right now in lockdown, we want to bring it into view to remind people that Oxford is a fantastically diverse, generous, and community-spirited city”.
This optimistic comment echoes the positive work already being done in the Oxford community, which has been especially important during the past year.
Acknowledging this, the Oxford City Council also stated that “through the pandemic we have seen an amazing response from people across the city, from people volunteering to those setting up new organisations to answer local need. To help each other through the crisis, people have reached out across traditional social boundaries. The #WeAreOxford campaign will highlight that community spirit”.
The deadline for expressions of interest is Thursday 28 January.
The best applications will be invited to attend a funding webinar where they will get help developing their proposal and get a chance to connect with other groups in the community.
Applications are supposed to be short and informal with more information available here.
Image credit: Iona Shen