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Catalyst provides £20k funding to local Oxfordshire charity

By March 30, 2020August 7th, 2020No Comments

Catalyst Housing has awarded Oxford charity Leys Community Development Initiative (Leys CDI) £20,000 in anchor match funding to help future proof the vital facility.

The Blackbird Leys-based charity is trying to raise £73,000 to tackle poverty, deprivation and social isolation in the local community, and the demand for these essential services has grown as the COVID-19 epidemic has taken hold.

Catalyst hopes that its initial match funding will raise awareness and encourage other regional funders and the public to donate money. Leys CDI is working with The Good Exchange, a not-for-profit funding platform that supports charities and good causes raise necessary funding to raise awareness and help generate additional funds for this worthwhile cause.

As well as helping the Leys CDI cope with the impact of the Coronavirus in the Leys area, the money will help recruit a manager and fundraiser for their youth and over 50s projects, vital initiatives that provide a wide range of services to both young and old people living in Blackbird Leys.

The Fund has been open since October 2019 but still needs to raise over £40,000 of its target. With the impact of COVID-19 expected to be long lasting, placing huge demands on the charity’s services, all monies from funding organisations, local businesses and private donors would be greatly appreciated.

Organisations or individuals wishing to contribute can do so via The Good Exchange’s on-line platform here.

Sahil Khan, Director of Community Investment Catalyst Housing said: “The Leys CDI is an essential part of the Blackbird Leys community and Catalyst has been a proud supporter since it began. I’m glad that we can help the charity now during this current crisis, as the services they off will become even more important in the near future. I encourage anyone who is able to donate to this fantastic organisation so they can continue operating now and long into the future.”

Sasha East, Chair of Leys CDI, said: “This generous donation from Catalyst provides Leys CDI with a fantastic opportunity to future proof our organisation, ensuring that we are able to continue providing key services for local people for the long term future. As a grass roots organisation led by local people it is very difficult for us to raise this kind of core funding which is vital in ensuring our survival going forward. Currently we are working hard to stay connected with the young people and the over 50s in new ways to support everyone in need through this challenging times.”

Julian May, Head of Collaborative Funding at The Good Exchange said: “We need to do everything we can to help charities that provide valuable services to those most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, especially in deprived areas such as Blackbird Leys. Any local business, grant-giving organisation or individual that wants to really make in a difference in this part of Oxfordshire can join with Catalyst Housing and make a donation or give a grant or match funding grant. Please give whatever you can.”

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About Catalyst

Catalyst is one of the leading housing associations in London and the South East, managing over 34,000 rented and shared-ownership homes.

We are experts in placemaking and developing tenure-blind neighbourhoods, with a strategy in place that will see us build 1,300 homes a year. Our approach to creative design, effective urban planning and high-quality development is underpinned by our long-term interest in our neighbourhoods. By adopting a stewardship role, we ensure that the places we help to create are well maintained, look great and remain desirable places to live.

Catalyst was chosen as development partner for the Blackbird Leys redevelopment project, working with the council to deliver new affordable housing, shops, community centre and improved green and public spaces. You can find out more information by visiting


About the Leys CDI

The CDI is a registered charity (number 1137129).  It has had incorporated company status since 2009.  The CDI was launched in 1995 to develop and co-ordinate projects of long-term benefit to the Leys (the Blackbird and Greater Leys), Oxford.  The CDI has two main projects: a Youth Project (for 9 to 25s), and the Clockhouse Project (for 50+).


About The Good Exchange

The Good Exchange is a transformational not-for-profit, charity-owned cloud platform specifically designed to match those organisations and individuals who have money to give to good causes with those who need it most; on a local basis. As the only platform to bring together grant-making, donations, charitable projects and fundraising in one place, the automated matching system with its simple single on-line application form has revolutionised charitable giving in its local area, making it more accessible, transparent and collaborative.


For more information, please contact:

Calum McConnachie – External Affairs Manager

020 8832 3139 | 07779 288 489