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Andrew welcomes £19,000 funding boost for eleven local community groups

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Andrew has welcomed the news that eleven Oxford groups have emerged as winners in a bank's awards scheme. After competing for public votes, the eleven groups won a total of £19,000.

Andrew Smith MP said, "I am delighted that the public voted for eleven community groups to win awards in my constituency. This £19,000 funding boost will help these really deserving community groups buy much-needed equipment and recruit yet more volunteers to spread its work to a wider group of people."

Nearly 1.5 million votes were cast for 1,400 causes in this year's Lloyds Bank Community Fund award, with members of the public voting in branches, by text, and on Twitter. The Community Fund champions good causes which aim to bind communities closer together.

Blackbird Leys community group Messy Jam won £3,000, the highest award in the area. The award helps to keep Messy Jam open and running offering affordable lessons to children from as young as five to adulthood eager to learn street and hip hop dance.

Two other causes to win the most votes were Sobell House Hospice Charity, which helps those facing life threatening illness, death, or bereavement, and Restore in St Clement's, which helps people with mental health problems to find and keep employment.

The £3,000 award helps Sobell House to teach people the skills to care for terminally ill patients, while Restore will use the money to recruit fifteen new volunteers to support more people.

Oxford City Swimming Club, the Archway Foundation, and SeeSaw each won £2000, while Home-Start Oxford, KEEN Oxford, and Parasol Project each received £1000. Blackbird Leys Neighbourhood Support Scheme and Oxfordshire Play Association were each awarded £500.

Four Blackbird Leys groups - a debt advice centre, a dance school, a swimming club and a children support charity - won £4,000 in total. The Swimming Club is set to use the award to buy professional-quality starter blocks, used in all official races, for the new pool at the Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre.

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