Working closely with the people who live, work and learn closest to Oakfield to create a community where neighbours support one another, has been a priority for us since this project began. That’s why helping felt like the right thing to do when the effects of lockdown meant local charities weren’t able to operate. 

“We wanted to find a way to support small grass root community groups in the Swindon community during this time” said Rachel Smith, Social Investment Manager at Nationwide Building Society, the lead sponsor and driving force behind the project. “The appeal is helping those who need it most”.

The Wiltshire Community Foundation, who will be assessing grant applications, have already given a massive £560,000 to over 150 groups in Wiltshire, including Swindon Night Shelter, the Swindon Food Collective, Age UK, Swindon City of Sanctuary, Swindon Scrapstore, Swindon Women’s Aid and the Stratton Juniors’ meals for the elderly project to name but a few. 

Fiona Oliver, co-chief executive of the Foundation said the partnership is a testament to Oakfield’s commitment to the area and the community foundation’s in-depth knowledge of the voluntary sector. “We are very thankful for this support by Oakfield for the groups in Swindon who have really stepped up to meet the challenges of this pandemic. The effects of it will be borne by the voluntary sector for some time to come and this amazing contribution will go a long way to making a fantastic difference in many people’s lives".