The Civil Society Strategy is launched

Earlier in the year Support Cambridgeshire was involved in consultations over the Governments new proposed Civil Society Strategy.

Today it’s been launched. It’s a massive document but what does it say about the community and voluntary sector?

Here are some snippets.

The social sector is the core of civil society. The government is keen to work alongside the social sector to build a future in which the sector can adapt and thrive, strengthen public trust, as well as find new ways to resource and deliver their work.

The government is determined that charities and social enterprises should be fully confident in their right to speak in public debates, and to have a strong role in shaping policy and speaking up on behalf of those they support.

The government will renew its commitment to the principles of the Compact. The Compact is a document that sets out a series of principles and commitments governing the relationship between the social sector and the government. We will also work with civil society, the Electoral Commission, and the Charity Commission to explore what non-legislative steps could strengthen civil society’s confidence in speaking out.

the government will convene a cross government group to work with civil society to establish the principles of effective involvement in the policymaking process, learning from the examples of good practice that already exist. We also recognise the strong demand from the social enterprise sector for a simpler relationship with the government. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will establish a regular forum for social enterprises to coordinate relations with government.

On funding and financing, the government is working with the Charity Commission and UK Community Foundations to release at least £20 million over the next two years from inactive charitable trusts to help community organisations.

The government will explore how to encourage more collective giving, a form of charitable giving where groups of people pool their donations to create larger funds to tackle problems.

On leadership, we will work with civil society stakeholders and the Charity Commission to agree on joint action to open up trusteeship to people from different backgrounds.

There is increasing awareness that increased use of data and digital technology can make charities stronger and even better at what they do. But charities are taking time to adopt opportunities. The government has identified artificial intelligence and the data revolution as one of the four Grand Challenges facing the UK.  We will work with partners to explore how best to  use digital to build a stronger and even more effective social sector.


Volunteers required

Cambridgeshire Hearing Help is looking for more volunteers able to commit to at least two hours per month providing community NHS hearing aid maintenance at one or more of its 43 community Hearing Help sessions. No experience is required, although good eyesight (with glasses) and reasonable dexterity is essential.

The charity has been running since 1978 (previously under the name of CAMTAD) and relies on a team of over one hundred and fifteen dedicated volunteers.

Its work is a lifeline for those who face barriers to accessing mainstream audiology services because they are older, frail, have other disabilities, or live in rural areas.

New volunteers can start at any time and will also need to complete a free two-day hearing loss and hearing aid maintenance training course.

The next course is running on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th September 2018 between 10am and 4pm at Abbey Meadows Community Centre, Abbey Meadows Primary School, Galfrid Road, Cambridge, CB5 8ND.

Parking is free and refreshments and lunch will be provided. To book your place please Tel: 01223 416141, Text: 07852 699196, or Email:

Amanda Morgan, Cambridgeshire Hearing Help’s Director, who herself uses an NHS hearing aid and cochlear implant, commented:

Providing NHS hearing aid maintenance in the community is a hugely rewarding volunteering role, and why many of our volunteers have served us for ten, twenty, and even thirty, years. The rewards include; putting a smile on somebody’s face because they can use their hearing aids again, and reducing their risk of suffering from loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression and dementia. They also include being part of our passionate, caring, and supportive team of staff and volunteers, many of whom have shared experience of hearing loss.

Norman Hardy will be 81 this month and has volunteered for Cambridgeshire Hearing Help for over nine years. His hearing loss started at the age of five in WWII as a result of a V2 rocket bomb blast.

Norman says:

During the war a V2 rocket bomb landed across the road and the blast lifted me off the toilet seat and blew me through the bathroom door. From that day onwards I had ringing in the ears and a problem with my hearing, although I didn’t realise it at the time and often wondered why the teachers sat me at the front of the class when I was the tallest pupil. It was only when I was 16 and had my medical ready to go in to the forces that I was told I had a perforated eardrum. I consequently failed the medical and therefore became a printer’s apprentice, and, in those days, we weren’t provided with ear protectors in an environment that was so noisy we had to learn to lip-read to communicate with each other, so this further damaged my hearing.

I started wearing hearing aids at the age of 60, and they made such as difference. This resulted in my joining Cambridgeshire Hearing Help because I wanted to give back and help others with hearing loss. I love the volunteering because there is a great camaraderie within the team and huge appreciation for the work that we do, and it gives me the opportunity to tell people about assistive technology that could improve their hearing further, such as the Bluetooth streamer I use every day.  


Innovate & Cultivate Fund (Autumn)

Cambridgeshire County Council is pleased to announce that bookings are now open for the Innovate & Cultivate Fund Advice Session on 24 September 2018 (between 9:45am and 12pm) at March Community Centre.  Please book here.

The fund supports initiatives that strengthen communities and reduce pressure on County Council services, thereby giving a return on investment.

Council services that are inviting applications include adult social care and children & families services.

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

The Innovate & Cultivate Fund has two funding streams: a ‘Cultivate’ stream for small grants of £2,000-£10,000 and an ‘Innovate’ stream for larger grants of up to £50,000.

The next application deadline for both funding streams is 1 November 2018. It is highly recommended that organisations intending to submit an application attend the advice session on 24 September to receive one-to-one advice on their project ideas.  Please note that only one application per organisation may be submitted for this deadline.

Application forms and further information may be found on the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website. Cambridgeshire Community Foundation can also answer questions about applying for the Fund – or 01223 410535.

Postcode Lottery Grants

The People’s Postcode Lottery has made more than £3m of grant funding available for local charities and community groups.

Charities in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £20,000 when applications open from 1 August for two weeks.

The People’s Postcode Lottery said it would award funding through three trusts, one of which (The People’s Postcode Trust) will focus on projects promoting human rights and employability, and those that combat poverty. Click here for further information.

A second trust (the Postcode Community Trust) will concentrate on grass-roots health and well-being programmes. Click here for further information.

The third trust (The Postcode Local Trust) will support programmes that aim to improve biodiversity and outdoor spaces. Click here for more information.

The Lottery states:

We are very excited to see the applications come in this year from across Great Britain. Across the three trusts, a huge variety of projects can benefit and we urge groups to take a look at the websites, see where their projects fit and get applying.

Free Practitioner Meeting – October 2018

Support Cambridgeshire is running a free Practitioner meeting on the subject of community cafes on the 18th October 2018 between 12.45pm and 2.30pm at the Maple Centre in Huntingdon.

Lunch is provided and will be served at 12.15pm, before the session begins.

The discussion will be facilitated by Ben Pitt of Love’s Farm House in St Neots, and will be an interactive session where people can discuss their thoughts, ideas and challenges on the subject.

If you have run a community cafe, or are thinking of running one then this session may be of interest.

To book your space contact

Numbers will be limited to 20.

Details on the Maple Centre can be found here: 

Parking is available off Nene Road. Simply walk across the pedestrian bridge to access the centre.


Building Connections Fund launches

The new Building Connections Fund has been launched for projects that aim to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The fund is a partnership between Government, The Big Lottery and the Co-op Foundation and aims to:

  • Increase social connections, helping people form strong and meaningful relationships and creating a sense of community and belonging, and helping people feel more connected.
  • Support organisations to build on their existing work (by reaching more people, or working in a new area or with a different method or group of people).
  • Encourage organisations to join up with others locally and work in partnerships.
  • Improve the evidence base and use learning to inform longer term policy and funding decisions.

The fund is valued at 11.5M.

For more details, including how to apply, please visit:

If you need any data to help support your bid please contact


Applications open to the Fore

The Fore is supported by the Big Lottery through its Partnership Funding Stream. It opens its next round of applications on the 23rd July 2018.

The Fore offers unrestricted funding and strategic support to small charities and social enterprises across the UK. It aims to make grants that will have a transformational impact by enabling them to grow, become more sustainable, more efficient, or take some other major step forward toward achieving their goals.

The Fore is being supported until July 2019 by £1.3 million of National Lottery funding thanks to a partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The Fore runs three 12-week funding rounds each year and makes grants of up to £30,000 over one to three years. Funding can be used to cover core costs.

The Fore are proud to be a funder without lengthy application forms or restrictive criteria. They recognise applicants as the experts in their own fields, so its process simply asks you to tell them who you are, what you need and how funding from us would transform your organisation.

They also provide successful applicants with access to friendly professional support, which includes ongoing mentoring, strategic advice, governance support or other assistance.

They fund work in all areas and have only two requirements for application:

  • The organisation must be a UK-registered Charity, CIC, CIO or CBS.
  • The organisation must have an annual income of less than £500,000.

Registration for The Fore’s next round opens on July 23 2018 at 10am, and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Please note that registration is highly competitive and operates on a first come, first served basis, so they encourage interested organisations to register as quickly as possible. Once successfully registered, applicants are given one month to prepare a three page application and gather their recent audited accounts, ready for submission.

The Orchards East Project – volunteers required

Orchards East is an exciting environmental and cultural project covering six counties in the east of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).
Funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and based in the School of History at the University of East Anglia (UEA), it is devoted to discovering and understanding the past, present and future of orchards in eastern England, and will last for three years.

Working with hundreds of new volunteers, the project will survey and record old orchard sites across the East of England, as well as research the social, cultural and economic history of fruit growing in the region. Results of these investigations will be widely shared through education and publication.

The project also aims to restore important old orchards, and to create new examples, for the enjoyment of local communities.

How can you get involved?

There are lots of ways you can get involved: telling us about an orchard near you, volunteering in the survey, participating in an orchard restoration workshop, helping to set up a new
community orchard in your neighbourhood, or recording stories of local orchards through the oral history project.

You can find out more about getting involved by visiting their website, where you will find information on volunteering as well as lists of events,
such as local Apple Days and information on partner organisations.

You can also sign up online to receive their regular bulletins and quarterly newsletter.





Whose seen the latest Facebook advert?

Many of you may have seen the latest television advert from Facebook. It was less about people and connections, and more about how they will ensure your data protection and security, thus enabling users to come to Facebook for all the right reasons. Given that the reach of social media is increasing all the time, and given the recent issues Facebook have had on the subject, the advert is very timely.

You may take the view that social media is about relationships, engagement and interactivity and not really about data privacy, online security and participant consent but as Andrew Beverley from Our Social Times reports its time to think again..!!

The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is now in place, and has been since the 25th May 2018. It covers the use of all personal data, whether that’s computerised or not.

Article 35 of the regulation requires that these processes are scrutinised such that data subjects have clarity about the effective protection of their personal information.

He continues:

GDPR requires that one of six categories of the legal basis for the processing of personal data are in place. Of particular note are two of these:

Consent of the data subject: By this we mean customer, potential customer, service user, beneficiary or anyone else not part of the data processing organisation.

Necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject: By this we mean an auditable agreement between the organisation and the data subject which explains the acceptable use of their personal data.

So where’s the link between GDPR and Social media?

Andrew Beverley explains:

As Marketers you are concerned with making the most effective use of social media tools or platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat or Instagram.

The last thing you are likely to worry about is having your followers, friends or connections actually providing you with consent to store or use their data.

You will be pleased to hear that as far as consent and data use is concerned, these will be effectively covered by the terms and conditions and privacy notices of each of these software tools.

In short, this means that both you and your social media audience agree to the terms of the tools you use.

So while you can breathe easier it’s worth being mindful of the bigger picture he notes:

The tick box before the app opens:

While you might not be a big fan of small print, social media users will need to be presented with a clear Privacy Notice or similar, which is available for their consideration before they decide to sign up and start participating. The Terms and conditions of joining will almost certainly contain one of the two legal bases for processing above (explicit consent or the performance of a contract).

That of course does not exempt you from exercising proper care with your use of personal data from your social media followers. For example, it will not be acceptable to take a customer’s email address and then look to use that in any undeclared email marketing or data processing activities.

Some other social media pointers:

A social media ‘name’ is a personal identifier. This is significant: If an application voluntarily decides to make that public, then that is their decision with full understanding and expectation that it will be seen by others. On another note, it will be interesting to see how the social media platforms will be expected to deal with subsequent data subject erasure requests, especially when many social media interactions record the participation of two or more individuals in exchanges of communications. Will simple deletion be sufficient? Who knows – watch this space?

How to handle a social media crisis?

If  a social media crisis does hit, there’s always a right way or a wrong way of handling the situation: Click here for some examples (of the good, the bad and the ugly) all courtesy of Our Social Times.

Calling all CEOs

The yet-to-be-published State of the Sector Survey for 2018 (readers can expect this in the next 2 weeks) shows categorically that organisations across Cambridgeshire require a Chief Officer Network in order to discuss some of the big issues facing the sector at present.

It has fallen to Support Cambridgeshire to facilitate these, and we hope to hold the first in September 2018 (probably the last 2 weeks of that month but yet to be confirmed).

If any CEOs are interested in attending this first Network session then please contact

We will find a suitable venue for this first session, dependent upon response levels, and it is envisaged that frequency, ground rules and subjects for debate will be discussed at the first gathering.


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