Innovate and Cultivate – Next Round

Cambridgeshire County Council is pleased to announce that the next deadline for Innovate & Cultivate Fund applications is 1st August 2019.

A pre-application advice session will be held on 18th June 2019 (see below).

The aim of the fund is to support initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on County Council services, thereby giving a return on investment. There are two funding streams: a ‘Cultivate’ fund for smaller projects that build community support networks and an ‘Innovate’ fund for bigger, bolder and more innovative initiatives. Council services that are inviting applications include adult social care and children & families services.

 New Cultivate ‘Seed’ Fund Projects:

The County Council have developed new guidance on starting Cultivate ‘Seed’ Fund Projects that can help people to remain independent and active within their community, encourage volunteering and complement more costly Council services.  Projects include Time-banks, Good Neighbour Schemes, Dementia-Friendly Communities and Men’s Sheds.

See the webpage for details.

So how do you apply:

The fund is open to voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations based in and outside of Cambridgeshire, and public sector organisations in Cambridgeshire.

Application deadlines:

1st August 2019 – Cultivate grants (£2,000 – £19,000) and Innovate grants (£19,001 – £50,000). The next deadline is 1st November 2019 for Cultivate applications only and 1st February 2020 for both Cultivate and Innovate grant applications.

Book a pre-application advice session:

Do you want to talk through your ideas before you submit your application?  Bookings are now open for the Innovate & Cultivate Fund Advice Session on Tuesday 18 June 2019 between 9:30am and 12:30pm at Huntingdon Youth Centre. Please book here.

Applications and further information about fund priorities and criteria may be found on the website. If you have any queries about the application advice sessions please email  Cambridgeshire Community Foundation can answer questions about applying for the Fund


Join us at our Connecting Communities Conference 2019

Hunts Forum and Support Cambridgeshire invite you to our Connecting Communities Conference on the 20th June 2019.

Join us to CareDare 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.

For more information on the event and how to book a Free Space click here:

A number of workshops will be run throughout the day.

UPDATE: AgeUK set to run our Finding Workshop 

Andrew Morris and Beverly Young Young from AgeUK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be facilitating the workshop of Finding (how to identify and reach out to potential volunteers who may be isolated or lonely).

Andy Morris has recently started his career in the charity sector following a career change in 2018. He spent 14 years working for Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a Police officer undertaking various roles. Andy now has the unique challenge of Chief Operating Officer for AgeUk Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

His key skills are in project management, operational and contingency planning, business development and Risk analysis. Andy has a successful history of working constructively with a range of internal and external stakeholders to plan and implement strategies, achieving results, and identifying ways to develop and improve services and productivity.

Some key achievements are the development and delivery of the police service volunteer programme, and most recently, the project lead in creating a unique volunteer steward programme with major event locations in the county.

Beverley Young has held a variety of volunteer roles in the charity sector for over 20 years and as a result has a personal understanding of the needs and motivations of volunteers. Beverley has worked for Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for 8 years, and has delivered front line services, co-ordinated and managed volunteer recruitment, induction and training. Whilst partnership manager, Beverley delivered a number of local projects working collaboratively and currently manages communications and campaigns at Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough strategically influencing stakeholders.

Book today and get your free space.

Disabled Children’s Service – Applications

Cambridgeshire County Council Disabled Children’s Service are inviting applications to deliver a range of interesting, exciting and inclusive activities for disabled children and young people living within Cambridgeshire. The children and young people who will use the clubs and groups will be aged up to 19 years and have a range of needs: They may require assistance with personal care for example or assistance with support to enjoy activities in the community with other young people.

The groups and clubs must be able to provide enjoyable experiences for our young people whilst enabling them to reduce social isolation and contribute to their personal and social development.

Any projects or groups set up may be specialist or may provide an environment, which prepares disabled children and young people for transition to inclusive provisions.

The Service is looking for flexible projects or groups that enable children and young people to participate in fun and stimulating activities at a range of times that suit them including evenings, weekends and during school holidays.

The County Council’s current framework ends on 30th September 2019 and they invite all existing providers and new ones to join our new framework. Their tender is due to go live on May 28th and they have a provider engagement day on 16th May 2019, 14:00 – 16:00 at the Kreis Viersen Room, Shire Hall in Cambridge, CB3 0AP.

If you are interested in attending this event, please can you email

National Volunteers Week June 2019

Its National Volunteers Week between the 1st and the 7th June 2019, an opportunity for organisations across the UK to recognise the fantastic work undertaken by the countless number of volunteers who assist in the provision of services and projects.

Support Cambridgeshire is happy to profile any volunteers who are nominated by Cambridgeshire based organisations. These nominations will appear as a news item each day throughout the week, starting on Monday the 3rd June. If you wish to profile a particular volunteer please send 1 side of A4 to russell@huntsforum by Friday the 24th May 2019 at 5PM.

Please include the name of your volunteer, why they are being nominated and how they have helped your organisation.


More than a Giving Machine

For longer than the term Corporate Social Responsibility (or CSR) has been coined, charities have reached out to businesses for support. But charities can find CSR difficult to access, often being uncertain who in an organisation to contact, knowing if a business is receptive to being approached and the best way to do so, thinking that a business is only interested in publicity for its donation. Businesses too can find it difficult knowing how to deal with so many approaches made to them, not understanding the language that charities use and the hurdles and uncertainties they can go through.  However, when it works, it works well and makes a great difference to both sides and especially to the people the charities are working with.

Coming from a desire to see this work better, have greater intention and impact, and create greater benefit for our communities, Rachel Briant (the Founder of Get Synergised) and Keith Johnson from Hunts Forum (on behalf of Support Cambridgeshire) organised a workshop: Corporate Social Responsibility: More than a Giving Machine.

The title was deliberately chosen to emphasise that often the relationship can be about more than money and can include skills exchange, learning, mutual understanding and respect. The event took place in the boardroom of Barons Cambridge BMW in Cambourne, hosted by Kevin Appleton, their Head of Business.

Sixteen Charitable Organisations and social enterprises from across Cambridgeshire joined three businesses at Barons Cambridge BMW to explore how businesses and charities can engage better together to  impact communities. Sharon Livermore from Kameo Recruitment and Sue Rowley from PwC Cambridge joined Kevin Appleton to facilitate discussion groups exploring key themes. Interest from the charitable sector far exceeded the number of places available.

The workshop aimed to bridge the divide of language and ways of working between business and the charitable sector, helping charities to move beyond the idea of approaching businesses for funds and to explore and enter into dialogue with receptive businesses to develop stronger, meaningful and more sustainable partnerships.

The day saw both sides eager to develop better and stronger relationships whilst learning from each other about the issues each faced. By understanding each other’s positions, needs and intentions better, the workshop was able to break down many of the barriers for both and boost the confidence of charities to approach businesses and for businesses to have greater understanding around the challenges and needs of charitable organisations.

Charities and businesses ended the event wanting to see more opportunities for dialogue and engagement between each other, something that the organisers intend to follow through. Ideas that came from the workshop day include a space for Dragons’ Den style pitching to businesses by charities, informal network gatherings, more dialogue sessions to help each side continue to understand the languages used, the pressures each side is under and the mutual benefits.

Any businesses or charitable organisations interested in taking part in future events should contact either Rachel at Get Synergised, or Keith at Hunts Forum, .



Ask Me Community Ambassador Scheme

[Republished from]

People within a survivor’s community are often the first to know that domestic abuse is happening. But lack of understanding and confidence can make people afraid to talk about it, and unsure of how to respond when someone speaks out. Survivors have told us they can feel judged, silenced or isolated by the people around them.

We are changing that through the Change That Lasts Ask Me scheme, developed in partnership between Women’s Aid Federation England and Welsh Women’s Aid.

The project is a simple initiative that equips community members in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with an understanding of domestic abuse and how to respond to survivors. This knowledge will enable the community to play an active role in ending domestic abuse.

Being a Change That Lasts Community Ambassador

We offer free 12 hour training courses to members of the local community from all backgrounds and identities where they learn about domestic abuse, including its gendered nature, how to challenge the stereotypes surrounding it and how to listen to, believe and direct survivors to specialist support.

Anyone with a connection to Cambridgeshire and/or Peterborough can become an Ask Me ambassador, whether you have been personally affected by domestic abuse or whether you would like to learn more.

After the training, ambassadors are given resources and support to share what they have learned with those around them in ways that feel most comfortable to them. They are encouraged to start conversations about domestic abuse that will help others to better understand the barriers that survivors face in speaking out. An ambassador can commit as much or as little time as they can give.

We keep in touch with Community Ambassadors with new opportunities and events such as ambassador meet-ups, campaign involvement and volunteering. We also send short surveys to find out how they are getting on and how we can support them further.

A Community Ambassador…

… believes in equality of all people, regardless of their gender identity, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, cultural beliefs or circumstances.

… listens and believes others that share their personal experiences of domestic abuse.

… is non-judgmental and respectful.

… is passionate about ending domestic abuse.

There is a chance that we may decide that it isn’t appropriate for a person to take on the role if they don’t share these values and qualities. We will work with people to overcome any barriers wherever possible, or we will direct you to a more suitable volunteering or training opportunity.

Interested? Join the Scheme

If you would like to take part, please register your interest through the online form here: REGISTER INTEREST FORM

The Portal hits 190K

The Support Cambridgeshire self-funding portal has seen an increase in usage over the past 6 months, and with it organisations reporting funding success.

Since November 2018, 190K has been raised by local organisations who first started their funding search using Support Cambridgeshire 4 Communities (or SC4C).

The portal has over 2,400 funds to view, all of which are updated on a regular basis.

People and organisations can search for Free, and can use the portal an unlimited amount of times without being penalised.

So register today by clicking here:

If you wish to receive our monthly electronic and thematic funding alert, jam packed full of funding opportunities please contact

If you have identified a fund but require some support in developing your application, or require assistance with supporting documents then we have Development Workers who can assist. If you operate in Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire or Fenland contact

If you operate in Huntingdonshire or East Cambridgeshire contact


The 6 top challenges for Charities

The CAF Charity Landscape report of 2019 has identified the top 6 challenges for CEO’s and the Charitable sector across the UK.

The most pressing challenge at number 1 is that of Income Generation, particularly at a time where demand for services is growing and financial restrictions continue to dominate the headlines.

Digital technology is number 2, seen as a double edged sword by many Charity leaders. Whilst embracing new digital technology will provide opportunities for Charities, it comes at a cost and may well change the nature of the problems currently faced.

Number 3 on the list is Brexit. Most leaders feel that Brexit will have a very negative impact on the Charitable sector and the beneficiaries for whom they serve.

Fourth up is Government. Few Charitable leaders think that the Government will continue to support the sector, with many thinking that the Government will see them as a nuisance for criticising policy decisions made in Westminster.

At number 5 its public trust. Many Charity leaders believe that media negativity surrounding Charities makes it harder to build levels of public trust, and that many members of the public have no understanding of the importance of Charities and the work they do.

Number 6 is a mixed bag: Many Charity leaders are more confident about the future of their own organisation than they are for the sector as a whole.

Fore more detailed information on the CAF Landscape Report, and how Charities can rise to the challenges click here:



What’s the CEO Network?

Well its a network for CEO’s obviously but it goes beyond that.

We all recognise that sometimes the CEO role can be an isolated and lonely place to be, so the opportunity to meet other CEO’s and share organisational issues, concerns or opportunities in a safe and confidential space is probably valuable.

But its also about the start of one voice for the voluntary sector in Cambridgeshire. There are often issues arising out of Commissioner requirements or changes in District and County strategy which needs consulting on,  or requires a view, challenge or some support from the voluntary Sector. The CEO Network might be the best place to make this happen.

The first CEO Network has already taken place with 13 CEO’s in attendance. A second is planned for May 2019.

What arose from our first session?

CEO’s found the opportunity to discuss issues with peer colleagues invaluable.

We need to grow the CEO Network to a size reflective of the depth and diversity of our sector.

The network requires a series of Operating Principles which will be brought to the next meeting for discussion.

CEO’s need a digital safe space where they can post ideas, innovation, issues and concerns (or simple requests for information from other CEO’s). A proposed platform will be brought to the next meeting for discussion.

A Logo has been produced will can be used by all CEO’s who form part of the network. If you are already part of the CEO Network and would like the Logo for your E-Mail Footer or Headed Paper please contact 

Next Steps?

Further meetings where the CEO agenda can be broadened and contextualised.

Communications through the Combined Authority, County and District Councils advocating the use of the CEO network for one voice responses to concerns, priorities or changing strategies.

CEO representation at County and District Partnerships.

For more information on the CEO Network in general please contact

If you wish to be part of the Network please contact

If you require the CEO Network Logo please contact



Soham Sparks: The Results Are In

Communities Officer Ben Pitt has been working in Soham since September 2018, supporting local residents to enrich community life in their town. It’s been a busy seven months, culminating in the launch of Soham Community Association on 4 April. This group has responded to the need for a new organisation to look after the finances of the local community newsletter. They also recognised a wider need to bring the residents, organisations and businesses of Soham together for the benefit of the town. Their mission statement speaks volumes about their ambition to make Soham a happier, more caring and more connected community.

The launch of SCA on 4 April was the perfect opportunity for Ben to share the findings of the Soham Community Survey. This asked residents what they like, dislike and want to change about their town. The subsequent report aims to establish patterns in the responses, ready to inform and shape future community projects in the town. Read more about Ben’s work on the Soham Sparks Blog.

Is there anything wrong with this page?

Help us improve our website