Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Helping communities to help themselves

is  the county's leading rural charity, serving Oxfordshire's villages and market towns  and is a  community development agency, skilled in creative and effective community involvement and consultation

helps communities identify the things that matter to them, now and for their future, and gives practical help and advice to find the best ways of dealing with them.

   In spite of changing times, many rural problems such as housing, transport and the availability of services have never gone away. Founded in 1920, ORCC is the country's oldest RCC and throughout the decades its focus has been on 'helping communities to help themselves'.

       is  staffed by an able, experienced, committed team with specialist expertise in a variety of work areas. The organisation is quality accredited with the internationally recognised ISO9001 and the national ACRE Quality Standard level 3, accredited by the Charity Commission.
·    ORCC
brings together people who care about rural life. Membership is open to parish councils, community organisations, businesses, and individuals. A modest annual subscription gives exclusive access to a variety of resources such as our bi-monthly Bulletin, specialist handbooks and rural policy news.

·        "Our national parent body, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) leads a network of 38 RCCs which cover all of rural England. The RCCs are all different, but share the same principles and skills".

What services does ORCC provide? 
What matters to communities matters to us.
ORCC's advisory services cover a range of subjects; currently the main areas of activity are:-
community buildings
village shops
affordable housing
community-led and Neighbourhood Planning
 rural transport
access to services
energy and fuel poverty

·        "We regularly do short-term pieces of work too, for example support for community action on climate change, a Home Workers project, and on keeping older people active in their communities".

·        ORCC's core advisory services are free of charge. Some specialist and more intensive consultancy, such as Neighbourhood Planning support, will be offered on a fee-paying basis. Members qualify for discounts on prices for any events and training for which there is a charge.

·        ORCC funding comes from a mix of grants and contracts from central government (DEFRA) Oxfordshire County Council and the four rural District Councils.

·        ORCC Trading Ltd

       ORCC's trading company,  runs a community-based bulk oil-buying scheme that makes it possible for households, community organisations and businesses without access to mains gas to get substantially cheaper heating oil. The scheme has proved so successful that it has been rolled out by RCCs in 21 other counties.

Partner organisations
·        ORCC hosts and collaborates with partners to deliver services to the community. Our partners include:-
the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment (‘TOE2’)
Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association (OPFA)
 Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA)
 Oxfordshire Community Benefit Society (OCBS)
    "We  have a long-standing close relationship with the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils (OALC) as well as having links with a wide variety of other organisations in Oxfordshire – both town and country, local and county-wide".

How do you get ORCC’s services?
·        ORCC’s field workers are the first port of call for general advice on any ORCC service (contact details below). Each of them has their own specialism and will channel specific projects to the right team member according to what help is needed. They will also advise on what kind of specialist consultancy might be appropriate where more detailed support is needed.

·        ORCC’s field workers also work closely with the partner organisations mentioned above and will liaise with colleagues to make sure that communities get the right service.

·        The ORCC website is full of useful information ( and a dedicated area for our members provides extra resources such as the ORCC Bulletin, the specialist ORCC Policy Bulletin and numerous handbooks and toolkits packed with practical advice. 

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