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:
- Time-banks – Gerry Cano at the Time-banking Partnership on 07834 750 676 or email Cano@chsgroup.org.uk
- Good Neighbour Schemes – Care Network Cambridgeshire on 01954 211919 or email@example.com
- Dementia-Friendly Communities – Fiona Wynde at Alzheimer’s Society on 07484 924563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Men’s Sheds – Laura Winkley at UK Men’s Sheds Association on 0300 772 9626 or email@example.com
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: