DUPED into thinking he was about to give a seminar on social media, Nick Streeter from the charity SpecialEffect, was instead presented with the county’s first £5,000 Diamond Grant.
Launched during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in April, the Oxfordshire Jubilee Fund, supported by the Oxford Mail, will provide much-needed cash legacies for the county’s small and struggling charities.
Businesses, schools and individuals have been donating to the fund and last week Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), which is overseeing the fund, started to give out £5,000 Diamond Grants.
Jayne Woodley, the OCF’s chief executive said: “It is fitting then that in such an extraordinary year we do something sparkling for our extraordinary community groups that are enriching local lives.”
Every community group, irrespective of size, income and purpose can be nominated by themselves or someone else.
Mrs Woodley said: “All we are asking is to be ‘dazzled’ in up to 600 words.
“We want to feel the impact of your group and why we should consider you for one of our grants.”
The first to receive one was the SpecialEffect charity, from Charlbury, West Oxfordshire, which adapts computer and video games equipment for children and adults with disabilities.
Launched by David Cameron in 2008, SpecialEffect created the world’s first fully accessible games suite at Helen & Douglas House Hospice. It has also runs roadshows for disabled groups and special needs schools throughout Oxfordshire and has even adapted equipment for soldiers left maimed or without limbs in Afghanistan.
The charity’s fundraiser Mr Streeter said: “I was absolutely bowled over when I was presented with the Diamond Grant.
“I went along to the OCF on Friday expecting to present a social media seminar and walked into the office to find the This is Your Life theme being played. “I was speechless. It was absolutely amazing news. The Diamond Grant will enable us to stage 10 ‘roadshows’ showcasing what we can do for people.”
Charities and community groups hoping for a Diamond Grant should email their 600-word submissions to diamond @oxfordshire.org or post to Oxfordshire Community Foundation, 3 Woodin’s Way, Oxford, OX1 1HD.
To donate to the Jubilee Fund or to volunteer to fundraise on its behalf, email: firstname.lastname@example.org , call 01865 798666, or drop into OCF’s offices at 3 Woodins Way, Oxford.Alternatively, text JBLE 12 to 70070 with a donation.