Funds will help pay for leisure projects

GRANTS of more than £14,000 have been handed out to community organisations across Oxfordshire.

Two youth clubs have been given thousands to develop their provision, more than £200 will help pay for a day out for autistic people and Film Oxford is one step away from being able to announce a £40,000 project in the county.

The money was given to the four groups as part of the county council’s “chill-out fund”, a £200,000 pot of cash dished out monthly over a year to community organisations.

Film Oxford won its bid for £4,800, but the grant is dependent on the group receiving £30,000 from First Light, an organisation which funds film projects involving people aged 25 or younger.

Director Geron Swann said: “This is a big project, which will involve working with four groups of young people throughout the county.”

He said the chill-out fund grants were a great way for organisations to qualify for grants from national organisations, which often want to see some local investment before they will hand out cash.

At a hearing on Monday last week, cabinet member for children and the voluntary sector Louise Chapman also approved £267 of funding for the Oxfordshire Autistic Society OASIS.

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This will pay for a day of go-karting for 26 young people, and Mrs Chapman praised the organisation.

She said: “We need to make sure we say how much we appreciate all the work they’re doing.”

She also approved a grant of £4,000 to Phoenix Youth Club in Cholsey, South Oxfordshire.

At the meeting Rose Wood, from the club, said cash was needed to pay for youth worker time and decking out its new premises.

She said: “We have been meeting at the local Scout hall, which is a huge building, but we have to keep all our stuff out the back.

“The village is building a wonderful new pavilion and we have been offered a youth room but we need to kit it out. A tuck shop area is very important, so we need to put plumbing in for a sink, and the kids really want a graffiti board so they can make it their own.

“They’re all very excited about moving in.”

A £5,000 grant for North Leigh Youth Project was also approved, to pay for an assistant youth worker and some refurbishments at the youth centre. Mrs Chapman said the cash was being put to good use.

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