Bloxham-based family service gets funding

A hub for families and carers with young children is to get a share of £163,000 from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC).

OCC has launched the first phase of its £1 million transition fund for community groups running ‘open access’ children’s services.

The community-run services are designed to complement the new service for children and young people aged up to 19. They are to receive support and advice from teams of locality workers.

Among the groups receiving funding in the first phase is Butterfly Meadows, in Bloxham, which provides services including weekly stay and play drop-ins, creative play, outreach support and courses on parenting support and family learning.

The decision to provide the service funding was confirmed by OCC’s cabinet on Tuesday.

The fund is designed to help groups establish themselves so they can become self-funding.

In its application, Butterfly Meadows said it seeks to use the money to continue open access services, developed in conjunction with the community and partially using volunteers. It will receive funding of £29,384.

Melinda Tilley, county councillor for children and family services said: “There has been a great response from local communities to identify positive solutions for providing open access services, and a huge appetite to make this a success.

“I’m delighted we’re now at the stage where community groups can begin putting those plans into action, with the help of start-up funding.

“Some proposals need a bit of further work, but it is clear the cross-party working group looked very carefully at all the bids received, and the vast majority are on the way to meeting the criteria for funding. We are continuing to discuss proposals with community groups as they develop their plans ahead of the second round of applications.

“We are also continuing to work with the Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action to support groups with developing business plans.”

The second round of applications will close on January 9.