Marketing on a Shoestring

We all know that Marketing budgets are tight within certain sections of the community and voluntary sector. We also know that Marketing campaigns can cost big bucks – which is generally only the preserve of national charities with regional alliances.

This network event delivered by Hayley Williams (the Managing Director of Keystone Marketing) looks at how to market your organisation on a shoestring – what hints and tips can be provided which better helps organisations to raise their profile without breaking the bank.

An experienced marketing and project management professional, Hayley Williams runs Keystone Marketing, based in St Neots. The Keystone team help organisations plan, implement and assess marketing activity for business growth or increased brand impact. In this interactive session designed especially with community focused organisations in mind, Hayley will tease out your marketing challenges and introduce you to key ways that you can better connect with your all important audiences – in ways that maximise your impact, but minimise your effort and spend. Come armed with a list of your marketing plans and needs – and work with Hayley to build your future marketing toolkit!

Only 10 spaces are available for this session so book early to avoid disappointment. Simply E-Mail to confirm your interest.

The event takes place at Loves Farm House in St Neots between 12.30pm and 3pm with Refreshments provided.

Loves Farm House can be viewed here:

Connecting Communities 2019


Tackling loneliness: a community response


Thursday 20 June 2019
9.30am to 2.30 pm (tbc)

St Ives Corn Exchange
The Pavement, St Ives, Cambridge PE27 5AD


Join us to Care, Dare and Share as we create a community response to tackling loneliness and isolation in our communities.

Loneliness is a growing problem in our society, and it’s increasingly recognised as being closely linked to physical and mental health issues. The government is starting to take this matter seriously, but the voluntary sector can play a key role too. We often have better local knowledge than statutory agencies; we know our communities because we are a part of them.

People who are trapped in unwanted social isolation might be seen by community organisations as a complex challenge and a big drain on the organisation’s resources, particularly where health issues are involved. Our conference aims to turn this around. Lonely people’s health issues are often the result of social isolation rather than the cause. Think of them as volunteers rather than beneficiaries, and everyone can benefit. Rather than being a drain on resources, they can become assets.

By playing an active role in reaching out to the lonely, we can increase our ability to deliver the services we exist for. But first we have to:

CARE to make a difference and help tackle loneliness;
DARE to reach out and welcome;
SHARE the positives, share the benefits and share best practice.

To find out more, please join us at the Connecting Communities conference at the Corn Exchange, St Ives on Thursday 20th June.

Through a series of workshops and speakers we will:

  • Discover how to identify and reach out to volunteers who are lonely and isolated
  • Learn how to engage and retain these volunteers
  • Help remove the stigma and prejudice towards unwanted isolation
  • Experience some of the innovative ideas others have developed
  • Realise the difference we can make together

Join us to Care, Dare, Share.

This event is FREE to attend for any community group that works or operates in Cambridgeshire. Please contact or call 01480 420603 to book your place.

UPDATE: We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker, Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon is the National Shed Development Manager for the UK’s Men’s Shed Association. Her current role involves developing programmes with the support of the extensive volunteer network based around the 470 community led sheds which now exist in the UK.

Kate has many years’ experience in the Charitable sector. From 2011 to 2017 she worked for a national conservation charity, the Woodland Trust where she was responsible for fundraising and delivering high-profile projects to improve the natural landscape and create woodlands which promote health and well-being. Recruiting, developing and working closely with volunteers was at the heart of all the projects she has managed – from planting 6 million trees across the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee to organising a series of large scale community events, each attended by over 2000 people.

In her personal time, she is a Director of a Community Interest Company taking forward a grass roots community project to transform a piece of derelict land left in her Nana’s will. The Ruby’s Yard project is working closely with individuals and teams of volunteers to turn an old boat yard (along Coventry canal) into a community venue for local people to socialise, learn new skills, prevent loneliness and improve physical health and mental well-being.


Connecting Communities 2019 is delivered by Support Cambridgeshire and funded by Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.



Food 4 Thought with a Slice of Orange

Join Support Cambridgeshire for a FREE 2 hour session with internationally renowned public speaker and Amazon top 10 best selling author:

The Speaker with the Orange Tie (AKA Steve Beckles – Ebusua) –

As a run up to National Volunteer Week (taking place between the 1st and the 7th June 2019) listen to Steve’s views on Leadership and how that can be translated into volunteers and the world of volunteering.

It’s sure to be a fun packed and thought provoking 2 hours (apparently Steve brings the Juice) – starting with a light buffet lunch between 1pm and 1.30pm.

Steve takes the stage at 1.30pm through to 3.30pm – so hang on to your hats..!!

This event is limited to 40 spaces only so book early to guarantee a place – contact

See Steve in action:

This event is being held on the 22nd May 2019 between 1pm and 3.30pm at Wood Green Animal Shelter, Kings Bush Road in Godmanchester, and is brought to you through funding by Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. 

Our latest Training Offer

Support Cambridgeshire run a series of formal training events and informal network sessions throughout the year.

In addition, Support Cambridgeshire advertises useful or informative training from other organisations, some of which may or may not be chargeable.

Our latest Training and events flyer can be viewed here:

More information on each course or event (and whether a fee applies) can be viewed here:

Hunts Forum or Cambridge CVS members can generally access all courses or events Free of charge by virtue of their membership (unless otherwise indicated).

Organisations which do not have a membership can access Support Cambridgeshire courses Free of Charge (look for our multi coloured stem cell logo) or information contained within each listing.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of our training please feel free to contact us on 01480 420601.

Social Value and Inspiring Impact Roadshow

Make an Impact CIC supports organisations to grow and be more impact-ful by removing confusion around:

Impact measurement, reporting and management.
Social value strategies and procurement frameworks.
Products, services and sustainable sources of income.

Join them on the 1st April 2019 at the Future Business Centre, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge CB4 2HY between 9.30am and 1.30pm. 

Impact CIC specialise in supporting health and social care organisations, housing associations, employment, education and training organisations and trading co-operatives.

You can visit for more information.

This event is an opportunity for local organisations to network and learn more about the subject area.

The Social Value Roadshow will give an overview of the wider international and national contexts of social value, as well as the local partners knowledge of Cambridge and the surrounding areas. They will look at what social value is, why it is important to you, and how to take action. Social Value UK and Make an Impact CIC will bring sector specific knowledge to guide attendees in how to navigate the social value landscape.

For more information contact or visit

Innovate and Cultivate Seed Projects

Do you want to do something for your community but need some inspiration to start a project?

Cambridge County Council have compiled some ideas that can help people to remain independent and active within their community, encourage volunteering and complement more costly Council services.

Cambridgeshire County Council particularly welcomes applications to the Innovate & Cultivate Fund to set up any of the following ‘Cultivate’ projects:

Time-banks: Time-banks offer a way for people to help each other by exchanging skills. For example, a member can spend an hour helping an older person to the shops and in return spend that hour on help from other members, such as gardening or IT support. Co-ordinators match people’s skills, arrange exchanges and keep a record of all the members’ “banked” hours. Time-banks are open to everyone and work hard to engage more vulnerable members of the community which helps people make new connections. Further guidance on applying to start a Time-bank can be found here, and you can watch this video.

Men’s Sheds: A ‘Shed’ is a place where people come together to make and mend whilst sharing skills and friendship. They typically attract older men, but many have younger members and women too and some are called Community Sheds. Sheds often get involved in community projects such as restoring village features, helping maintain green spaces and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need. Sheds can help people gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging, reduce feelings of isolation and help people remain independent. Further guidance on applying to start a Men’s Shed can be found here, and you can watch this video.

Good Neighbour Schemes: This is a group of local volunteers offering support to people in their community who may need a helping hand such as older people, people with disabilities, single parents and young mothers, or anyone who is ill or isolated. Volunteers help with simple tasks such as transport for appointments, running errands, household tasks and visiting people. Schemes encourage both participants and volunteers to play an active role in their community. Further guidance on applying to start a Good Neighbour Scheme can be found here.

Dementia-Friendly Communities: This is a place where people with dementia enjoy living, feel part of, are understood, respected and supported. Setting one up involves raising awareness through promotion and Dementia Friends training, and encouraging local organisations and businesses to take simple actions as part of their commitment to become more dementia-friendly, such as introducing rest benches or staff training to help everyone understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the community they choose. Further guidance on applying for a grant to help you develop your dementia-friendly community can be found here, and you can watch this video.


Before you apply for funding, the County Council recommend that you:

Talk to other members of your community to understand what already exists and which project is right for you and your community. If you have another idea, the fund is also open to any projects that reduce pressure on County Council services or offer direct savings for the council. You can also learn more about your community from the County Council’s Parish Profiles.

Read the guidance for applicants that you can find here.

Talk to the following support organisations:

There is more information on data sets which will help to inform your ideas and examine potential costs. These can be found here:

Information on these schemes can also be sound at the Cambridge Community Foundation website: Simply click here:





14 attend the Funding Masterclass

Support Cambridgeshire is committed to running a number of small network sessions which focus on themes of importance to community based groups.

The latest took place in Over on the 27th February 2019 on the subject of Funding.

We all know that finding funding is consistently a challenge for community organisations within the voluntary sector, and this event looked at the challenge in making applications and the tools and resources which might help.

First up was Alan Turner, the Development worker for Cambridge CVS who spoke about Funding applications, what research is required, how best to present your facts and how to avoid making common mistakes which can lead to an application being rejected.

It’s a sad fact of life that 71% of applications submitted are rejected, so any competitive advantage an organisation can gain is important.

Alan’s presentation can be found here:

Equally important are the tools and resources which help organisations gain intelligent data to support their applications. All Funders bar none love evidence, and Jack Ossel from Cambridgeshire County Council gave a live demonstration of Cambridgeshire Insights, a platform which provides a huge range of vital information on health, housing and deprivation at Ward level and below.

Jack’s presentation can be found here:

Russell Rolph gave a short demonstration of SC4C – the self funding portal which organisations can register and use for free. Packed with over 2,400 potential funds, its a must for any organisation looking to deliver activities or projects. The portal has already delivered 57,000 in funding over the past 12 months. To visit the portal click here:

Last up was Keith Johnson, the Development Worker at Hunts Forum. Keith spoke about the importance of 1-1 Development sessions with Development Workers, not just for funding but for any issues surrounding Governance, Training, Advice or Support.

Keith’s presentation notes can be viewed here:

Contact or if you wish to book a 1-1 Development session.

Photo caption: Alan in full swing at the Funding Masterclass.

Campaign to end loneliness

As part of the Campaign to End Loneliness, Cambridgeshire County Council are working together with partners to encourage communities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to host a Big Lunch  or a Great Get Together in June 2019.

This is part of their #50000reasons campaign that was launched over Christmas to encourage people to reach out to isolated people in their community who may be experiencing loneliness.

The Big Lunch will be taking place on 1-2 June and The Great Get Together will be taking place on 21-23 June. Both national events provide a great opportunity to bring your neighbours together, including those who might be more isolated, to share food, have fun and get to know each other better.

The County will be holding an information session for those who would like to find out more about hosting a Big Lunch or Great Get Together, with tips on ‘how to make it happen’ as well as examples of successful events. The event will be held at on 26th March 2019 from 11:00 to 13:00 at:

The Assembly Room

Huntingdon Town Hall

Market Hill


PE29 3PJ

If you would like to attend this event, please email Alex Parr on to confirm your attendance, as places will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

If you’re interested in hosting or supporting a community to host either a Big Lunch or Great Get Together or would like further information, please let Alex know, as they would really like to map all events that take place across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in June to celebrate kindness, respect and all we have in common.

Talking of all things loneliness, why not book an advanced space on our Connecting Communities Conference for the 20th June 2019 in St Ives. This event will investigate how volunteering can help in the fight against loneliness. The keynote speaker is Kate Gordon from the UK Men’s Sheds Association, and 4 interactive workshop sessions have been planned.

Book an advanced space by contacting


Nellie the Tuk Tuk

The Neighbourhood Cares Team in Soham are asking potential donors to support their #Nellie4Soham campaign.

Nellie is a Tuk Tuk who currently lives in Ely.  Neighbourhood Cares are working with community partners to run a Crowdfunding campaign to bring her to Soham – click here!

The idea is that Nellie will provide volunteer-fuelled Community Transport to help people get out and about in the town.

Neighbourhood Cares are leading the campaign, Viva will own and look after Nellie and Soham Men’s Shed will recruit and organise volunteer drivers to help people get out and about in Soham.

Theye need to raise £4000 in 30 days (14 Feb – 16 March).

To succeed they need your support to make the campaign fly.  Please could you help by:

  1. Donating: Encourage others to visit #Nellie4Soham Crowdpatch page
  2. Spreading the Word: Tell everyone you know about the campaign, especially anyone you know who has links to Soham: Like their Neighbourhood Cares Soham Facebook (@NCSoham) and follow them on Twitter @CaresSoham. Please share all of their posts and tweets!
  3. Helping to recruit Volunteers: Soham needs volunteer fuel. They have a Lend-a-Hand board next to their Nellie-o-meter in the local library with a range of opportunities. They will also use social media to feature these volunteering possibilities.

There is also a film pitch (our film pitch) which can be accessed via the link.

Have your say………………

Do you work in Wisbech?

If so, what do you love about the town and what would you do to improve it?

Those are the questions being asked in a new I Heart Wisbech campaign to gather people’s views and use them to help develop future services and projects in the town.

The campaign has been launched by the I Heart Wisbech* team, which is made up of a number of local community organisations along with Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council and Wisbech Town Council.

There are 3 simple questions to complete which should only take 5 minutes of your time.

The survey is available at and is expected to run until 1st March 2019.

Russell Rolph of Support Cambridgeshire (who is managing the project on behalf of the I Heart Wisbech team) said:

Those who live, work and invest in an area are the best people to ask on what’s right about where they live, and what could be improved.

The feedback will be used to develop key themes in community development and to hopefully uncover the next generation of social action champions in the town. So if you have a great idea on how to improve Wisbech we would love to hear from you.

The campaign links to the ongoing Wisbech 2020 Vision and its work to tackle local issues and deliver future health, economy and infrastructure improvements.


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