ROCA is back to help community groups thrive after coronavirus


Today we have launched our first round of Respect Our Community Awards (ROCA) funding for 2021, as the government’s roadmap out of lockdown gets underway.

The ROCA scheme opens today (Monday 22 March 2021) and will run until 5pm on Monday 12 April 2021, allowing community and voluntary groups to apply for monetary grants of any amount up to £500. The groups must be able to demonstrate how they plan to use the money to make a difference to the lives of local residents and their application is then judged by a panel which award the grants.

This year, ROCA is arguably more important than ever after nearly a year of living with coronavirus and the challenges it has brought. Social distancing measures and restrictions have meant many community groups were forced to stop their activities, abandon their plans or adapt (where possible) so they could safely operate throughout the pandemic.

Resma Patel, our Funding and Partnerships Officer, said: “With community centres remaining closed, we didn’t think we would be able to launch ROCA this spring so we were delighted when the government announced plans to ease restrictions over the coming weeks.

“It’s been such a difficult time for everyone and after almost 12 months of restrictions and limited social contact, the work of our local community groups is much-needed –  if not more important than ever.

“This time, we’d particularly love to see applications from groups who plan to use the funding to help our communities get back on their feet after the pandemic. Whether this is new groups to tackle loneliness and isolation, initiatives to help those still shielding or isolating or other innovative ways to boost our communities after one of the most challenging times in our lives; we’re looking forward to seeing what the people of Oldham have planned.”

As well as the standard application, this year we've introduced video applications too. For more information and details on how to apply, visit A community or voluntary group-registered bank account is required to apply, personal bank details will not be accepted.

ROCA Coming Together After Coronavirus