Government provides support for Village Halls

Charities are being invited to apply to a £3m government fund for improving village halls.

The Village Halls Improvement Grant Fund will issue awards for up to 20 per cent of improvement costs, with a minimum grant of £10,000 and a maximum grant of £75,000 available.

This means that overall scheme costs could be between £50,000 and £375,000.

For more information click here:

The fund is being managed by ACRE on behalf of DEFRA and with the support of the local ACRE network.

For more information on costs, guidelines and possible timelines click here:

If you require information or advice on any aspect of this fund please contact Cambridgeshire ACRE at

Council takes CVS in-house

Umbrella body NAVCA has expressed concern over the independence of Waltham Forest’s community and voluntary service (CVS) after it was taken back in-house by the council.

Community Waltham Forest (or CWF for short) was set up as an independent organisation but had been run by fellow CVS Community Southwark since 2016.

This month the London Borough of Waltham Forest announced that the contract with Community Southwark had been cut short and that the council itself would run CWF and employ its three part-time members of staff.

The council will incorporate CWF into its newly-established Connecting Communities team and it said the change would be as seamless as possible.

For more information on this story click here:



Cyber Security – A Government Warning

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (or DCMS for short) has issued a further warning to both business and charities about the cost of cyber breaches.

The average annual cost to business or charities has been assessed at £4,180.00, which for smaller organisations is a considerable loss to recover.

However, its not all bad news: Whilst 32% of business identified a cyber breach in 2019, this is a reduction on the previous years percentage (43%).

In addition, charities appear to be taking cyber security more seriously, with 75% having protocols in place in 2019 compared to 53% in 2018.

As a smaller organisation what can you do to protect information and assets?

The National Cyber Security Council (or NCSC for short) recommend the following key steps:

Protect your network from attack, and filter out unauthorised access or malicious content.

Train staff and volunteers to be aware of cyber attacks and possible scams.

Establish anti-malware defences across your organisation.

Be careful how you use removable media like USB sticks or Dongles.

Limit user privileges and monitor user activity.

Think about information recovery in the event of a cyber attack.

Analyse unusual activity which could trigger an attack.

Develop a mobile working policy and train staff in understanding and adhering to it.

More information can be obtained from

If you have any concerns about cyber security issues please contact Keith Johnson at Hunts Forum ( in the first instance, or telephone 01480 420604.


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 has only 15 spaces left only so book early to guarantee a place – contact

See Steve in action:

Steve is brought to you through funding from Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council under the Support Cambridgeshire programme.

Food 4 Thought with a Slice of Orange:

22 May 2019

1pm to 3.30pm

Location: Wood Green Animal Shelter (The Margaret Young Room)

Kings Bush Farm Godmanchester PE29 2HN


Cambridgeshire online lottery

Earlier this year (January 2019) we reported that Cambridgeshire County Council were moving towards a Cambridgeshire online lottery in support of local good causes.

The County has since run a number of focus groups and are planning to launch the lottery over the summer of 2019.

Over 30 local authorities across the UK have invested in online lotteries, achieving £130,000 in a two year period for various good causes.

Cambridgeshire County Council estimate that within a 24 month period, 9,779 prospective players will provide approximately £254,000 for good causes across the County (based upon a population estimate of 651,000 and a take up rate of 1.5%).

How will it work?

Online tickets will be available at £1.00 per week.

50% of the price of a ticket will go towards individual or specific listed good causes.

10% will go towards a community fund (which will be allocated to good causes chosen by elected members).

20% will go towards players and will act as prize money (the maximum prize that can be won is £25,000).

17% will go towards the Lottery Provider (a company known as Gatherwell).

3% is required for VAT compliance.

Cambridgeshire based organisations can list themselves as a good cause providing they benefit or provide services and activities across the 5 districts which constitute the County.

Organisations will need a formal constitution or a set of rules.

Organisations will also need a bank account with at least 2 unrelated signatories.

More details on how to list an organisation as a good cause can be viewed here:

Potential issues for voluntary organisations:

Organisations will need to think carefully about their fundraising strategy. If donors already support an organisation financially then redirecting them through the lottery could mean a reduction in income (as 50% only of the ticket price is directed towards specific good causes). However, the online lottery could be a way of attracting new and different potential donors, so how this is marketed needs to be well thought through and defined. Any organisations that need help with this can contact Support Cambridgeshire partners Hunts Forum ( or Cambridge CVS (

Cambridgeshire County Council have stated that the lottery is an additional source of funding for good causes and will not impact upon current grant processes (although there are plenty of other external factors which could).

If you wish to have your say about the proposed lottery you still have time: Simply E-Mail





The State of the Sector Survey 2019

Our State of the Sector survey is now live and can be viewed and completed by clicking here:

Our 2019 survey is shorter and more concise then ever before, but gives community based organisations a perfect opportunity to tell us about the barriers, challenges and opportunities which hinder or help the running of services and projects.

We are looking for a large response this year, reflective of the diverse and emerging nature of the voluntary sector in Cambridgeshire.

The information we gather enables us to talk with funding organisations and key stakeholders about the issues that are uppermost in peoples minds.

The survey is open until the 17th May 2019.

If you have any queries about the survey please contact


National Volunteers Week June 2019

Its National Volunteers Week between the 1st and the 7th June 2019, a week where Volunteers across the UK are recognised for the fantastic work they do.

Support Cambridgeshire is doing the same, so if you wish to recognise a volunteer you work with or support then please send russell@huntsforum a one side Page of A4 detailing who the volunteer is, what they do and why you think they deserve a special mention.

The aim is to highlight one volunteer per day throughout the week via our news items, social media and partner websites (which includes the NCVO national bulletin board).

All recognitions should be sent by Friday the 24th May 2019.

As a pre-cursor to National Volunteers Week why not join us for our FREE Leadership and Volunteering session on the 22nd May 2019, where international speaker and Amazon top 10 best selling author The Speaker with the Orange Tie takes the stage:

To complete the Volunteering context bag a space at our FREE conference on the 20th June 2019 in St Ives. The conference will examine how volunteering can impact on loneliness and isolation and gives delegates an opportunity to discuss innovation, best practice and eat cake..!!:



Whats a Men’s Shed……

Men’s sheds or community sheds are non-profit organisations that originated in Australia, set up to advise to and improve upon the overall health of all men.

However,  some sheds have expanded their remit to include anyone regardless of age or gender.

They normally operate on a local level in the community, promoting social interaction, reducing isolation and increasing levels of health and well-being.

In Australia there are currently over 900 sheds in existence, but the movement is also growing across the UK.

The UK Men’s Shed Association produced a report on the impacts of Men’s Sheds on people and communities and this report can be read here:

Men’s Sheds are now beginning to develop across Cambridgeshire and funding is available through the Innovate and Cultivate Fund if you wish to establish and develop a shed.

Fore more information on the Innovate and Cultivate Fund click here: 

If you want to learn more about the shed concept why not sign up for our FREE Connecting Communities Conference in 2019.

Kate Gordon, Shed Development Officer for UK Men’s Shed Association will be the keynote speaker at this event and will be on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have.


Charity Fundraising

We all know that Charity Fundraising is a big issue even for smaller community based organisations in Cambridgeshire.

Last year our State of the Sector Survey informed us that more organisations are looking towards individual or corporate donors to supplement their grants and contract work.

However, Fundraising is one of the largest regulated areas within the voluntary sector and many larger charities have fallen foul of regulation and law in recent months.

So if you are fundraising as an organisation make sure you seek advice on any aspect of fundraising you are unclear of – our fact-sheet might help so click here:

Failing that, book a 1-1 review session with one of our Development Workers: Simply contact in the first instance.

In addition, why not book a FREE space at our next two training sessions on Crowdfunding or events fundraising:

For Crowdfunding click here:

For events fundraising click here:

You can also seek advice from the Fundraising Regulator by clicking here:

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.

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