Over £390,000 to support disadvantaged groups into work

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) has announced six new grant awards to local charities and social enterprises as part of its European Social Fund (ESF) Community Grants programme.

These grants will fund targeted support for residents in Oxfordshire’s most disadvantaged communities and help them to access work or training.

The grant recipients are EMBS Community College, Film Oxford and Fusion Arts, Farm Inspiration Trust, Leys News, Oxfordshire Play Association, and Incredible Edible Oxford.

The new grants bring the total awarded in 2017 to one £390,000. These grants have been awarded to 15 local organisations collectively providing work-related courses, training opportunities, and placements.

The Community Grants programme is managed by Oxford City Council on behalf of OxLEP and is co-financed by the ESF and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Rachel Hammond, founder of Incredible Edible Oxford, said: “We are so excited to be creating accredited courses in edible horticulture and eco building - these skills are more in demand year on year and our courses will be targeted primarily at 16 to 18 year olds wanting to work in a practical way outdoors.”

Nigel Tipple, chief executive of OxLEP, said: “We are delighted to announce the latest round of ESF Community Grants and would like to congratulate all successful applicants.

“Oxfordshire continues to reaffirm a world-leading economy and it is programmes – like ESF Community Grants – that help to ensure those furthest away from the job market get opportunities to access employment and training that is both personally fulfilling and supports our local economy too.”

Susan Brown, deputy leader of Oxford City Council and board member for customer and corporate services, said: “While Oxfordshire is an affluent county, there are significant pockets of deprivation. The ESF Community Grants programme is vital in helping people into training and work they would find hard to access without support.”

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