Jubilee Fund grant aids play days

A PLAYSCHEME for disadvantaged children in Oxford is £2,000 better off this summer, thanks to a Jubilee year grant from the Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

The OCF is driving Oxfordshire’s Jubilee Fund, encouraging people and businesses to raise money to help charities and community groups struggling for funds in the economic downturn.

Cutteslowe Community Association’s grant will help pay for its annual summer playscheme, which sees about 50 children each week enjoying sports, play activities and day trips. Chris Bonfiglioli is the community association’s development director. He said: “We have been running the scheme for several years at the community centre in Wren Road, and it’s very popular.

“We charge families on benefits a fraction of what they would normally pay for a playscheme.”

The scheme caters for children aged five to 10, a high proportion of whom have special educational needs and need one-to-one supervision.

Mr Bonfiglioli added:“We apply for funding from a variety of sources but whereas a week’s place on the scheme might cost a family on benefits £15, it will cost us around £120 to provide it. So money like this grant is very much needed and appreciated.”

Martin French, 73, is a play leader at the centre. He said: “It’s a very rewarding job, because as well as seeing the children have lots of fun, many of them are also on a learning curve in terms of forming relationships with other children, which is something they may not have had before.”

The Jubilee Fund for Oxfordshire was set up in January by the OCF to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year by helping small charities and good causes.

l For details of how to apply for grants from the fund, see oxfordshire.org

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