Community hub in Chipping Norton receives council funding to build recording studio for youngsters

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A community hub in Chipping Norton has received a £10,000 grant from the council to fund food services and build a new recording studio for young people.

The grant is part of £41,450 of funding from West Oxfordshire Council that will be directed to 12 community groups that provide services to the public.

The Branch Trust will use its share of the grant to provide further food services to the town’s residents, as well as build a recording studio to engage with young people through its Branch Out Music Project.

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With plans to open a new centre in the heart of Chipping Norton this year, The Branch aims to combine providing food services and money advice with offering engaging activities to the town’s residents.

The Branch Trust in Chipping Norton will use its portion of West Oxfordshire Council's grant to fund a new recording studio.The Branch Trust in Chipping Norton will use its portion of West Oxfordshire Council's grant to fund a new recording studio.
The Branch Trust in Chipping Norton will use its portion of West Oxfordshire Council's grant to fund a new recording studio.

Emma Kennedy, CEO of The Branch, said: “During Covid we discovered the power of food, both engaging with those where there is food deprivation and also the young, equipping them with budgeting and skills that they can then take back into their homes and inspire their whole family.

“We have partnered with the local secondary school, focusing on young people struggling to re-enter full-time schooling post-Covid. With this additional funding from WODC, we will be able to extend this programme and offer healthy meals-on-a-budget sessions to whole families, and also offer community meals.”

The funding is from the council’s Household Support fund allocation, which is aimed at providing support to families struggling with the cost of living crisis and includes funding community hubs operational costs and providing equipment for services.

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Giles Hughes, CEO of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: "These organisations depend heavily on volunteers who work tirelessly to support their communities, in addition to donations from the public, local supermarkets, and suppliers. However, the cost of living crisis has meant a substantial decrease in donations and demand for their services to increase.

“In light of these challenges, the funding we have allocated aims to help organisations within the West Oxfordshire Community Food Network, such as food banks, community fridges, and larders, to continue their vital work.”

For more information about The Branch Trust, visit the charity’s website at https://www.thebranchtrust.org/

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